Specification will enable next generation DVD players and consumer electronic devices to more easily playback collections of photos and video from digital cameras
ORLANDO, Florida, Feb. 24, 2002 The Optical Storage Technology Association (OSTA) and the International Imaging Industry Association (I3A) jointly announced today that they are collaborating to develop and promote an open specification called MultiPhoto/Video (MPV). The new MPV specification will enable computer software and consumer electronics devices such as DVD players to more easily process and playback collections of digital photos and videos captured with digital cameras.
OSTA began work last year to develop specifications to enable easier storage and playback of digital still images, still images with audio, still sequences, video clips, audio clips and related files to and from recordable optical discs. To promote widespread support from the imaging industry, OSTA and I3A are forming a relationship that will enable I3A members to participate in the development and promotion of the specification. The first results are a basic specification that will be available in the second quarter of 2002 for use in DVD players and computer software to provide slideshows and interactive browsing of digital photo and video content. Upcoming work will tune and extend the specification for use by digital cameras, scanners, personal digital media management and editing applications, and internet services.
"The MPV format will make it easy for consumers to transfer photos and video captured on a digital camera to a compatible DVD player or a computer using a memory card or recordable CD or DVD and then playback the content exactly as captured without any additional steps," said Tara Bunch, General Manager of Digital Imaging Solutions at Hewlett-Packard Company. "The new specification will help to make a fast and friendly experience and provide for playing, editing, and printing collections of photo/video content."
Today, consumers generally transfer digital images to hard disk, burn them onto recordable CDs or DVDs, store them on some other media or transfer them via memory card. While there are many software applications that can be used to organize and display digital photos in album form, there is currently no fast or easy way to organize, store and playback the content exactly as captured without additional steps. In addition, there is no standard representation of photo or video collections when stored as data files on recordable CD or DVD, which today are among the best media for long-term storage of consumer digital content.
The MPV initiative will solve these problems for the consumer electronics industry by providing a set of data formats and practices to represent albums and collections of digital photo/video content captured using consumer digital cameras and other sources of digital images. MPV will essentially define the table of contents of a collection and provide extensible means to store and access metadata about the content. The use of identifiers with existing photo, video, and audio file formats will enable collections to withstand reorganizing, renaming and even editing of the content.
"We're pleased to support the efforts of OSTA and I3A to define and implement the MPV specification," said Robin Nijor, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for LightSurf Technologies, an I3A member. "This initiative is taking steps to ensure consumer satisfaction with digital imaging applications, and it addresses a significant market opportunity by enabling consumers to more easily access and display their collections of digital images in many locations, from a DVD player to an internet-connected mobile phone."
"The growing number of digital cameras that enable consumers to easily capture collections of photos and videos, often along with audio annotations, underscores the need for MultiPhoto/Video," said Felix Nemirovsky, who chairs the MultiRead subcommittee within OSTA. "Without MPV, there is no standard way for software applications on computers or consumer electronics devices to understand the relationship between the still, video, audio and metadata content once those files are removed from the camera or to edit, organize, and playback those files as a group."
The proposed MPV format can be added on to existing applications and conventions and can co-exist with all current file system structures and formats. The format can be produced automatically or interactively by digital cameras, scanners, imaging software, internet services and other devices, and is designed for processing in consumer electronics devices such as DVD players as well as PC software. The format can also be used with a wide range of storage media such as memory cards, recordable or stamped CDs and DVDs, magnetic disks, or even as a protocol for exchanging information between software applications and services. It is designed for longevity and extensibility using industry-standard XML.
MPV provides specific manifest and metadata formats and implementation practices that utilize existing industry specifications such as the World Wide Web Consortium's SMIL 2.0 and I3A's DIG35. MPV is compatible with and supports the DCF and EXIF standards from JEITA and the JCIA that are widely used in digital cameras.
Companies supporting development of the MPV open specification include Alera Technologies; Hewlett-Packard Company; LightSurf Technologies, Inc.; LSI Logic Corporation; NETIMAGE; Planetweb, Inc.; Oak Technology, Inc.; Roxio, Inc. and Software Architects Inc. Organizations such as DVD player manufacturers or chipset vendors interested in learning more or getting involved are encouraged to contact OSTA or I3A and consider attending the next technical meeting on March 25th, during OSTA's next quarterly meeting in South San Francisco.
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