Supportive environments for executing multimedia applications
“Messapia” is a multimedia application conceived to contain digital films, maps, audio and over 1500 high quality (true colors, high resolution) images, requiring large multimedia files to be stored.
Suitable compression techniques where adopted to cope with the problems created by this large multimedia files. The compression's benefits resulted in an global application size fitting the storage capacity of an ordinary CD-ROM. Nevertheless, as a negative side effect, they involved the need of expensive high performance PCs or Workstations, customized for an efficient and rapid decompression and visualization. On the other hand, relatively slow multimedia machines, i.e. '486 at 33 MHz up to Pentium at 133 MHz or equivalent, are an important fraction of the user community, where CD-ROM and Internet applications are mostly “consumed”.
In this paper we device a way to build a multimedia application (either on CD-ROM or Internet), using compressed files, so that the slowness of the application, when it is used on an inexpensive machine, is eliminated when the same machine is plugged in a suitable supportive environment. It is very important the fact that the application (or the Web browser) does not need to be modified when plugged in the supportive environment, but its behavior is “adjusted” according to the situation.
Preliminary experiments and examinations of expected performances are presented: the results are very promising and show that supportive environments are feasible, and also they can be very effective in improving the performances of multimedia applications.
KeywordsCompression Ratio Reading Time Multimedia Application Supportive Environment Digital Film
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