Chapter 2 Media and Data Streams

This chapter provides an introduction to the terminology used in the entire book. We begin with our definition of the term multimedia as a basis for a discussion of media and key properties of multimedia systems. Next, we will explain data streams and information units used in such systems.

2.1 The Term “Multimedia”

The word multimedia is composed of two parts: the prefix multi and the root media. The prefix multi does not pose any difficulty; it comes from the latin word multus, which means “numerous.” The use of multi as a prefix is not recent and many Latin words employ it.

The root media has a more complicated story. Media is the plural form of the Latin word medium. Medium is a noun and means “middle, center.” ...

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