Multimedia is a ubiquitous, enriching, and valuable part of our teaching, learning, and personal lives. In addition to workshops, one-on-one consultations, and other services, CeLT is pleased to share some tips and how-to guides to help you make the most of your media. Please contact us to let us know if there are any topics which you would like discussed.
There are three major types of media: audio, video, and still images. Each type of media can be saved in various formats (the digital “container” in which the data is stored to be machine readable), for use in various situations and software. Media files may be compressed to reduce file size, either in a lossless manner or with lossy compression (during which less crucial data is removed), depending on format specifications. A brief overview of common formats for each is explained below.
MP3: broadly supported across operating systems and devices, compressed files for easy uploading/downloading/sharing online
M4A: an Apple-preferred compressed format similar to MP3, with slightly better compression algorithms but not as widely supported
WAV: widely supported uncompressed audio suitable for analysis, archiving, and retaining for editing but larger files sizes
MP4: broadly supported across operating systems and devices, compressed files for easy uploading/downloading/sharing online
MOV: an Apple QuickTime Movie, uncompressed or lightly compressed, high quality files but tend to be large
JPEG: broadly supported format that is frequently used for photographic content, compressed (lossy) files that are small and easily shared
PNG: broadly supported format this is frequently used for web images and other digital illustrative content, lossless compression but larger file sizes than JPEG, supports transparency layers
HEIC: an iOS-oriented(especially on iPhones) newly introduced image format. Read more at another page of us.
For more information on file formats, we recommend visiting the following Adobe learning pages on audio, video, and images.