Do you know what multimedia is?
Isn’t it simply all media that is out there in the online world?
Is it a type of Internet content or product?
Or is it just a type of slide projector that we see sometimes during school/work presentations?
Now you’ll understand the multimedia definition with examples of real life to never confuse it with the definition of media or with anything else ever again!
Let’s understand all about multimedia.
It’s not about old physical media
For starters, we’re talking everything digital here. The definition of multimedia relies on the definition of media, which can be understood as communication channels or tools used to store and deliver information.
We’re not talking about the older sense of the word “media”: a channel of communication and information delivery that could be anything, physical or digital, such as printable books or newspapers or photos, magazines, billboards, a written letter and so on.
Those are all old physical media, only used before the existence of the radio and before the invention of the television!
Nowadays, you can be 99% sure that nobody will even think about those old communication tools as media, unless they’re searching about the history of media through time!
Also, don’t confuse the old physical media with modern physical media and physical media devices (such as CDs, DVDs, portable radios and pen drives).
Only the modern ones fit into this definition of multimedia, as you’ll see ahead.
A simple but accurate definition
In short, multimedia is the use of more than one medium or channel of expression or communication.
Speaking of digital multimedia, it is digital content that contains more than one type of media, such as: a video that displays text, a video with background music, for example.
Multimedia can be understood both as an adjective (a feature of something) and a noun (an isolated element, a thing).
As an adjective: it’s the feature of something of/related to/involving the use of multiple media types.
- A multimedia corporation that owns a TV channel and a radio station
- A multimedia device that plays music, videos and displays photos (such as a smartphone)
As a noun: it’s the digital content properly speaking that combines different media types.
- A video clip of a song of The Beatles with Spanish subtitles: it combines video, music and text together)
- An YouTube live streaming of video gameplay opened to live public comments: it combines video, audio (the live comments of the gamer and the game sounds/music), text (the live comments of the watchers) and image (the YouTube avatars of the watchers and possibly used comment emojis)
Now you know it: multimedia isn’t media
That may sound kind of obvious to some people, but multimedia isn’t the same media, and it isn’t simply “all types of media there ever was”.
And by now you understand why. Multimedia is more complex than media, both as a feature of something and as the digital content itself.
Those are some examples of media types, not to be confused with multimedia, if they’re considered individually:
- Digital images (such as photos you take with your smartphone)
- Digital video (such as YouTube videos)
- Video games
- Graphics (such as a 3D artistic image)
- Web pages (individual pages of a website)
- Websites (the website as a whole)
- Social media (posts you share on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook…)
- Digital data (any tech data stored and manipulated by digital systems, usually represented by letters and numbers)
- Databases (used in most technology applications)
- Digital audio (such MP3 music)
- Electronic documents (such as PDF files)
- Electronic books (a.k.a. e-books)
Some examples of multimedia content
Those are some examples of multimedia content, or multimedia as a noun (when the digital content is the multimedia):
- Movies with subtitles: they combine video, audio and text in one single piece of multimedia
- Animated movies: they combine graphics (the animation characters themselves), video and audio
- Doodle video tutorials: they combine video, audio (the tutors voice and sometimes music), screencast of doodles (a draft-like drawing) and sometimes text or images
- Multimedia presentations: Microsoft PowerPoint slideshow or similar contain text, image, audio, video and more, and are a type of fully digital multimedia content
- Educational screencast videos: they combine video (the screen capture), audio (the tutor’s voice and sometimes music), and some other media, such as slideshows, text written with the tutor’s mouse or images
- Modern live weather news: they combine video and audio (voice) of the weather presenter with the virtual map of the region being covered for the weather news, and sometimes text and images on the bottom of the screen with extra weather information
Some examples of multimedia tech products
Multimedia tech products can be fully digital products (software) that allows interaction between the user and different types of media, or physical products (devices) that can play different types of media.
They’re useful for advertising, education (E-learning), E-commerce, entertainment and more.
Those are some examples of multimedia technology products:
- Interactive touch screens: a device that allows the user to interact with different media types (image, video, audio, text…) without the need of a mouse or a keyboard (such as smartphone screens and tablet screens)
- Smart TVs: multimedia devices that allow the display of video, audio, text and many applications through the use of Internet connection
- Tablets: devices that connect to the Internet and behave as a portable personal computer
- Smartwatches: wearable devices that support apps and often record heart rate and other vital signs
Cool! You’re multi-informed about multimedia!
Great! Now you know a lot about multimedia! You’ll never misunderstand its definition with anything else, and you’re also ready to explain to anyone who asks the main difference between multimedia and media!
Also, you know how to differentiate multimedia as an adjective and as a noun.
You’re up to date with examples of multimedia content and multimedia tech products, both fully digital and physical. And don’t forget that you also know how to differentiate the old physical media from modern physical media!
If anyone ever needs an explanation about those topics, you’re good to go!
See our other posts about Multimedia.
You can also share your thoughts in the comments below!