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Glossary Learning Center
This is a collection of glossary showed in McFunSoft products that users can reference and use to learn about technology that pertains to McFunSoft products. Check in periodically for updates.

ACC

Also called MPEG-4 AAC, this audio codec is the continuation of the MP3 codec created by Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. Due to advances in the technology, AAC files encoded at a 96 kbps bit rate sound slightly better than MP3s encoded at 128 kbps.

ASF

Advanced Streaming Format (formerly Active Streaming Format). A Microsoft file and data stream format for multimedia data including audio, video, still images, and other data types. Also referred to as Windows Media format..

AVI

AVI stands for Audio Video Interleave. This is a container video format that specifies certain structure how the audio and video streams should be stored within the file. AVI itself doesn't specify how it should be encoded (just like the streaming format ASF), so the audio/video can be stored in very various ways. Most commonly used video codecs that use AVI structure are M-JPEG and DivX. AVI contains code called FourCC which tells what codec it is encoded with.

Bit rate

Bit rate very often used when speaking of video or audio quality and file size -- defines how much physical space one second of audio or video takes in bits (note: not in bytes). The higher the bit rate, the more times per second the original sound is sampled, thus yielding a more faithful reproduction and better sound. When choosing an MP3, weigh the advantage of a higher bit rate against the size of the file. Generally speaking, a bit rate of 128 kbps or higher will provide satisfactory sound quality. Constant Bit Rate (CBR) encoding maintains the same bit rate throughout an encoded file. Variable Bit Rate (VBR) is an MP3 encoding method that's used when file size is not an issue. Unfortunately Video Convert Master decodes VBR but doesn't encode it. Selecting the proper bit rate for your projects depends on the playback target: if you're making a VCD for playback on a DVD player, the video must be exactly 1150 Kbps and the audio 224 Kbps.

MPEG

MPEG stands for 'Moving Pictures Experts Groups'. It is a group working under the directives of the International Standards Organization (ISO) and the International Electro-Technical Commission (IEC). MPEG is a committee of experts from the audio, video and computer industries developing an evolving series of standards for compression of moving images.

MPEG-1 defines a framework for encoding moving video and audio, significantly reducing the amount of storage with minimal perceived difference (difference that humans can detect) in quality. MPEG-1 video compression method tries to use previous frame's information in order to reduce the amount of information the current frame requires. In addition, the audio encoding uses something called psychoacoustics - compression removes the high and low frequencies a normal human ear cannot hear.

MPEG-2 is not a successor to MPEG-1, but an addition instead - both of these formats have their own purposes. MPEG-1 is a relatively low-resolution format currently used in VCD and the World Wide Web for short animated files. The MPEG-2 is a much higher resolution format developed for digital television and used in DVD.

MPEG-4 unlike MPEG-1 and MPEG-2, MPEG-4 itself isn't just one unified encoding mechanism, but rather a group name for several flavors of video and audio encoding methods that share certain same characteristics. These "flavors" are often referred either as "profiles" or "layers" in MPEG-4 compression scheme and each new profile should be backwards compliant to the older, "lower" versions of MPEG-4 in terms of playback capability.

3GP

3GP is the name for both a video standard designed for mobile phones and the name of the container used to store video used in the standard. And it is usually 176x144 or 176x120.

3GPP was called for 3rd Generation Partnership Project. The purpose of the project was developing a mobile video standard compatible with 3G (3rd Generation) GSM mobile phone systems.

GIF

Graphic Interchange Format. An efficient method of compressing image files without loss of data or distorting the image. (GIF compression is therefore lossless.) The algorithm only works for files with 256 or less colours and is best at compressing images with large areas of homogeneous colour. It is not so efficient for images with many colours and complex structures.

WMA

WMA is acronym for Windows Media Audio. WMA files contain perceptually encoded sound data. The frequencies that humans cannot perceive are removed, although some audio purists say they can tell the difference between a high bit-rate WMA and a Wave file.A WMA file can be as much as 20 times smaller than an equivalent WAV file.

CD

Compact Disc-Read Only Memory: a standard for compact disc to be used as a digital memory medium for personal computers. The 4.75in laser-encoded optical memory storage medium can hold about 650MB of data, sound, and limited stills and motion video. A CD-ROM player will typically play CD-DA discs, but a CD-DA player will not play CD-ROMs

VCD

VCD stands for Video CD. Most of the stand-alone DVD players and VCD players can play VCD. VCD is still the most compatible format for video distribution. Anybody with a DVD player, VCD player or computers with CD-ROM drive (standard configuration) is able to play VCD. The video quality is better than most other formats and is sufficient for average home viewing. A VCD recording medium is very cheap and most widely available. Due to small sizes, VCD videos are also well suited for distribution.

DVD

DVD stands for Digital Video Disc. A standard VCD records video data in MPEG-1 format. On the other hand, a standard DVD records video data in MPEG-2 format. A DVD player or a computer equipped with a DVD drive is required to play DVDs. Almost all DVD players also play VCDs.

A DVD is a very high-density optical storage medium. It is able to hold significantly more data as compared to VCDs. A typical 2-hour movie requires two VCDs. The same movie requires only one DVD. Moreover, the recorded movie itself has twice as better quality and resolution as compared to VCDs. This is because a DVD movie records video data in the MPEG-2 format.

DVDs are fast gaining popularity with its high-quality videos and high-storage capability. However, DVD recording medium, DVD players and DVD drives are still relatively expensive.

SVCD

SVCD stands for Super Video CD. SVCD is a successor to Video CD. SVCD contains MPEG-2 video stream and MPEG-1 or MPEG-2 audio stream recorded on a normal VCD recording medium. Most of the DVD players can play SVCD discs.

An SVCD video quality is much better than VCDs and virtually the same as DVDs. Since SVCD is still restricted to 650Megs of data, the amount of discs required for a standard 2-hour movie is more than double as compared to VCDs

Flash

is supplied as a stand-alone application for decompiling flash movies. It enables you to convert SWF to FLA format which can easily be edited in native Flash environment and convert between swf and exe format. All components (images, sound, action scripts, texts, morphs shapes, frames, morphs, fonts, texts, buttons and sprites) can be completely recovered

FLA Fromat

There are two common types of files that carry the fla extension. Firstly you might have a Flash Authoring file. This can be opened with Flash software for editing. Another type of file you might have when you get a fla file, is a FLAC music file. FLAC stands for Free Lossless Audio Codec. It is open source and provides lossless audio compression. This means that even though the audio is compressed, it will still maintain its exact original quality. However, since it is lossless, music stored in this format would definitely take up more space than say MP3 or Musepack audio or any other lossy compression.

Video

Video is made up of an electro-magnetic signal that that can travel through electronic devices like cables, antennas, satellite dishes and TVs. Sent from its source, video has a certain amount of information in it that makes up the video picture. However, when that signal travels through a sending device it can also pick up additional information from other electro-magnetic sources. This is what is called interference or static (for those of you who use bunny-ear antennas on your TV, you know what I mean). What makes the difference between Analog and DV video is the way the video signal is interpreted on the sending and receiving ends of all that electro-magnetic communication.

SDK

A software development kit (SDK or "devkit") is typically a set of development tools that allows a software engineer to create applications for a certain software package, software framework, hardware platform, computer system, video game console, operating system, or similar platform. It may be something as simple as an application programming interface in the form of some files to interface to a particular programming language or include sophisticated hardware to communicate with a certain embedded system. Common tools include debugging aids and other utilities often presented in an IDE. SDKs also frequently include sample code and supporting technical notes or other supporting documentation to help clarify points from the primary reference material.

Digital Video Formats

Digital video formats are always a trade-off between size and quality. Maximum quality is only achieved by sampling at a high rate and not compressing the data. Doing this with broadcast-quality video requires about 20 MB/sec of digital data (or 1.2 GB/min). For most purposes this is an impractical amount of data, so various compression schemes are used to reduce the amount of data without noticeably reducing quality.

Video Format

Many of us have heard of DVDs before -- but what are mini DVD, VCD, or SVCD? The reason that you may want to consider these other formats is because the costs of DVD burning and the space required over PC.

These alternative formats provide a good economical solution for distributing your movies on CD-R/RW discs that can be played on computers and many home stand-alone DVD players. Video Convert Master provides a solution to cut down the stored space, and a method of burning 2 or more different videos into one disc.

For a complete guide on the advantages, required settings and playback options of each format, please refer to the following questions.

The PAL Picture Standard

MPEG video is a standard for broadcasting and viewing on Digital TV. These standards, called as the picture standards, differ from country to country.

PAL (Phase Alternating Line) is a TV standard introduced in the early 1960’s in Europe. PAL is used in most of the western European countries (except France, where SECAM is used instead), Australia, some countries of Africa, some countries of South America and in some Asian countries.

The NTSC Picture Standard

NTSC (National Television System Committee) is a Color TV standard developed in the U.S. in 1953. United States, Canada, Japan, most of the American continent countries and various Asian countries follow NTSC standards. Rest of the world uses either some variety of PAL or SECAM standards.