In earlier chapters, we generally concerned ourselves with how operating systems handle conventional data, such as text files, programs, binaries, word-processing documents, and spreadsheets. However, operating systems may have to handle other kinds of data as well. A relatively recent trend in technology is the incorporation of multimedia data into computer systems. Multimedia data consist of continuous-media (audio and video) data as well as conventional files. Continuous-media data differ from conventional data in that continuous-media data—such as frames of video—must be delivered (streamed) according to certain time restrictions (for example, 30 frames per second). In this chapter, we explore the demands of continuous-media data. We also discuss in more detail how such data differ from conventional data and how these differences affect the design of operating systems that support the requirements of multimedia systems.
• To identify the characteristics of multimedia data.
• To examine several algorithms used to compress multimedia data.
• To explore the operating-system requirements of multimedia data, including CPU and disk scheduling and network management.
20.1 What Is Multimedia?
The term ...