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What is Multimedia? The use of computers to present text, graphics, video, animation, and sound in an integrated way • Multimedia means that computer information can be represented through audio, video, and animation in addition traditional media (i.e., text, graphics drawings, images).


Digital Multimedia – is the field concerned with the computercontrolled integration of text, graphics, still and moving images, animation, sounds and any other medium where every type of information can be represented, stored, transmitted and processed digitally. Multimedia Application - is an application which uses a collection of multiple media sources e.g. text, graphics, images, sound/audio, animation and/or video. Advantages of Multimedia 1. Enhancement of Text Only Messages – multimedia enhances text only presentations by adding interesting sounds and compelling visuals 2. Improves our Traditional Audio-Video Presentation – audiences are more attentive to multimedia messages than traditional presentations done with slides or overhead 3. Gains and Hold Attention – research has shown that the combination of communication mode (audio and visual) Learners retain 20% of what they hear 40% of what they see and hear 75% of what they see and hear and do 4. Good for “computer-phobics”- those who are intimidated by computer keyboards are more comfortable with pressing buttons with a mouse or on screen 5. Multimedia is entertaining as well as educational

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Four Characteristics of Multimedia System • Multimedia systems must be computer controlled. • Multimedia systems are integrated. • The information they handle must be represented digitally. Data has to represented digitally so many initial source of data needs to be digitize -- translated from analog source to digital representation. • The interface to the final presentation of media is usually interactive. Benefits of Multimedia Systems • • • • • Easy to understand and easy to use Integrated and interactive Conducive to cooperative work environment Flexible Supportive of large audience

Multimedia Data Elements

Text - This is the base to most applications - the on-screen display of words. The use of different styles, fonts and colors can be used to emphasize specific points. Images - Seeing a picture of an object has more impact than merely reading about it. Examples include conventional artwork, computer-generated artwork, photographs or captured video frames. Movies - You can present information which is normally outside the scope of the ordinary classroom, such as medical operations or archaeological excavations. Animations - Animations can render a procedure more accurately than that of a movie. For instance objects which appear blurred within a movie can be represented more clearly. Sounds - Sound can be used in strategic parts of the program or during a movie to emphasize certain points. This may include speech, audio effects (e.g. applause), ambient sound (e.g. the background sound of the sea etc.) and music Hypertext - is a text which contains links to other texts. The term was invented by Ted Nelson around 1965.

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Challenges for Multimedia Systems • Distributed Networks • Temporal relationship between data o Render different data at same time — continuously. o Sequencing within the media playing frames in correct order/time frame in video o Synchronization - inter-media scheduling E.g. Video and Audio — Lip synchronization is clearly important for humans to watch playback of video and audio and even animation and audio.

Key Issues for Multimedia Systems The key issues multimedia systems need to deal with here are: • How to represent and store temporal information. • How to strictly maintain the temporal relationships on play back/retrieval • What processes are involved in the above? • Data has to represented digitally — Analog–Digital • Conversion, Sampling etc. • Large Data Requirements — bandwidth, storage, • Data compression is usually mandatory Desirable Features for a Multimedia System Given the above challenges the following feature a desirable (if not a prerequisite) for a Multimedia System: • Very High Processing Power — needed to deal with large data processing and real time delivery of media. • Multimedia Capable File System —needed to deliver real-time media — e.g. Video/Audio Streaming. • Special Hardware/Software needed – e.g. RAID technology. • Data Representations — File Formats that support multimedia should be easy to handle yet allow for compression/decompression in real-time.
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Efficient and High I/O —input and output to the file subsystem needs to be efficient and fast. Needs to allow for real-time recording as well as playback of data. • Special Operating System —to allow access to file system and process data efficiently and quickly. • Storage and Memory — large storage units (of the order of hundreds of Tb if not more) and large memory (several Gb or more). • Software Tools — user friendly tools needed to handle media, design and develop applications, deliver media.

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IMAGES In common usage, an image or picture is an artifact that reproduces the likeness of some subject—usually a physical object or a person. Images may be two dimensional, such as a photograph, or three dimensional such as in a statue. They are typically produced by optical devices—such as a cameras, mirrors, lenses, telescopes, microscopes, etc. and natural objects and phenomena, such as the human eye or water surfaces. Pixel- a picture element, containing the color or the hue and relative brightness of that point in the image. - is a single point in a graphic image. With care, pixels in an image can be reproduced at any size without the appearance of visible dots or squares; but in many contexts, they are reproduced as dots or squares and can be visibly distinct when not fine enough.

This example shows an image with a portion greatly enlarged, in which the individual pixels are rendered as little squares and can easily be seen.

Two Kinds of Computer Graphics There are two kinds of computer graphics - raster (composed of pixels) and vector (composed of paths). • Raster/bitmap Images Raster images are more commonly called bitmap images. A bitmap image uses a grid of individual pixels where each pixel
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can be a different color or shade. Bitmaps are composed of pixels. Bitmap Images are sometimes called “paint graphics”. That’s because bitmap images tend to be used for photo-realistic images and for complex drawings requiring fine detail. A bitmap is simply a matrix of pixels or a “grid” of pixels. The main advantage of bitmap is: • They are able to accurately represent the wide range of colors and shades in complex images • Vector Images Vector images tend to be used for lines, boxes, circles, polygons and other graphic shapes that can be mathematically expressed in coordinates on a computer screen. Vector graphics are composed of paths. Vectorizing is good for removing unnecessary detail from a photograph. This is especially useful for information graphics or line art.

An original photograph, a JPEG raster image.

Vectorizing is good for reducing file sizes for lower bandwidth delivery, while retaining enough detail for aesthetic appeal and photorealism

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Advantages to this style of drawing over raster graphics: • This minimal amount of information translates to a much smaller file size compared to large raster images. • Correspondingly, one can indefinitely zoom in on e.g. a circle arc, and it remains smooth. • On zooming in, lines and curves need not get wider proportionally. Often the width is either not increased or less than proportional.

The parameters of objects are stored and can be later modified. This means that moving, scaling, rotating, filling etc. doesn't degrade the quality of a drawing.

Bitmap vs. Vector The image to the left below is representative of a bitmap and the image to the right is representative of a vector graphic. They are shown at four times actual size to exaggerate the fact that the edges of a bitmap become jagged as it is scaled up: Bitmap Image: Vector Graphic:

Image Resolution • The number of pixels in the image. The term applies equally to digital images, film images, and other types of images. Higher resolution means more image detail. • Image resolution describes the detail an image holds. Image Classifications
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 Monochrome Image Each pixel contains a single bit of information, indicating whether the pixel is light or dark. An image displayed in a single color or shades of a single color. Most monochrome computer displays use white, green, or amber, although it could be any one color. Sample Monochrome Bit-Map Image Each pixel is stored as a single bit (0 or 1) A 640 x 480 monochrome image requires 37.5 KB of storage.

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 Gray-scale Images

A grayscale image is simply one in which the only colors are shades of gray. The reason for differentiating such images from any other sort of color image is that less information needs to be provided for each pixel. In fact a ‘gray’ color is one in which the red, green and blue components all have equal intensity in RGB space, and so it is only necessary to specify a single intensity value for each pixel, as opposed to the three intensities needed to specify each pixel in a full color image. Example of a Gray-scale Bit-map Image Each pixel is usually stored as a byte (value between 0 to 255) • A 640 x 480 greyscale image requires over 300 KB of storage.

 24-Bit Color Images

Full RGB color requires that the intensities of three color components be specified for each and every pixel. Image formats that store a full 24 bits to describe the color of each and every pixel are therefore known as 24-bit color images. There are also some disadvantages to using 24-bit images. Perhaps the main one is that it requires three times as much

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memory, disk space and processing time to store and manipulate 24-bit color images as compared to 8-bit color images. In addition, there is often not much point in being able to store all those different colors if the final output device (e.g. screen or printer) can only actually produce a fraction of them. Example of 24-Bit Colour Image • Each pixel is represented by three bytes (e.g., RGB) • Supports 256 x 256 x 256 possible combined colours (16,777,216) • A 640 x 480 24-bit colour image would require 921.6 KB of storage

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Commonly Used Graphics File Formats
 Graphics Interchange Format (GIF)

The GIF format (.gif file extension) is one of the two most common file formats for images on the World Wide Web, since it is supported by almost all Web browsers. Because this format can only display a maximum of 256 colors, it is best used for black-andwhite line drawings, color clip art, and pictures with large blocks of solid colors. It also supports both transparency and animation. Using GIF File Format

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Use .gif files for: Images that contain transparent areas (supports transparency) A limited number of colors, such as 256 or less. Black and white images. A small-size image, such as a button on a site. Images containing text. Animation (multiple pictures per file)

 Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG) The JPEG format (.jpg or .jpeg file extension) is the other most common file format for images on the Web. It is not limited to 256 colors, so you can use it to display high-quality photographs, or pictures containing millions of colors. Using JPEG File Format Use .jpg files for: • Photographs. • Natural-looking images • A great deal of detail, such as a photograph of a house on a real estate site.

Portable Network Graphics (PNG)

The PNG format (.png file extension) can display millions of colors. Because it is such a new format, however, fewer browsers currently support it (although it is quickly gaining support). Images saved in this format will not degrade in quality, even if the file is
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compressed. It supports transparency, but it does not support animation, since it cannot contain multiple images. PNG was developed as a patent-free answer to the GIF format but is also an improvement on the GIF technique.

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VIDEO Video is the technology of electronically capturing, recording, processing, storing, transmitting and reconstructing a sequence of still images which represent scenes in motion. Video technology was first developed for television systems, but has been further developed in many formats to allow for consumer video recording. Video can also be viewed on through the Internet as video clips or streaming media clips on computer monitors. STREAMING MEDIA Streaming media is media that is continuously received by, and normally displayed to, the end-user while it is being delivered by the provider. The distinction is usually applied to media that are distributed over telecommunications networks, as most other delivery systems are either inherently streaming (e.g. radio, television) or inherently non-streaming (e.g. books, video cassettes, audio CDs). The verb 'to stream' is also derived from this term, meaning to deliver media in this manner. Ex. WEBCAST • The word webcast is derived from "web" and "broadcast" • Webcasting is sending audio and/or video live over the Internet. In essence, webcasting can be thought of as broadcasting over the Internet. • A webcast uses streaming media technology to take a single content source and distribute it to many simultaneous listeners/viewers. What are the of Applications Streaming?

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Figure 1: Streaming media applications.

Corporate Communications - Using streaming media a webcast can be made from the CEO's office direct to all the staff, over the corporate WAN/LAN. The VP of Sales can address customers using the company extranet — the opportunities are endless.

Distance Learning/E-Learning - Distance learning, often called e-learning, takes a big step forward when you can add video and audio content. One problem that distance learning has always suffered from is a high drop-out rate. In the past it has been limited to communication via e-mail and the telephone. Streaming now presents the opportunity to add video to help to convey facts and information in a far more compelling way. Video can help the student relate to the tutors, giving a boost to the success rates of the courses.

Product and Sales Training - For product training, streaming can replace the traditional slide presentation with a rich media show — slides, video audio, and text — plus the opportunity for interactivity with web meetings.

Advertising - Many surveys have shown that streaming media users spend more online, so they are suitable targets for Internet-delivered advertising. Streaming ads are one step further than the banner ads of the web page. One of the first major applications for advertising was the movie trailer. Streaming is an obvious vehicle, offering on-demand video teasers for upcoming films. The music business has also adopted streaming as part of interactive rich media promotions for new albums.

Entertainment - The advent of broadband to the home changes all. With high-performance content delivery networks and ADSL or a cable modem, the viewer can now watch at a quality that is comparable to VHS.
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File Formats There are many video file formats to choose from when creating video streams. The most common formats are: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Windows Media RealMedia Quicktime MPEG (in particular MPEG-4) Macromedia Flash

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Video clips are short clips of video, usually part of a longer piece. The term is also more loosely used to mean any short video less than the length of a traditional television program. • Video clips are short clips in video format and predominantly found on the internet where the massive influx of new video clips during 2006 has been dubbed as a new phenomenon having a profound impact on both the internet and other forms of media. Sources for video clips include news and sporting events, historical videos, music videos, television programs, film trailers and vlogs. MPEG Standards MPEG-1 • This was the first successful standard developed by the multimedia community for audio-visual coding. The standard has long been used for video presentations on CDROMs. • MPEG-1 defines a group of Audio and Video (AV) coding and compression standards agreed upon by MPEG (Moving Picture Experts Group). MPEG-1 video is used by the Video CD (VCD) format and less commonly by the DVD-Video format. • MPEG-1 is for multimedia CD-ROM presentations MPEG-2 • MPEG-2 is the core of most digital television and DVD formats • A higher resolution, high-quality system for broadcast television, MPEG-2 is intended to replace analog composite systems for digital transmission systems. MPEG-4 • The spawning of so many potential multimedia applications, from hand-held wireless devices to high-definition home theaters, led to demands for a much more flexible coding

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platform. The support of the very low bit rates used for some streaming is one example of the new demands.

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Video Formats 8mm Video Formats 8mm Video refers to a group of three video formats: Video8, Hi8 and Digital8. Together these formats, championed by Sony, played a very important part in the early history of consumer camcorders. Video8 and Hi8 are now obsolete. Digital8 is still considered current but only just — it's something of a transition format and is unlikely to survive much longer. The Digital8 Video Format (D8) The Digital8 format, also known as D8, was introduced in the late 1990s and replaced Sony's analog Video8 and Hi8 formats. The Betamax Format Betamax was developed by Sony and launched in 1975. It was the first commercially successful home video standard. In the famous format war which followed, Betamax lost to JVC's VHS system. Betamax began the home video revolution. For the first time people were able to do three things: • Record television broadcasts for time-shifting (viewing later) • View cinematic movies at home • View video pornography in privacy DV Video DV (Digital Video) is a video standard launched in 1996. It was created by a consortium of companies and given the official name IEC 61834. The DV standard

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has spawned a few variations, including DVCAM (Sony) and DVCPRO (Panasonic). Consumers know DV in it's smaller format MiniDV. DV uses intraframe compression; that is, compression within each frame rather than between consecutive frames. This makes it an ideal format for editing. The MiniDV Video Format MiniDV is a digital video tape format which has become the most popular format for home video cameras. MiniDV uses the same compression as DV. MiniDV can also be used to store other forms of data with the help of appropriate software. MiniDV tapes can hold about 13GB of data in this way. The DVCAM Format DVCAM is a variation of the DV format developed by Sony and aimed at the semi-professional and lower-end professional market. DVCAM uses the same type of tape and compression as DV and MiniDV but at a higher speed (almost 50% faster).
DVD, Blu-Ray, HD-DVD Flash LaserDisc MPEG, MPEG-4 Quicktime RealMedia VHS, VHS-C, S-VHS, S-VHS-C, D-VHS Windows Media

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Animation Animation is the rapid display of a sequence of images of 2-D artwork or model positions in order to create an illusion of movement. It is an optical illusion of motion due to the phenomenon of persistence of vision. This could be anything from a flip book to a motion picture film. Animation Techniques

Animation techniques are incredibly varied and difficult to categorize. Techniques are often related or combined. The following is a brief on common types of animation.
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Traditional Animation the oldest and historically the most popular form of animation also referred to as classical animation, cel animation, or hand-draw animation (each frame is drawn by hand)

In cel animation, the frames of a traditionally animated movie are hand-drawn. The drawings are traced or copied onto transparent acetate sheets called cels, which are then placed over a painted background and photographed one by one on a rostrum camera. Nowadays, the use of cels (and cameras) is mostly obsolete, since the drawings are scanned into computers, and digitally transferred directly to 35 mm film. Because of the digital influence over modern cel animation, it is also known as tradigital animation. Examples: The Lion King, Spirited Away  Full

animation - The most widely-known style in animation, known for its realistic and often very detailed art. Examples: All Disney feature length animations  Limited animation - A cheaper process of making animated cartoons that does not follow a "realistic"

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approach. "Limited" animation creates an image that uses abstract art, symbolism, and limited movement to create the same effect, but at a much lower production cost. Examples: The Flintstones, Yellow Submarine  Rubber hose - The characters are usually very "cartoony", and the animators have a lot of artistic freedom as rubber hose doesn't have to follow the laws of physics and anatomy to the same degree as the other main styles of animation. Examples: Early Mickey Mouse cartoons, Popeye

Stop motion - Stop motion is a general term for an animation technique which makes static objects appears to move. The object is moved by very small amounts between individually photographed frames, producing the effect of motion when the series of frames is played back at normal speed, as in conventional drawn and painted animation. - Stop-motion animation is any type of animation which requires the animator to physically alter the scene, shoot a frame, again alter the scene and shoot a frame and so on, to create the animation. There are many different types of stop-motion animation. Some notable examples are listed below.  Clay animation (abbreviated as claymation) - is one of many forms of stop motion animation; specifically, it is the form where each animated piece, either character or background, is "deformable" i.e. a malleable substance, usually plasticine clay.  Cutout animation Cutout animation is a technique for producing animations using flat characters, props and backgrounds cut from materials such as paper, card, stiff fabric or even photographs. Today, cutout-style animation is frequently produced using computers, with scanned images or vector graphics taking the place of physically cut materials.

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 Silhouette animation - A monochrome variant of cutout

animation in which the characters are only visible as black silhouettes.

 Model animation - is a form of stop motion animation

designed to merge with live action footage to create the illusion of a real-world fantasy sequence. Examples: The film of Willis O'Brien (King Kong)

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 Object animation Object animation is a form of stop motion animation that involves the animated movements of any non-drawn objects such as toys, blocks, dolls, etc. which are not fully malleable, such as clay or wax, and not designed to look like a recognizable human or animal character. Object animation is often combined with other forms of animation, usually for a more realistic effect (e.g, Model Animation or Puppet Animation to add more complex movement or depth to the characters). For example; A toy car can be animated, but is more often animated with a character easily seen driving the car.  Puppet animation - Puppet animation typically involves puppet figures interacting with each other in a constructed environment, in contrast to the real-world interaction in model animation. The puppets generally have an armature inside of them to keep them still and steady as well as constraining them to move at particular joints. •

Computer Animation Like stop motion, computer animation encompasses a variety of techniques, the unifying idea being that the animation is created digitally on a computer.
 2D animation - Figures are created and/or edited on the

computer using 2D bitmap graphics or created and edited using 2D vector graphics.  Flash animation  PowerPoint animation  3D animation  Cel-shaded animation - (also called "cel-shading" or "toon shading") is a type of non-photorealistic rendering designed to make computer graphics appear to be hand-drawn. Cel-shading is often used to mimic the style of a comic book or cartoon. Examples of digital cel-shading Some of the more prominent games that have featured cel-shaded graphics: Bomberman Generation Jackie Chan Adventures

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Super Mario Sunshine

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In addition, many prominent movies, television programs, and commercials also use cel-shading: Monster House Spider-Man Star Wars: Clone Wars Stuart Little 3: Call of the Wild The Simpsons Movie Spider-Man squatting Commercials Mr. Clean Pampers

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 Motion capture - Motion capture, Motion Tracking or Mocap, is a technique of digitally recording movements for entertainment, sports and medical applications.

Less Common Techniques
 Drawn

on film animation (also known as "direct animation", or "animation without camera") is an animation technique where footage is produced by creating the images directly on film stock, as opposed to any other form of animation where the images or objects are photographed frame by frame with an animation camera.  Paint-on-glass animation - A technique for making animated films by manipulating slow drying oil paints on sheets of glass.

Other techniques and approaches
 Character animation - is the animation of a character to

create the illusion of life, usually as one aspect of a larger production, and often to complement voice acting. Character animation is artistically unique from other animation in that it involves the creation of apparent thought and emotion, in addition to physical action.

Otto Messmer imbued his Felix the Cat with an instantly recognizable personality during the 1920s. The following 25 decade, Walt Disney made character animation a particular Prepared by:NADIGMA focus of his animation studio, best showcased in productions such as Three Little Pigs, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,

 Multi-sketch - is an animation method of story-telling

where a sequence of hand-drawn sketches are created simultaneously while narrating it with voice. To achieve this, a Tablet PC or digitizing tablet, can be used to create improvised progressive line sketches which are captured to video.  Special effects animation - are used in the film, television, and entertainment industry to realize scenes that cannot be achieved by live action or normal means. They are also used when creating the effect by normal means is prohibitively expensive; for example, it would be extremely expensive to construct a 16th century castle or to sink a 20th century ocean liner, but these can be simulated with special effects. With the advent of computer graphics imaging, special effects are also used to enhance previously-filmed elements, by adding, removing or enhancing objects within the scene.
Special effects animation creates anything that is not a character; most commonly vehicles, machinery, and natural phenomena such as rain, snow, and water.

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Sound is a series of compression waves that moves
through air or other materials. These sound waves are created by the vibration of some object, like a radio loudspeaker. The waves are detected when they cause a detector to vibrate. Your eardrum vibrates from sound waves to allow you to sense them. Sound has the standard characteristics of any waveform.

Perception of sound Sound is perceived through the sense of hearing. Humans and many animals use their ears to hear sound, but loud sounds and lowfrequency sounds can be perceived by other parts of the body through the sense of touch as vibrations. Sounds are used in several ways, notably for communication through speech and music. They can also be used to acquire information about properties of the surrounding environment such as spatial characteristics and presence of other animals or objects Humans can generally hear sounds with frequencies between 20 Hz and 20 kHz (the audio range) although this range varies significantly with age, occupational hearing damage, and gender; the majority of people can no longer hear 20,000 Hz by the time they are teenagers, and progressively lose the ability to hear higher frequencies as they get older. Sound above the hearing range is known as ultrasound, and that below the hearing range as infrasound. Creating and detecting sounds Creating and detecting sounds are similar effects, but opposite. They demonstrate the duality of nature.

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Creating sound Whenever an object in air vibrates, it causes compression waves in the air. These waves move away from the object as sound. There are many forms of the vibration, some not so obvious.

The back and forth movement of a loudspeaker cone, guitar string or drum head result in compression waves of sound. When you speak, your vocal cords also vibrate, creating sound. Blowing across a bottle top can also create sound. In this case, the air inside the bottle goes in a circular motion, resulting in sound waves being formed. Wind blowing through trees can also create sound this indirect way. Sound can also be created by vibrating an object in a liquid such as water or in a solid such as iron. A train rolling on a steel railroad track will create a sound wave that travels through the tracks. They will then vibrate, creating sound in air that you can hear, while the train may be a great distance away. Detecting sound When a sound wave strikes an object, it can cause the object to vibrate. This leads to the method to detect sound, which requires changing that vibration into some other type of signal--usually electrical. The main way you detect or sense sounds is through your ears. The sound waves vibrate your ear drum, which goes to the inner ear and is changed to nerve signals you can sense. You can also feel sounds. Stand in front of a stereo or hi-fi loudspeaker on at full volume, and you can feel some of the vibrations from the music.

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How is sound recorded digitally? Recording onto a tape is an example of analog recording. Audacity deals with digital recordings - recordings that have been sampled so that they can be used by a digital computer. Digital recording has a lot of benefits over analog recording. Digital files can be copied as many times as you want, with no loss in quality, and they can be burned to an audio CD or shared via the Internet. Digital audio files can also be edited much more easily than analog tapes. The main device used in digital recording is an Analog-to-Digital Converter (ADC). The ADC captures a snapshot of the electric voltage on an audio line and represents it as a digital number that can be sent to a computer. How does audio get digitized on your computer? Your computer has a soundcard - it could be a separate card, like a SoundBlaster, or it could be built-in to your computer. Either way, your soundcard comes with an Analog-to-Digital Converter (ADC) for recording, and a Digital-to-Analog Converter (DAC) for playing audio. Your operating system (Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, etc.) talks to the sound card to actually handle the recording and playback, and Audacity (a free, open source, cross platform digital audio editor) talks to your operating system so that you can capture sounds to a file, edit them, and mix multiple tracks while playing. Multimedia Sound Formats Sound can be stored in many different formats. The MIDI Format • The MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) is a format for sending music information between electronic music devices like synthesizers and PC sound cards.

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• The MIDI format was developed in 1982 by the music industry. The MIDI format is very flexible and can be used for everything from very simple to real professional music making. • MIDI files do not contain sampled sound, but a set of digital musical instructions (musical notes) that can be interpreted by your PC's sound card. • The downside of MIDI is that it cannot record sounds (only notes). Or, to put it another way: It cannot store songs, only tunes. • The upside of the MIDI format is that since it contains only instructions (notes), MIDI files can be extremely small. • The MIDI format is supported by many different software systems over a large range of platforms. MIDI files are supported by all the most popular Internet browsers. • Sounds stored in the MIDI format have the extension .mid or .midi. The RealAudio Format • The RealAudio format was developed for the Internet by Real Media. The format also supports video. • The format allows streaming of audio (on-line music, Internet radio) with low bandwidths. Because of the low bandwidth priority, quality is often reduced. • Sounds stored in the RealAudio format have the extension .rm or .ram. The AU Format • The AU format is supported by many different software systems over a large range of platforms. • Sounds stored in the AU format have the extension .au. The AIFF Format • The AIFF (Audio Interchange File Format) was developed by Apple. • AIFF files are not cross-platform and the format is not supported by all web browsers. • Sounds stored in the AIFF format have the extension .aif or .aiff. The SND Format • The SND (Sound) was developed by Apple.
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• SND files are not cross-platform and the format is not supported by all web browsers. • Sounds stored in the SND format have the extension .snd. The WAVE Format • The WAVE (waveform) format is developed by IBM and Microsoft. • It is supported by all computers running Windows, and by all the most popular web browsers. • Sounds stored in the WAVE format have the extension .wav. The MP3 Format (MPEG) • MP3 files are actually MPEG files. But the MPEG format was originally developed for video by the Moving Pictures Experts Group. We can say that MP3 files are the sound part of the MPEG video format. • MP3 is one of the most popular sound formats for music recording. The MP3 encoding system combines good compression (small files) with high quality. Expect all your future software systems to support it. • Sounds stored in the MP3 format have the extension .mp3, or .mpga (for MPG Audio). What Format To Use? The WAVE format is one of the most popular sound format on the Internet, and it is supported by all popular browsers. If you want recorded sound (music or speech) to be available to all your visitors, you should use the WAVE format.

What are the Recording Devices? In order to capture location sounds it is necessary to utilize a portable recording device. There are three standard technologies in use: cassette recorder, Digital Audio Tape recorder (DAT), and minidisc recorder. • Cassette recorders are well-known to most people, as they have been the standard means of audio recording for consumers for

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many years. The cassettes store up to 120 minutes of stereo audio • DAT recorders have been the professional digital audio standard since they were introduced, but they have never penetrated the consumer market. They record at greater than CD quality (48KHz 16-bit) but require a certain amount of maintenance and care due to the complexity of their mechanism and the fact that the recording medium is tape. • Minidisc recorders utilize a small cartridge which permits digital recording and playback of stereo audio up to 74 minutes in duration. • The benefits of the minidisc format are its small size, relatively low price, useful editing functions, good to excellent sound quality, and easy digital recording. Drawbacks include the high media price, compressed audio, and lack of market penetration. Nonetheless, minidiscs are perfect for impromptu recordings such as interviews, location work, and live music • Minidiscs provide a good compromise between ease of use, cost, and sound quality. Given a good microphone and careful post-production they can yield audio material of excellent quality.

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