QuickTime is Apple's multi-platform,
industry-standard, multimedia software architecture. It is used by software developers,
hardware manufacturers, and content creators to author and publish synchronized graphics,
sound, video, text, music, VR, and 3D media.
QuickTime movies are the most common type of video on CD-ROM and the Internet today.
|RealMedia (RealAudio, RealVideo)
RealAudio and RealVideo) is exclusively focused on delivering media across the Internet.
It supports both live and "on demand" video, and works with or without a
dedicated server. RealAudio is currently the most widely used "true streaming"
media type on the Internet.
|Microsoft (NetShow, DirectShow/ActiveMovie, Video
is Microsoft's solution for delivery of Internet multimedia. The NetShow server supports
both live and "on demand" video. With a strong set of technologies added with
the acquisition of VXtreme, the upcoming NetShow 3.0 looks like a very powerful streaming
DirectShow (formerly known as ActiveMovie) is the
successor to Microsoft's Video for Windows architecture. It is built on top of the DirectX
archictecture, and supports playback of multimedia from WWW, CD-ROM, and DVD-ROM.
Video for Windows (also known as AVI) was
primarily aimed at CD-ROM video (although it is also used on the WWW to some degree). It
is no longer supported by Microsoft, and is being replaced by DirectShow/ActiveMovie.
Smacker is a CD-ROM video
architecture which provides Cinepak-like quality. It is most popular with game developers,
as it is optimized for low-to-midrange systems, and uses the 8-bit display mode popular
with many action games.
VDOLive is a true streaming WWW video architecture. Its
unique pyramidal encoding scheme allows a single video stream to be optimized on-the-fly
for a range of connection speeds.
VivoActive is a standards-based
WWW video architecture. Vivo was acquired by Real Networks in February 1998; this
technology is being incorporated into RealMedia. Because of this, the VivoActive format is
likely to disappear in the future.
VXtreme Web Theater
is a true streaming WWW video architecture based on powerful server software. VXtreme was
acquired by Microsoft in 1997; the Web Theater technology is being incorporated into
NetShow 3.0. Because of this, the VXtreme Web Theater format is likely to disappear in the
Emblaze is a Java-based WWW
video architecture, which is unique in that it does not require any plug-ins. However,
proper playback does require the latest version of Java and a high-end computer, and even
then generally falls short of other technologies.