Image Processing Reference
This approach to providing functionality via plug-ins is a good way to open up the
architecture to third parties. Theoretically, any kind of media can be added to Windows
Media. The infrastructure is less sophisticated in the management of multimedia objects
and QuickTime is still an optimum platform for this kind of thing.
The other downside to delivering multimedia experiences within Windows Media
Player is that you need to integrate playback mechanisms from a variety of manufacturers,
and while you might know that your audience has the Windows Media Player installed, it
is much harder to predict whether they have the extension plug-ins available and working.
Windows Media does support some synchronized HTML presentations. For example, you
can embed the video in an HTML page. This allows for some of the combined video and
HTML tricks that you might have done with the Real Networks video player, as well as
for use of the embedded event model, which triggers URLs to the web browser. However,
you would implement them differently on Windows Media Player. Another alternative is
to embed some HTML content inside the Windows Media Player. By use of this approach,
a more coherent user experience is possible.
Multimedia Packaging Mechanisms
Windows Media does support a packaging mechanism wherein a Windows Media
Download (WMD) package file is downloaded to the local client and then unpacked so that
the assets are distributed around your file system as needed. With this approach, delivery
is accomplished to the Windows Media player with a single download.
This solution is inferior to the packaging provided by the MPEG-4 Part 1 systems
layer and wired QuickTime movies. They both maintain the object collection within the
packaged files, and the package remains intact when being played back. There is a poten-
tial security issue with Windows Media delivering arbitrary files in video packages and
then strewing them around your hard disk under someone else's guidance. Very tight con-
trols should be exercised over who is able to arbitrate where those files should be placed
and what they may contain.
Apart from the older Series 7 and 8 codecs, the following Series 9 codecs are provided as
part of the Series 9/10 support:
Windows Media Video 9
Windows Media Video 9 Advanced Profile
Windows Media Video 9 Screen
Windows Media Video 9 Image
Windows Media Video 9 Image Version 2