Process and playback

A new MultiPhoto Video (MPV) specification will enable more intuitive playback of digital photo and video collections in next generation consumer electronic devices.

The Optical Storage Technology Association (OSTA) and the International Imaging Industry Association (I3A) are developing a MultiPhoto/Video (MPV) specification to enable computer software and consumer electronic devices such as DVD players to more easily process and playback collections of digital photos and videos.

MPV will standardise the representation and organisation of photo and video collections when stored as data files on recordable CD or DVD media. The new specification will define the table of contents for a collection of digital images and provide a means by which consumers can access and store metadata about the collection’s files using a variety of electronic devices.

‘The MPV initiative will allow consumers to access and display digital images using many devices, including DVD players and Internet-connected mobile phones,’ said Lisa Walker, co-executive director and chief marketing officer of I3A. ‘The new specification will make it easier to play, edit and print diverse collections of digital photo and video images.’

The MPV initiative expands upon previous work done separately by OSTA and I3A, including I3A’s DIG35 metadata specification and OSTA’s MultiAudio specification. DIG35 defines the ease-of-use, flexibility and range of applications that can be achieved with metadata-enhanced digital imaging. OSTA’s MultiAudio specification introduced last year enhances playback of MP3 audio collections on music players.

The proposed MPV format can be added to existing imaging applications and conventions and can co-exist with current file system structures and formats. MPV can be produced automatically or interactively by digital cameras, scanners, imaging software and Internet services, among others, and is designed for processing in consumer devices such as DVD players and by PC software. The format can also be used with a wide range of storage media including memory cards, recordable or stamped CD and DVD media and magnetic disks.

MPV can also act as a protocol for exchanging information between software applications and services. It is designed for longevity and extensibility using industry-standard XML. MPV provides specific manifest and metadata formats and implementation practices that use existing industry specifications such as the World Wide Web Consortium’s SMIL 2.0 and I3A’s DIG35. MPV is compatible with and supports the DCF and EXIF standards from JEITA that are widely used in digital cameras.

A basic specification will be available later in 2002 for use in DVD players and imaging software. Subsequent work will further develop the specification to extend its use to digital cameras, scanners, Internet services and other personal digital media applications.

To promote widespread support from the imaging industry, OSTA and I3A formed a relationship to encourage I3A members to participate in the development and promotion of MPV.

I3A and OSTA member companies currently supporting the development of MPV include Alera Technologies, Hewlett-Packard, LightSurf Technologies, LSI Logic, NETIMAGE, Planetweb, Oak Technology, Roxio, and Software Architects.

Other organisations, including DVD player manufacturers and chipset vendors are welcome to participate.