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Meaning of Multimedia

The term "multimedia' is derived from the words " Multi" and " Media" multi means many or multiple and Media means tools that are used to represent or do certain things, delivery medium, etc. As the name implies, it is the combination of different media.

It is a combination of digitally manipulated text, pictures, sound, animation, and video. For example, a presentation involving audio and video clips would be considered a "Multimedia presentation". Multimedia is the fastest growing and most exciting area in the field of information technology. It is widely used in many fields such as interactive training, computer-based training, presentations, interactive web pages, computer games, videoconferencing, advertising, etc.

The term multimedia can be defined in different ways:

Multimedia is a combination of text, graphics, sound, animation, and video that is delivered interactively to the user by electronic or digitally manipulated means.


Multimedia is any combination of text, graphics, audio, video, and animation with necessary links and tools that let the user navigate, interact and communicate from portable electronic devices such as computers, MP3 players, and cell phones.


Multimedia is the field concerned with the computer-controlled integration of text, graphics, drawings, Video, animation, audio, and any other media where every type of information can be represented, stored, transmitted, and processed digitally.

Types of Multimedia Content

Multimedia content may be broadly divided into categories: Linear Multimedia and Non-Linear or Interactive Multimedia.

1. Linear Multimedia ( Non-interactive )

In linear interactivity, the user interacts with the multimedia application without controlling the progress of the content. In other words, the user is a passive receiver of the multimedia content most of the time. The linear content is usually arranged in sequence. An example of multimedia linear content is a movie. Although a movie uses a combination of audio, graphics, and animations, the user has no control over the sequence of events.

2. Non-Linear or ( Interactive) Multimedia

Multimedia applications that allow users to actively participate instead of just sitting by as passive recipients of the information are called Interactive Multimedia. In other words, it is two-way communication. It allows the user to interact with the content according to what the user wants from the content. The user can control the progress and sequence of the multimedia content by using buttons or links. Hypermedia is an example of non-linear content.