Image Processing Reference
MPEG Media Queue Files
The .m3u files are a media queue format. These are otherwise known as a playlist. This is
the default playlist format used by Winamp and many other media players. The listing
below shows what an example .m3u file might contain if it just has a single entry. The first
line, “ #EXTM3U ,” is the format descriptor. This one describes an Extended M3U. This line
#EXTINF:350,ELO - MrBlueSky
The song entries are indicated by pairs of lines. The first line is information that will
be presented to the user; the second describes the location of the media to be played.
The first media item line must begin with “ #EXTINF: ,” and this denotes the start of
a record. The number after the colon is the track time in seconds. A delimiting comma sep-
arates this from the track name. This track name should be consistent with the ID3 tag
inside the MP3 file.
The second media item line is the file path of the media to be played. This is a stan-
dard UNIX-style file-path description. In the example it is rooted in the local file system.
The SMIL containers perform a very similar function but are format neutral. They can sup-
port a mixture of media types from different manufacturers. It is living dangerously to mix
different kinds of media players in a single session, but the Oratrix Grins player was
reputed to be able to cope with mixed format SMIL files when it was launched. This oper-
ates as a plug-in container, which can involve any of the installed video players. The risk
is involved if you start having overlapping areas of the screen being owned by different
players—that is, assuming they will all run cooperatively in the first place.
A safer course is to implement your SMIL container in such a way that it doesn't mix
formats and only uses one kind of media.
The listing that follows illustrates an example SMIL container for multimedia.
The Fine Points of Web Delivery
When you insert a video into a web page, it is preferable to use the <EMBED> and
<OBJECT> tags. There are some significant issues with using an <A> tag and an HREF=””
reference to your movie.