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Formal Formulations


Morphing Multi-Media

What is beyond the realm of bits, numbers, text, and graphics? A great deal - like the other senses and dimensions. Here is a short survey of what is at the frontiers.

  • The Frontiers of Chat
  • The Frontiers of Audio
  • Two Party Conversations
  • Recorded and Live Broadcast
  • Downloading vs Real-Time
  • The Frontiers of Video
  • The Frontiers of Virtual Reality
  • Other MIME Resources
  • ===========================

    The Frontiers of Chat

    Remember the old Internet Relay Channel ( IRC )? Well, it has been brought up to speed and the future is quite incredible. America OnLine has grabbed one of the Chat software companies and plans to make it available to their members. Just try to imagine 3,000,000 AOL-ers trying to have an intellegent ( or any ) conversation.

    L'Hotel HyperChat Ubique Chat Chat Worlds iChat Networks


    The Frontiers of Audio

    Two Party Conversations

    Forget long distance charges for phone calls. You can now use your computer as an Internet Phone.


    The Frontiers of Audio

    Recorded and Live Broadcast

    Not too long ago, someone claimed that Bluedog can count, everyone heard it, and the Web went nuts. Now, there are at least four players that can deliver real-time audio over the Internet.

    Internet Wave RealAudio TrueSpeech StreamWorks
    Internet Wave RealAudio TrueSpeech StreamWorks
    Home Page Home Page Home Page Home Page
    Web Sites Web Sites Web Sites Web Sites

    And, there are a number of interesting Radio and Music sites up and working:

    ABC RadioNet c|net Radio WCBS News
    NPR Live Radio Net.Radio
    Composite Music Horoscopes KZOK


    The Frontiers of Audio

    Downloading vs Real-Time

    What is the difference between the old "Sound Recorder" from MicroSoft and, say, RealAudio? The answer is:

    "No waiting for a file download - just click and listen."

    Play with the icons in the following tables and experience the difference.

    Normal Web Server RealAudio Web Server
    Static *.wav Static *.ram Static *.ra Live *.ra
    OM (1)
    Slow Enlightenment
    3.5 sec of "Ommmm"
    Slow Enlightenment
    3.5 sec of "Ommmm"
    Peter Jennings
    for 11/15/95
    "Too much stuff."
    Internet Hourly News
    News around the clock.
    Hear the latest news,
    sports and commentary.

    (1) Requires a free user account.


    The Frontiers of Video

    While eveyone else is waiting for their ISDN, a T-1 line, or ATM, a number of people are pushing the envelope on Video. It isn't quite 30 frames per second, but that is coming. These links provide a fair sample of what is here and now for everyone.

    Video On Line Live Video Cameras


    The Frontiers of Virtual Reality

    In the near future, VRML, the Virtual Reality Markup Language, and HotJava will bring astonishing effects to your screen.

    VRML ( Virtual Reality Modeling Language ), is a platform-independent graphics standard and is designed to let users interact on the Web in 3D environments.

    Netscape recently announced the acquisition of Paper Software, maker of WebFX VRML software, and Netscape Live3D extensions, which bring 3-D capabilities to Netscape Navigator. In addition, more than 50 companies have announced support for Moving Worlds, the next-generation VRML 2.0 specification proposed by Netscape and Silicon Graphics.

    For a taste of the future now, check out these links.

    Marshall Space Flight Center Worldview VRML Browser WebSpace VRML Browser
    VRML World VRML+ - Worlds Inc


    Other MIME Resources

    MIME is the acronym for Multipurpose Internet Mail Extension, and governs how a particular Internet message or file is to be displayed or presented.

    With a Web Browser like Netscape, it is possible to custom select what display, presentation, or "Helper" appliction should be used to display, present, or otherwise render the contents of a particular Internet message or file. The Netscape Menu Items of "Options/Preferences/Helper Applications" will present a table of:

  • MIME Types;
  • the default Action to be performed when the MIME type message is received; and,
  • the file Extensions associated with the MIME Type.
  • The user may select the MIME Type of interest and specify that Netscape should launch an application to display, present, or otherwise render the contents of any such MIME message or file.

    For example, a Microsoft audio file has a *.wav File Extension and is played by the Microsoft Sound Recorder "c:\Windows\SoundRec.Exe". The corresponding MIME Type is "audio/x-wav". By specifying that Netscape should launch "c:\Windows\SoundRec.Exe" whenever an "audio/x-wav" MIME type message or file is received, the user will automatically be able to hear the audio file played as soon as it is downloaded.

    The following link lead to a zillion "Helper Applications" for interpreting, displaying, or otherwise presenting graphics, video, sound, and God only knows what else.

    MMM/WWW Stuff.

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    Updated 96/02/15 .