Webster's defines multimedia as "using, involving, or encompassing several media." In the early 1990s, PC owners transformed their standard IBM compatible computers into multimedia computers by adding a multimedia kit - which included a sound card, speakers and a CD-ROM. The new computer would be able to combine text, graphics and sounds to engage in a full multimedia presentation.
Bandwidth is a measure of the amount of data that can be sent through a communications circuit each second. In essence, bandwidth is the size of your pipeline to the Internet. Sizes range from a dial-up connection using a modem and a telephone line, typically a 56K modem today, to high speed direct connections which can transfer data at several megabytes per second.
You can visit http://performance.toast.net to see what kind of speeds you're getting from your connection.
Multimedia can consume lots of bandwidth. The goal when using multimedia is to create clips that are compact in size without sacrificing quality.
We can add multimedia to a web page in one of two ways:
- external media - file is accessed through a hyperlink
- inline media - file placed into the web page as an embedded object
However, inline media forces the user to wait for the file to be retrieved by the browser before it begins.
Multimedia is displayed within a Web page in a way that is similar to an inline image. To play a multimedia file, a browser often will have access to a plug-in or add-on, an extra component accessed by the browser to provide a feature or capability not included with the browser. The most commonly used plug-ins for multimedia files include (1) Windows Media Player, (2) Apple's QuickTime, and (3) Adobe's Flash Player.
With the adoption of HTML5, many browsers now include built-in support for audio and video files, removing the need for plug-ins.