13.6 – MPEG-A

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The official title of MPEG-A is Multimedia Application Formats. The idea behind MPEG-A is kind of obvious: we have standards for media elements (audio, video 3D graphics, metadata etc.), but what should one do to be interoperable when combining different media elements? Therefore MPEG-A is a suite of specifications that define application formats integrating existing MPEG technologies to provide interoperability for specific applications. Unlike the preceding standards that provided generic technologies for specific contexts, the link that unites MPEG-A specifications is the task of combing MPEG and, when necessary, other technologies for specific needs.

An overview of the MPEG-A standard is available here. Some of the 20 MPEG-A specifications are briefly described below:

  1. Part 2 – MPEG music player application format specifies an “extended MP3 format” to enable augmented sound experiences (link)
  2. Part 3 – MPEG photo player application format specifies additional information to a JPEG file to enable augmented photo experiences (link)
  3. Part 4 – Musical slide show application format is a superset of the Music and Photo Player Application Formats enabling slide shows accompanied by music
  4. Part 6 – Professional archival application format specifies a format for carriage of content, metadata and logical structure of stored content and related data protection, integrity, governance, and compression tools (link)
  5. Part 10 – Surveillance application format specifies a format for storage and exchange of surveillance data that include compression video and audio, file format and metadata (link)
  6. Part 13 – Augmented reality application format specifies a format to enable consumption of 2D/3D multimedia content including both stored and real time, and both natural and synthetic content (link)
  7. Part 15 – Multimedia Preservation Application Format specifies the Multimedia Preservation Description Information (MPDI) that enables a user to discover, access and deliver multimedia resources (link)
  8. Part 18 – Media Linking Application Format specifies a data format called “bridget”, a link from a media item to another media item that includes source, destination, metadata etc. (link)
  9. Part 19 – Common Media Application Format combines and restricts different technologies to deliver and combine CMAF Media Objects in a flexible way to form multimedia presentations adapted to specific users, devices, and networks (link)
  10. Part 22 – Multi-Image Application Format enables precise interoperability points for creating, reading, parsing, and decoding images embedded in a High Efficiency Image File (HEIF).


Table of contents 13.5 MPEG-21 13.7 MPEG-B