Faculty of Informatics
University of Ulster, Magee College
Northland Road, Londonderry, Co. Londonderry
BT48 7JL, Northern Ireland
|This is an example image from the proposed HyperMedia player. To try
out the demo you need the latest version of Netscape's browser, RealPlayer
and Shockwave plug-in.
Click on the image to begin.
As well as the spatial and temporal relationships offered through multimedia, hypermedia allows the organisation of information through linking media elements.
The Moving Pictures Expert Group (MPEG) are a group that meet under the International Standards Organization (ISO) to generate standards for digital video and audio compression. The MPEG committee has chosen to recommend 3 audio compression methods. These are audio layer-1, layer-2, and layer-3. The main differences between these layers is that progressing from layer-1 to layer-3, complexity increases (mainly true for the encoder), overall codec delay increases, and performance increases (sound quality per bitrate). MPEG layer-3 audio compression is often abbreviated as MP3.
At the moment, MP3 itself is having a significant impact on the music industry, and while schemes like the Madison Project (involving a consortium of IBM and the major record labels) are planned for the on-line distribution of music files, it is really too little, too late. The Internet has become a means of disintermediation (cutting out the middleman). Here are some excerpts from recent articles on the subject:
"The music industry’s problem is the ‘MP3’ audio file format, which is capable of storing CD-quality sound compressed in 1/10th the space…While this seems like a fairly obvious technological advance, especially considering that the CD format is now 20 years old, it has the music industry up in arms…While standard uncompressed CD audio has (until recently) been protected by it’s sheer size, the MP3 is eminently portable…Unfortunately for the recording industry, they alone are harmed by this. They act as a middleman between music producers and music consumers, and both of those groups have expressed strong support for MP3 music." - Recording Industry in Denial, The Rule Maker Portfolio, The Motley Fool, March 18th, 1999
" Millions of teens and twenty-somethings…have joined the digital revolution, downloading music from the Net and skipping that trip to Tower Records, thereby saving that $16.99 they would have spent on a CD. On college campuses that offer students fast T-1 connections to the Internet, up to 75% of students are music pirates.
This is a sour note for the $12 billion-a-year music industry which is belatedly taking a long, painful look at its endangered business model. The industry is losing millions in revenue to the digital pirates, who use a readily available (and free, of course) software program called MP3 (MPEG 1 Layer 3) to receive and send music over the Internet." - You've Got Music, Business, Time Magazine, February 22nd, 1999, Vol. 153 No.7
"On Feb. 5, when the electronica group Underworld offered a free, full-length MP3 file of a track from its forthcoming CD, its Web page received 400,000 hits in one day…And last year the Artist Formerly Known as Prince…released a brilliant, ambitious five-CD boxed set titled Crystal Ball and peddled it on his website…According to his spokesperson, the set sold 250,000 copies on-line (at $50 apiece), and the Artist says 1998 was his ‘most profitable year’." - Music Without Labels, Business, Time Magazine, February 22nd, 1999, Vol. 153 No. 7
This requires a specification of requirements for the following:
Examples of WinAmp "skins"
The famous SOHONet was established in 1995, linking London’s primarily post-production audio, video and special effects media companies together via a high performance digital network. This allowed the shunting of digitised film between specialists, each making their own contribution to the finished product. Through standards specification, and the continuing emergence of new production tools and greater bandwidth, participative media production will increasingly enter the domain of ordinary network users.
There are several corollaries and trends to this enabling of ordinary users which have also arisen out of recent communication and transportation technologies, including:
Narrowcasting instead of broadcasting
By this it is meant that users are increasingly able to finely tune what they receive to their specific interests – what Nicholas Negroponte called "The Daily Me" (Being Digital, Nicholas Negroponte, Vintage Books (paperback), 1996). 24 hour fishing, shopping, news and music channels. Radio stations that play nothing but Led Zeppelin songs.
Tribalism instead of nationalism
By this it is meant that in modern pluralist nations, individuals are often identifying more with those who share their world view and interests, than those with whom they are in geographical proximity.
The proposed HyperMedia Player opens the collaborative world of writing musical scores, directing and producing music videos, remixing and enhancing digital media to an entirely new range of users.