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2009-04-07 Multimedia in society

posted Apr 6, 2009, 3:21 PM by Unknown user   [ updated Jun 12, 2009, 6:08 PM by Eddie Woo ]
For further details, please refer to IPT: Technology in Culture

Class notes - 'multimedia in culture/society'

Multimedia in society (as reported by Jacaranda textbook)

Education and training

It is easier to locate specific educational material without spending too much unnecessary time as more navigation options are made available; multimedia can make education more enjoyable for the student

Leisure and entertainment

multimedia technology has made video games, with large amounts of audio, image, and video data instead of text data, available; user interaction is possible from end user feedback into the system; music, film, and animated films can now have higher quality and can be stored in a way (digitally) that does not reduce the quality when the material is played back


It is easier to locate specific material without spending too much unnecessary time as more navigation options (e.g. with trackballs, keyboards, touchscreens) are made available; information can be presented in less-than-ideal environments (e.g. displaying transaction information on an ATM screen on a noisy street)

Simulations and VR

Simulations become much more realistic, particularly with high-definition video, high-quality sound, and high-resolution imagery; simulations and VR can be used for entertainment but can also be used for training and engineering (to design things with machinery controlled through smaller controls)

Examples of multimedia in society


An example of an educational multimedia system would be Woo Random Files: educational content can be found in various media (text, images, and even audio) and is easily found through the navigation system; another example is Wikipedia, where educational content is organised into articles which link to each other, once again providing easy access via navigation

Workplace training

VR systems are used to accustom the trainee to new situations, for example, an aircraft simulator simulating a rainy runway; similarly, instructional videos (and perhaps audio and images) also convey ideas and concepts to train employees, for example, an instruction video demonstrating the act of using a chainsaw to a handyman


Television broadcasting, video games, FM radio broadcasting, DVDs, CDs, cinemas, YouTube, iTunes, and Flickr are all examples of uses of multimedia for leisure and entertainment


Televised news, newspapers, and news websites such as Google News.

Technological advances

What technological advances have pushed multimedia into culture/society in the past (textbook p283-284)?

  • The world wide web (particularly after the popularisation of broadband internet connections) made the process of distributing multimedia simpler, as physical media no longer needed to be distributed.
  • The CD-ROM (particularly after the popularisation of higher-speed CDs) allowed data/information to be more quickly accessed from a CD-ROM, allowing for applications for the technology such as high-quality video.
  • The DVD was introduced as a type of CD-ROM specifically for video, but has since become a completely versatile storage format. It allowed high-quality video due to the greatly increased storage capacity (from ~700MB to 4.7 GB), and the disc itself was identical in physical size to the CD-ROM.

... in the present?

  • The Blu-Ray Disc was introduced to allow for even more content to be stored on a disc the same size as a CD (from 4.7GB to 50GB). It was introduced to allow for movies (usually lasting several hours) to be distributed in "high-definition" resolution - 1280×720 pixels (720p) or 1920×1080 pixels (1080i/1080p).
  • HDTV (high-definition digital television) is a method of broadcasting television that uses digital signals instead of analog signals. It also distributes multimedia in "high-definition", which provides better visual clarity and quality per frame.

... in the future?

Eddie Woo,
Jun 12, 2009, 6:09 PM