W3C publishes new multimedia spec for mobile devices

The Internet standards-setting body W3C has appproved a new specification to enable multimedia presentations on mobile phones.

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), a standards-setting body for the Internet, has announced a new specification designed to enable multimedia presentations on mobile phones.

The Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language 2.1 (SMIL 2.1) specification, published Tuesday, is designed to allow authors to easily write interactive multimedia presentations, W3C said. The specification, based on XML (Extensible Markup Language), provides enhanced visual layout capabilities such as background image tiling, and enhanced audio layout capabilities, including fade-in and fade-out, according to the standards body.

The new specification also allows authors to predefine sets or parameters that may be referred to multiple times in a presentation and across presentations. This reuse not only makes it easier for authors to draft and maintain content, it also reduces the size of SMIL presentations, another factor that can improve performance on mobile devices.

The specification is likely to have the greatest impact on mobile services such as MMS (Multimedia Messaging) and mobile streaming, offered over high-speed, packet-switched 3G (third-generation) networks.

W3C is an international industry consortium jointly run by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, the European Research Consortium for Informatics and Mathematics in France and Keio University in Japan.

Additional information about the SMIL 2.1 specification is available on the W3C Web site: www.w3c.org.

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