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Data types for digital media

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Daniel Wood

on 27 August 2013

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Transcript of Data types for digital media

Data types for digital media
Digital media data types and formats
Digital media products such as images, video, audio, text and animations can be stored in many different formats. Let's have a look at some of the common file formats used for different types of digital media...
Text and hypertext
Of all the data types, text requires the least amount of storage and processing power in a computer. Common text formats include Microsoft Word documents, PDF documents, HTML, and Text documents. Hypertext is text that contains a link to other information or files (such as a web link).

Text file formats are used in word processing and desktop publishing.
There are two main types of graphics: Bitmap and Vector graphics.

For each type of graphics there are also different formats. For example, digital cameras use bitmapped images and store photos in the JPEG format. Drawing programs such as Illustrator can store vector images in formats such as SVG. Other programs such as Photoshop, Paint, and SketchUp also have their own graphics formats.
There are many different video file formats available today and each one has its own advantages and disadvantages for different applications. Some video formats may be more suitable for web streaming while others may be more suitable for televisions or mobile devices. Common video formats include MP4, AVI, WMV, FLV and Quicktime (MOV).
Audio can be stored in many different formats that each have their own advantages and disadvantages. Digitised sound takes small pieces or 'samples' of a sound and stores them digitally.

The quality of the sound depends on how fast the samples are taken (sample rate) and the bits available for storage (sample size). A music CD is sampled at 44kHz which means it has 44100 samples per second. A music CD also has a sample size of 16 bits.
MIDI files are smaller than normal audio files as they do not actually record human speech or other sounds but simply store information about an instrument as well as pitch, timing, and duration of notes. MIDI files are smaller than digitised sound files.

Common file formats for digitised sound include MP3, WAV, and WMA. Some file formats such as MP3 can compress sound to make files smaller in size but can reduce the quality of the sound. Audio file formats that lose quality when compressed are called lossy audio files (such as MP3 and AAC). Audio file formats that retain quality when compressed are called lossless audio files (such as WAV and FLAC).
There are several animation file formats that are used by different animation authoring programs such as the SWF format used by Adobe Flash. However, animations can be exported to file formats that are also used for video such as MP4 and FLV.
Graphics formats
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