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DIGITAL PICTURES ON CD
What are the differences between Photo CD and Kodak Picture CD?
Eastman Kodak developed Photo CD and Picture CD to deliver and store high quality digital image files of pictures taken with conventional cameras and film. Photo CD was introduced in 1992 and is intended for professional and commercial applications while Picture CD came to market in 1999 aimed at the average consumer. Generally speaking, Photo CD discs store images using a proprietary file format (Image Pac) in, depending upon the version, five to six levels of resolution (128 x 192 to 2048 x 3072 or 4096 x 6144 pixels). Picture CD, on the other hand, employs the more common JPEG format in one resolution (1024 x 1536 pixels). In terms of capacity, Photo CD discs hold approximately 100 images and additional pictures can be added at later times. With Picture CD, however, images from a single roll of film are written at the time of original processing only. In addition, Photo CD compatible computer software is required to view and use Photo CD images but Picture CDs include on the discs a range of Windows and Macintosh applications to display, organize, enhance and email images.
What hardware is required to view images on Photo CD and Kodak Picture CD discs?
Both Photo CD and Kodak Picture CD discs are written in industry standard multisession (Mode 2, Form 1) format and are therefore playable on most computer CD-ROM drives and MultiRead-compliant (or other CD-R compatible) DVD-ROM drives and recorders. Historically, Photo CD images could be displayed on TV sets connected to dedicated Photo CD and multi-purpose Compact Disc Interactive (CD-i) players. These devices, however, are no longer available. Most recently, a few DVD-Video player models have come along incorporating Picture CD viewing capability.
Can DVD-Video players display digital still images written on CD-R and CD-RW discs?
In addition to select DVD-Video player models which are compatible with commercially produced Kodak Picture CDs some devices display JPEG images written to standard ISO 9660 formatted CD-R and CD-RW discs. It is anticipated that once OSTA’s MultiPhoto/Video specification is released more manufacturers will incorporate digital image viewing capabilities into their DVD-Video and even, perhaps, other consumer electronic devices. It is also possible to use a CD-R or CD-R/RW recorder and software to create Video CD 2.0 formatted discs containing slideshows of digital images which can be played back on many MultiPlay-compliant (or other CD-R or CD-RW compatible) DVD-Video players. Be aware, however, that not all DVD-Video players support the Video CD format and not all recording software creates Video CD slideshow discs.
What is MultiPhoto/Video?
The MultiPhoto/Video (MPV) specification is a collaborative effort between OSTA and the International Imaging Industry Association (I3A) and is currently under development. This specification will provide a standardized structure for still image digital photographs (JPEG, etc.) and video (eg. MPEG, AVI, etc.) stored on fixed and removable storage media, such as writable CD and DVD discs, flash memory cards and hard disk drives. This uniformity enables computer software and consumer electronics devices to more easily process collections of digital photographs and video and to play them back in the same way on any compatible device. To accomplish this goal MPV requires that, in addition to digital image files or video, an appropriately formatted storage medium must contain a defined table of contents and descriptive information (metadata) which the playing device will use for file navigation. In addition, MPV can also act as a protocol for exchanging information between software applications and services. It is expected that MultiPhoto/Video formatted CD-R and CD-RW discs will be created by a broad range of software including CD recording packages as well as digital camera, scanning, imaging and multimedia authoring software which support the MPV specification. Written discs could then be played back in MPV compliant devices and even in systems not supporting the specification, albeit in a more limited fashion. Since MultiPhoto/Video is simply an organizing system it is important to remember that the types of storage media and specific image and video file formats supported depend upon the individual capabilities of the particular devices or software employed.