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Multimedia on the Web (Introduction)

Venice, ItalyIf something can be digitized, put into some digital format, then it is likely to be available on the Web.  So it is reasonable to expect be able to access photos, still images, audio recordings, and video. Almost all of the music we listen to, and almost all of the pictures and videos we take are in a digital format. We are familiar with working with media in digital formats. The tools (mostly software) to copy from one format to another or one device to another relatively common and not too hard to use. Combine all this media in digital format with the fact that any one may put anything they’d like on the Web (technically speaking all parts of the Internet have equal access)  and its no surprise that we can find all sorts of information in a variety of media formats.

Being available and accessible on the Web doesn’t guarantee that the information is reliable, worth spending our time with it,  or that it is legal to use. Still, there is a good deal of  very useful and significant information on the Web as images, audio, or video. The media is on a digital network so we can access it, save it, and distribute an exact copy of  it to others. This makes some people nervous, and raises some important questions for all of us to consider regarding the nature of copyright and its effects on our culture and society. Sticking with the theme we’ve established,  we will look at ways to find information that can be useful to us, and consider the implications of the ways we use it.

As we’ve seen before the information we seek is  in a variety organizational formats:  as individual items, a specialized collection or database, or part of a store.  Sometimes you will come across it in these formats through the usual search methods and sites that you normally use. There isn’t too much new we can add about finding what you need except to say that most search tools allow you to specify the format of the information you are seeking, if the format is an issue. There are sites that specialize in keeping data in a specific format and we will take a look at them. Let’s go to it!

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