Multimedia Data Formats
Windows supports three distinct types of multimedia data: MIDI, waveform
audio, and video.
MIDI sounds are stored as a series of instructions. A synthesizer (often part
of the computer's sound card) interprets the instructions to produce the sound.
The MIDI Mapper provides standard patch services for device-independent
playback of MIDI files. Standard patch services ensure that different MIDI
synthesizers use the same instrument sounds to reproduce the music in a MIDI file.
However, because different synthesizers interpret MIDI instructions with greatly
varying quality, the sound heard by the user cannot be guaranteed. This sound
format can store music, and sometimes sound effects, but voice is not a practical
option. MIDI is easy to edit and the storage requirements are low. Windows MIDI
files typically have a .MID file extension.
Waveform audio is a digitized recording of a sound. You can typically edit
waveform audio using insertions and deletions, or you can modify it using filters.
This sound format can store voice, music, and sound effects exactly as they
should be heard by the user. Compared to MIDI sound, however, editing waveform
audio is difficult and the storage requirements are high.
Windows supports a tagged file structure called the Resource Interchange File
Format (RIFF). There are two RIFF file formats currently defined for audio
||MIDI audio file
||Waveform audio file
The multimedia file input and output (I/O) services include functions for
working with RIFF files. For information about using these functions, see File Input and Output
Video is a multiple-track recording that includes waveform audio and moving
images. The moving images are recorded as a series of still images. Windows video
files typically have a .AVI file extension.
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