OSTA Announces Playlist Specification

Reprinted from an OSTA press release:

The Optical Storage Technology Association (OSTA) announced today the availability of the MultiPhoto/Video (MPV) 1.0 specification. The new royalty-free MPV enables a fast, easy-to-use, highly-interactive user experience for access and playback of multimedia collections of digital photos, videos, and music created in PCs and enjoyed in consumer electronics products.

MPV has been developed through OSTA’s open specification development process. Companies supporting the development of MPV include Alera Technologies, ACD Systems International, Inc., ArcSoft, Inc., Eastman Kodak Company, ESS Technology, Inc., Hewlett-Packard Company, Imation Corporation, LSI Logic Corporation, MUSICMATCH, Inc., Oak Technology, Inc., Royal Philips Electronics, Pixel Magic Imaging, Inc., Planetweb, Inc., Plasmon, Inc., Rimage Corporation, Roxio Inc., Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., Sonic Solutions, Inc., Ulead Systems, Inc., Verbatim Corporation, and Zoran Corporation.

“HP is pleased to support MPV because it moves the market one step closer to making digital imaging radically simple for consumers,” said Mary Peery, senior vice president, HP Digital Imaging Organization. “With the ability to store and access original high-resolution content for photos and videos along with the screen and thumbnail resolution content that accelerates viewing on consumer electronics devices, MPV enables consumers to share and print memorable moments easily, which furthers HP’s goal of delivering capture-to-share and -print simplicity for the consumer.”

MPV solves real problems that consumers face today when creating CDs or DVDs on their personal computer. Today’s solutions for playing PC-created discs in a DVD player, car stereo, or other consumer electronics device can provide a slow, hard to navigate, and unusable consumer experience. MPV solves these problems by creating a table of contents that describes the organization of the content on the disc, including photos, music, video, still photos with audio, panoramas, and text. As digital cameras add more features and users create thousands of digital files, MPV provides a fast access method and a consistent, intuitive user playback experience.

Another problem consumers face today is getting all of the different file associations to playback in the way the creator of the collection intended. MPV maintains the relationships as the user creates new albums and custom playlists. MPV works on top of any file system or operating system by adding an XML metadata file that is recognized by the playback device.

“There is a clear requirement to represent collections of compressed multimedia content on CD and DVD in a standardized manner” said Eggert Gudmundsson, Business Development Manager of Philips Optical Storage North America. “MPV meets this requirement with a clear and technically solid specification to enable a much improved user experience.”

MPV includes support for the following file types: JPEG, MP3, Windows Media Audio, Windows Media Video, MPEG 1, 2 and 4, plus popular digital camera formats AVI and QuickTime MJPEG video. MPV is compatible with CDs and DVDs, memory cards, hard disks, and the internet.

“MPV makes it easy to move digital media content across platforms,” said Vito Salvaggio, Roxio’s Vice President of Product Management. “Our goal is to continue to make it easier for consumers to take advantage of growing digital media capabilities, from the PC to the living room. We are committed to supporting MPV throughout our leading CD and DVD burning and imaging products.”

MPV-enabled discs will also be available through retail and professional outlets. Dave Suden, CTO of Rimage Corporation stated, “Rimage will offer solutions that allow MPV compliant discs to be created in high volumes by retail, wholesale and professional photofinishers. MPV further solidifies CDs and DVDs as part of the ongoing and future landscape of digital photography. We recognize that MPV is an important technology and we are very excited to support it in our systems.”

MPV will continue to evolve through OSTA’s open standards development process. MPV will make it easy to create long-lasting CD and DVD archives of personal digital content for playback in a home entertainment center and personal computer, or support printing of original high-resolution images at home, in retail kiosks, and on-line photo print services.

The MPV 1.0 Specification is available today on the OSTA website (www.OSTA.org/mpv). OSTA does not charge a license or royalty fee for access to and use the MPV specification.

For software developers, a multiplatform open source SDK is available today that includes a MPV reader and writer for consumer electronics devices and software applications, a Microsoft Windows-based player applet and sample data sets. A compliance test suite and logo program will be available by the end of the year.

“OSTA’s MultiRead committee has a long history of creating widely adopted compatibility specifications for CD and DVD discs and devices,” said Felix Nemirovsky, Chairman, OSTA MultiRead Committee and General Manager, Optical Media Software Group, Oak Technology. “MPV provides a better consumer experience with collections of digital photos, video and music.”

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