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in personal computing, software and applications that combine text, high-quality sound, two- and three-dimensional graphics, animation, photo images, and full-motion video. In order to work with multimedia, a personal computer typically requires a powerful microprocessor, large memory and storage capabilities, a high-quality monitor and a video accelerator, external loudspeakers or headphones and a sound card (or sound board) for improved sound generation, and a CD-ROM (see compact disccompact disc
(CD), a small plastic disc used for the storage of digital data. As originally developed for audio systems, the sound signal is sampled at a rate of 44,100 times a second, then each sample is measured and digitally encoded on the 4 3-4 in (12 cm) disc as a series of
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) or DVD-ROM (see digital versatile discdigital versatile disc
or digital video disc
(DVD), a small plastic disc used for the storage of digital data. The successor media to the compact disc (CD), a DVD can have more than 100 times the storage capacity of a CD.
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) drive, as well as special software to utilize many of these devices. A multimedia computer may also use other devices, such as a microphone or keyboard for audio input, a digital camera or scanner for graphics input, and a videocassette recorder or camcorder for video input or output. Multimedia software is used for electronic publishing and electronic gameselectronic game,
device or computer program that provides entertainment by challenging a person's eye-hand coordination or mental abilities. Made possible by the development of the microprocessor, electronic games are marketed in various formats, such as hand-held one-player
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 and in employee-training programs. The term multimedia is also used to describe home entertainment systems and other electronic products and services, particularly interactive ones, that combine text, sound, video, and the like. Uses include virtual realityvirtual reality
(VR) or virtual environment
(VE), computer-generated environment with and within which people can interact. The advantage of VR is that it can immerse people in an environment that would normally be unavailable due to cost, safety, or perception
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 simulations, interactive television, commercial advertising, and hypertexthypertext,
technique for organizing computer databases or documents to facilitate the nonsequential retrieval of information. Related pieces of information are connected by preestablished or user-created links that allow a user to follow associative trails across the database.
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See J. Burger, Multimedia for Decision Making (1994); P. M. Dillon and D. C. Leonard, Multimedia Technology from A–Z (1995) and Multimedia and the Web from A–Z (1998); J. Keyes, The Ultimate Multimedia Handbook (1996).

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Computing of or relating to any of various systems which can manipulate data in a variety of forms, such as sound, graphics, or text
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


Human-computer interaction involving text, graphics, voice and video. Often also includes concepts from hypertext.

This term has come to be almost synonymous with CD-ROM in the personal computer world because the large amounts of data involved are currently best supplied on CD-ROM.

Usenet newsgroup: news:comp.multimedia.
This article is provided by FOLDOC - Free Online Dictionary of Computing (


Information in multiple formats (multiple media). Multimedia includes text, images, audio, video and animations. Also called "rich media." See multimedia file and multimedia container.
Copyright © 1981-2019 by The Computer Language Company Inc. All Rights reserved. THIS DEFINITION IS FOR PERSONAL USE ONLY. All other reproduction is strictly prohibited without permission from the publisher.
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