Wikipedia’s Multimedia Push

Wikipedia is gearing up for a bigger multimedia push. It’s text based data is rather solid as the world knows, but media wise it’s most photos and even in that respect isn’t as well covered as it could be.

An even bigger concern is what format should this all be stored in so that this data is still relevant and useful in 10 years or more. I don’t see a problem with reading JPEG, MPEG2, MPEG4, MP3, in the next 10 years though I do wonder if some of the lesser known formats might disappear from computing. While I like Ogg Vorbis, it hasn’t really proven itself in my mind that it can penetrate and achieve enough market share for people to care about it in several years. VP6 (used in Flash prior to H.264) will likely be available assuming On2 Technologies is still around or the patent expired (no idea when that is).

One thing that strikes me is that it would really be ideal for it to partner with Internet Archive. They have already started the efforts to document and digitalize lots of media. While Internet Archive’s main goal is to archive, while Wikipedia is to “freely share in the sum of all knowledge”, it seems that there is still significant common ground.

That said, as the Internet itself becomes the record for many things in Wikipedia, the Internet Archive’s WayBackMachine may also become a relevant common ground.

HD Photo Now JPEG XR

Back in March I mentioned that Microsoft is trying to standardize it’s HD Photo format as the official successor to the ever so popular JPEG format. Well it’s now looking to become JPEG XR.

Suprisingly it’s still not listed on Microsoft’s Open Specification Promise where Microsoft lists things it won’t sue over. Hopefully they will update that soon. My understanding from what I’ve read is that’s the intent.

It’s a pretty interesting thing going on. Video on the web has improved by leaps and bounds over the years from a tiny grainy video object that took a decade to load, to instantly loading and still improving quality Flash / Windows Media / QuickTime. Photos on the other hand have been using JPEG for pretty much a decade. Most photography buffs don’t seem to fond of JPEG because it can degrade picture quality, but still love services like Flickr.

Will JPEG XR spark a photo revolution by allowing better quality?

Adobe DNG

Adobe today released the specs for a new image format: DNG.

I’m interested. The ideas behind it seem to make sense. JPEG sucks. That’s about all there is to it. It’s what we have, it’s what we use. But it stinks.

I’m curious if Adobe’s going to be able to get DNG actually out there. It’s going to be an uphill battle for sure. JPEG is such a defacto standard, it’s going to be tough. But I’m welcoming the change.