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MPEG-4

MPEG-4

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Encyclopedia
MPEG-4 is a method of defining compression of audio and visual (AV) digital data. It was introduced in late 1998 and designated a standard
Standardization
Standardization is the process of developing and implementing technical standards.The goals of standardization can be to help with independence of single suppliers , compatibility, interoperability, safety, repeatability, or quality....

 for a group of audio
Sound
Sound is a mechanical wave that is an oscillation of pressure transmitted through a solid, liquid, or gas, composed of frequencies within the range of hearing and of a level sufficiently strong to be heard, or the sensation stimulated in organs of hearing by such vibrations.-Propagation of...

 and video
Video
Video is the technology of electronically capturing, recording, processing, storing, transmitting, and reconstructing a sequence of still images representing scenes in motion.- History :...

 coding
Coding
Coding may refer to:* Channel coding in coding theory* Line coding* Computer programming, the process of designing, writing, testing, debugging / troubleshooting, and maintaining the source code of computer programs...

 formats and related technology agreed upon by the ISO
International Organization for Standardization
The International Organization for Standardization , widely known as ISO, is an international standard-setting body composed of representatives from various national standards organizations. Founded on February 23, 1947, the organization promulgates worldwide proprietary, industrial and commercial...

/IEC
International Electrotechnical Commission
The International Electrotechnical Commission is a non-profit, non-governmental international standards organization that prepares and publishes International Standards for all electrical, electronic and related technologies – collectively known as "electrotechnology"...

 Moving Picture Experts Group
Moving Picture Experts Group
The Moving Picture Experts Group is a working group of experts that was formed by ISO and IEC to set standards for audio and video compression and transmission. It was established in 1988 by the initiative of Hiroshi Yasuda and Leonardo Chiariglione, who has been from the beginning the Chairman...

 (MPEG) (ISO/IEC JTC1
ISO/IEC JTC1
ISO/IEC JTC 1 is Joint Technical Committee 1 of the International Organization for Standardization and the International Electrotechnical Commission . It deals with all matters of information technology....

/SC29/WG11) under the formal standard ISO/IEC 14496 – Coding of audio-visual objects. Uses of MPEG-4 include compression of AV data for web (streaming media
Streaming media
Streaming media is multimedia that is constantly received by and presented to an end-user while being delivered by a streaming provider.The term "presented" is used in this article in a general sense that includes audio or video playback. The name refers to the delivery method of the medium rather...

) and CD
Compact Disc
The Compact Disc is an optical disc used to store digital data. It was originally developed to store and playback sound recordings exclusively, but later expanded to encompass data storage , write-once audio and data storage , rewritable media , Video Compact Discs , Super Video Compact Discs ,...

 distribution, voice (telephone
Telephone
The telephone , colloquially referred to as a phone, is a telecommunications device that transmits and receives sounds, usually the human voice. Telephones are a point-to-point communication system whose most basic function is to allow two people separated by large distances to talk to each other...

, videophone
Videophone
A videophone is a telephone with a video screen, and is capable of full duplex video and audio transmissions for communication between people in real-time...

) and broadcast
Broadcasting
Broadcasting is the distribution of audio and video content to a dispersed audience via any audio visual medium. Receiving parties may include the general public or a relatively large subset of thereof...

 television
Television
Television is a telecommunication medium for transmitting and receiving moving images that can be monochrome or colored, with accompanying sound...

 applications.

Background


MPEG-4 absorbs many of the features of MPEG-1
MPEG-1
MPEG-1 is a standard for lossy compression of video and audio. It is designed to compress VHS-quality raw digital video and CD audio down to 1.5 Mbit/s without excessive quality loss, making video CDs, digital cable/satellite TV and digital audio broadcasting possible.Today, MPEG-1 has become...

 and MPEG-2
MPEG-2
MPEG-2 is a standard for "the generic coding of moving pictures and associated audio information". It describes a combination of lossy video compression and lossy audio data compression methods which permit storage and transmission of movies using currently available storage media and transmission...

 and other related standards, adding new features such as (extended) VRML
VRML
VRML is a standard file format for representing 3-dimensional interactive vector graphics, designed particularly with the World Wide Web in mind...

 support for 3D rendering, object
Object (computer science)
In computer science, an object is any entity that can be manipulated by the commands of a programming language, such as a value, variable, function, or data structure...

-oriented composite files (including audio, video and VRML objects), support for externally-specified Digital Rights Management
Digital rights management
Digital rights management is a class of access control technologies that are used by hardware manufacturers, publishers, copyright holders and individuals with the intent to limit the use of digital content and devices after sale. DRM is any technology that inhibits uses of digital content that...

 and various types of interactivity. AAC (Advanced Audio Coding)
Advanced Audio Coding
Advanced Audio Coding is a standardized, lossy compression and encoding scheme for digital audio. Designed to be the successor of the MP3 format, AAC generally achieves better sound quality than MP3 at similar bit rates....

 was standardized as an adjunct to MPEG-2 (as Part 7) before MPEG-4 was issued.

MPEG-4 is still a developing standard and is divided into a number of parts. Companies promoting MPEG-4 compatibility do not always clearly state which "part" level compatibility they are referring to. The key parts to be aware of are MPEG-4 part 2
MPEG-4 Part 2
MPEG-4 Part 2, MPEG-4 Visual is a video compression technology developed by MPEG. It belongs to the MPEG-4 ISO/IEC standards. It is a discrete cosine transform compression standard, similar to previous standards such as MPEG-1 and MPEG-2...

 (including Advanced Simple Profile, used by codec
Codec
A codec is a device or computer program capable of encoding or decoding a digital data stream or signal. The word codec is a portmanteau of "compressor-decompressor" or, more commonly, "coder-decoder"...

s such as DivX
DivX
DivX is a brand name of products created by DivX, Inc. , including the DivX Codec which has become popular due to its ability to compress lengthy video segments into small sizes while maintaining relatively high visual quality.There are two DivX codecs; the regular MPEG-4 Part 2 DivX codec and the...

, Xvid
XviD
Xvid is a video codec library following the MPEG-4 standard, specifically MPEG-4 Part 2 Advanced Simple Profile . It uses ASP features such as b-frames, global and quarter pixel motion compensation, lumi masking, trellis quantization, and H.263, MPEG and custom quantization matrices.Xvid is a...

, Nero Digital
Nero Digital
Nero Digital is a brand name applied to a suite of MPEG-4-compatible video and audio compression codecs developed by Nero AG of Germany and Ateme of France...

 and 3ivx
3ivx
3ivx is a video codec suite, created by 3ivx Technologies, based in Sydney, Australia, that allows the creation of MPEG-4 compliant data streams. It has been designed around a need for decreased processing power for use mainly in embedded systems. First versions were published in 2001...

 and by Quicktime
QuickTime
QuickTime is an extensible proprietary multimedia framework developed by Apple Inc., capable of handling various formats of digital video, picture, sound, panoramic images, and interactivity. The classic version of QuickTime is available for Windows XP and later, as well as Mac OS X Leopard and...

 6) and MPEG-4 part 10
H.264/MPEG-4 AVC
H.264/MPEG-4 Part 10 or AVC is a standard for video compression, and is currently one of the most commonly used formats for the recording, compression, and distribution of high definition video...

 (MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 or Advanced Video Coding, used by the x264
X264
x264 is a free software library for encoding video streams into the H.264/MPEG-4 AVC format. It is released under the terms of the GNU General Public License.-History:...

 encoder, by Nero Digital AVC
Nero Digital
Nero Digital is a brand name applied to a suite of MPEG-4-compatible video and audio compression codecs developed by Nero AG of Germany and Ateme of France...

, by Quicktime 7, and by high-definition video
High-definition video
High-definition video or HD video refers to any video system of higher resolution than standard-definition video, and most commonly involves display resolutions of 1,280×720 pixels or 1,920×1,080 pixels...

 media like Blu-ray Disc
Blu-ray Disc
Blu-ray Disc is an optical disc storage medium designed to supersede the DVD format. The plastic disc is 120 mm in diameter and 1.2 mm thick, the same size as DVDs and CDs. Blu-ray Discs contain 25 GB per layer, with dual layer discs being the norm for feature-length video discs...

).

Most of the features included in MPEG-4 are left to individual developers
Software developer
A software developer is a person concerned with facets of the software development process. Their work includes researching, designing, developing, and testing software. A software developer may take part in design, computer programming, or software project management...

 to decide whether to implement them. This means that there are probably no complete implementations of the entire MPEG-4 set of standards. To deal with this, the standard includes the concept of "profiles" and "levels", allowing a specific set of capabilities to be defined in a manner appropriate for a subset of applications.

Initially, MPEG-4 was aimed primarily at low bit-rate video
Video
Video is the technology of electronically capturing, recording, processing, storing, transmitting, and reconstructing a sequence of still images representing scenes in motion.- History :...

 communications; however, its scope as a multimedia coding standard was later expanded. MPEG-4 is efficient across a variety of bit-rates ranging from a few kilobits per second to tens of megabits per second. MPEG-4 provides the following functions:
  • Improved coding efficiency over MPEG-2
  • Ability to encode
    Encode
    Encode may refer to:* Can be related to "Code"* Encode ApS, a Danish software company* Encode SA, a Greek information security company* ENCODE, the ENCyclopedia Of DNA Elements...

     mixed media data (video
    Video
    Video is the technology of electronically capturing, recording, processing, storing, transmitting, and reconstructing a sequence of still images representing scenes in motion.- History :...

    , audio
    Audio frequency
    An audio frequency or audible frequency is characterized as a periodic vibration whose frequency is audible to the average human...

    , speech
    Speech
    Speech is the human faculty of speaking.It may also refer to:* Public speaking, the process of speaking to a group of people* Manner of articulation, how the body parts involved in making speech are manipulated...

    )
  • Error resilience to enable robust transmission
    Transmission (telecommunications)
    Transmission, in telecommunications, is the process of sending, propagating and receiving an analogue or digital information signal over a physical point-to-point or point-to-multipoint transmission medium, either wired, optical fiber or wireless...

  • Ability to interact with the audio-visual
    Audio-visual
    The term Audio-Visual may refer to works with both a sound and a visual component, the production or use of such works, or to equipment used to create and present such works...

     scene generated at the receiver

Overview


MPEG-4 provides a series of technologies for developers, for various service-providers and for end users:
  • MPEG-4 enables different software and hardware developers to create multimedia objects possessing better abilities of adaptability and flexibility to improve the quality of such services and technologies as digital television, animation
    Animation
    Animation is the rapid display of a sequence of images of 2-D or 3-D artwork or model positions in order to create an illusion of movement. The effect is an optical illusion of motion due to the phenomenon of persistence of vision, and can be created and demonstrated in several ways...

     graphics, the World Wide Web and their extensions.
  • Data network providers can use MPEG-4 for data transparency. With the help of standard procedures, MPEG-4 data can be interpreted and transformed into other signal types compatible with any available network.
  • The MPEG-4 format provides end users with a wide range of interaction with various animated objects.
  • Standardized Digital Rights Management
    Digital rights management
    Digital rights management is a class of access control technologies that are used by hardware manufacturers, publishers, copyright holders and individuals with the intent to limit the use of digital content and devices after sale. DRM is any technology that inhibits uses of digital content that...

     signaling, otherwise known in the MPEG community as Intellectual Property Management and Protection (IPMP).


The MPEG-4 format can perform various functions, among which might be the following:
  • Multiplexes
    Multiplexing
    The multiplexed signal is transmitted over a communication channel, which may be a physical transmission medium. The multiplexing divides the capacity of the low-level communication channel into several higher-level logical channels, one for each message signal or data stream to be transferred...

     and synchronizes
    Synchronization
    Synchronization is timekeeping which requires the coordination of events to operate a system in unison. The familiar conductor of an orchestra serves to keep the orchestra in time....

     data, associated with media objects, in such a way that they can be efficiently transported further via network channels.
  • Interaction with the audio-visual scene, which is formed on the side of the receiver.

Profiles and Levels


MPEG-4 provides a large and rich set of tools for encoding.
Subsets of the MPEG-4 tool sets have been provided for use in specific applications.
These subsets, called 'Profiles', limit the size of the tool set a decoder is required to implement. In order to restrict computational complexity, one or more 'Levels' are set for each Profile. A Profile and Level combination allows:
  • A codec builder to implement only the subset of the standard needed, while maintaining interworking with other MPEG-4 devices that implement the same combination.
  • Checking whether MPEG-4 devices comply with the standard, referred to as conformance testing
    Conformance testing
    Conformance testing or type testing is testing to determine whether a product or system meets some specified standard that has been developed for efficiency or interoperability....

    .

MPEG-4 parts


MPEG-4 consists of several standards—termed "parts"—including the following (each part covers a certain aspect of the whole specification):
MPEG-4 parts
Part Number First public release date (first edition) Latest public release date (last edition) Latest amend­­ment Title Description
Part 1 ISO/IEC 14496-1 1999 2010 2010 Systems Describes synchronization and multiplexing of video and audio. For example the MPEG-4 file format
MPEG-4 Part 14
MPEG-4 Part 14 or MP4 is a multimedia container format standard specified as a part of MPEG-4. It is most commonly used to store digital video and digital audio streams, especially those defined by MPEG, but can also be used to store other data such as subtitles and still images...

 version 1 (obsoleted by version 2 defined in MPEG-4 Part 14). The functionality of a transport protocol stack for transmitting and/or storing content complying with ISO/IEC 14496 is not within the scope of 14496-1 and only the interface to this layer is considered (DMIF). Information about transport of MPEG-4 content is defined e.g. in MPEG-2 Transport Stream, RTP Audio Video Profiles
RTP Audio Video Profiles
Real-time audio and video conferencing and communication applications that use the Real-time Transport Protocol employ Session Description Protocol to describe the media streams carried in a multi-media session. This description format specifies the technical parameters of the media streams...

 and others.
Part 2
MPEG-4 Part 2
MPEG-4 Part 2, MPEG-4 Visual is a video compression technology developed by MPEG. It belongs to the MPEG-4 ISO/IEC standards. It is a discrete cosine transform compression standard, similar to previous standards such as MPEG-1 and MPEG-2...

 
ISO/IEC 14496-2 1999 2004 2009 Visual
MPEG-4 Part 2
MPEG-4 Part 2, MPEG-4 Visual is a video compression technology developed by MPEG. It belongs to the MPEG-4 ISO/IEC standards. It is a discrete cosine transform compression standard, similar to previous standards such as MPEG-1 and MPEG-2...

 
A compression codec
Codec
A codec is a device or computer program capable of encoding or decoding a digital data stream or signal. The word codec is a portmanteau of "compressor-decompressor" or, more commonly, "coder-decoder"...

 for visual data (video, still textures, synthetic images, etc.). One of the many "profiles" in Part 2 is the Advanced Simple Profile (ASP).
Part 3
MPEG-4 Part 3
MPEG-4 Part 3 or MPEG-4 Audio is the third part of the ISO/IEC MPEG-4 international standard developed by Moving Picture Experts Group. It specifies audio coding methods...

 
ISO/IEC 14496-3 1999 2009 2010 Audio
MPEG-4 Part 3
MPEG-4 Part 3 or MPEG-4 Audio is the third part of the ISO/IEC MPEG-4 international standard developed by Moving Picture Experts Group. It specifies audio coding methods...

 
A set of compression codecs for perceptual coding of audio signals, including some variations of Advanced Audio Coding
Advanced Audio Coding
Advanced Audio Coding is a standardized, lossy compression and encoding scheme for digital audio. Designed to be the successor of the MP3 format, AAC generally achieves better sound quality than MP3 at similar bit rates....

 (AAC) as well as other audio/speech coding formats and tools (such as Audio Lossless Coding
Audio Lossless Coding
MPEG-4 Audio Lossless Coding, also known as MPEG-4 ALS, is an extension to the MPEG-4 Part 3 audio standard to allow lossless audio compression. The extension was finalized in December 2005 and published as ISO/IEC 14496-3:2005/Amd 2:2006 in 2006...

 (ALS), Scalable Lossless Coding
MPEG-4 SLS
MPEG-4 SLS, or MPEG-4 Scalable to Lossless as per ISO/IEC 14496-3:2005/Amd 3:2006 , is an extension to the MPEG-4 Part 3 standard to allow lossless audio compression scalable to lossy MPEG-4 General Audio coding methods...

 (SLS), Structured Audio
MPEG-4 Structured Audio
MPEG-4 Structured Audio is an ISO/IEC standard for describing sound. It was published as subpart 5 of MPEG-4 Part 3 in 1999....

, Text-To-Speech Interface (TTSI), HVXC
Harmonic Vector Excitation Coding
Harmonic Vector Excitation Coding, abbreviated as HVXC is a speech coding algorithm used in MPEG-4 Part 3 standard for very low bit rate speech coding. HVXC supports bit rates of 2 and 4 kbit/s in the fixed and variable bit rate mode and sampling frequency 8 kHz. It also operates at lower...

, CELP
Code Excited Linear Prediction
Code-excited linear prediction is a speech coding algorithm originally proposed by M.R. Schroeder and B.S. Atal in 1985. At the time, it provided significantly better quality than existing low bit-rate algorithms, such as residual-excited linear prediction and linear predictive coding vocoders...

 and others)
Part 4 ISO/IEC 14496-4 2000 2004 2010 (2011) Conformance testing Describes procedures for testing conformance to other parts of the standard.
Part 5 ISO/IEC 14496-5 2000 2001 2010 (2011) Reference software Provides reference software for demonstrating and clarifying the other parts of the standard.
Part 6
Delivery Multimedia Integration Framework
DMIF, or Delivery Multimedia Integration Framework, is a uniform interface between the application and the transport, that allows the MPEG-4 application developer to stop worrying about that transport. DMIF was defined in MPEG-4 Part 6 in 1999. DMIF defines two interfaces: the DAI and the DNI...

 
ISO/IEC 14496-6 1999 2000 Delivery Multimedia Integration Framework
Delivery Multimedia Integration Framework
DMIF, or Delivery Multimedia Integration Framework, is a uniform interface between the application and the transport, that allows the MPEG-4 application developer to stop worrying about that transport. DMIF was defined in MPEG-4 Part 6 in 1999. DMIF defines two interfaces: the DAI and the DNI...

 (DMIF)
Part 7 ISO/IEC TR 14496-7 2002 2004 Optimized reference software for coding of audio-visual objects Provides examples of how to make improved implementations (e.g., in relation to Part 5).
Part 8 ISO/IEC 14496-8 2004 2004 Carriage of ISO/IEC 14496 contents over IP networks Specifies a method to carry MPEG-4 content on IP
Internet Protocol
The Internet Protocol is the principal communications protocol used for relaying datagrams across an internetwork using the Internet Protocol Suite...

 networks. It also includes guidelines to design RTP
Real-time Transport Protocol
The Real-time Transport Protocol defines a standardized packet format for delivering audio and video over IP networks. RTP is used extensively in communication and entertainment systems that involve streaming media, such as telephony, video teleconference applications, television services and...

 payload formats, usage rules of SDP
Session Description Protocol
The Session Description Protocol is a format for describing streaming media initialization parameters. The IETF published the original specification as an IETF Proposed Standard in April 1998, and subsequently published a revised specification as an IETF Proposed Standard as RFC 4566 in July...

 to transport ISO/IEC 14496-1-related information, MIME
MIME
Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions is an Internet standard that extends the format of email to support:* Text in character sets other than ASCII* Non-text attachments* Message bodies with multiple parts...

 type definitions, analysis on RTP security and multicasting.
Part 9 ISO/IEC TR 14496-9 2004 2009 Reference hardware description Provides hardware designs for demonstrating how to implement the other parts of the standard.
Part 10
H.264/MPEG-4 AVC
H.264/MPEG-4 Part 10 or AVC is a standard for video compression, and is currently one of the most commonly used formats for the recording, compression, and distribution of high definition video...

 
ISO/IEC 14496-10 2003 2009 (2010) Advanced Video Coding (AVC) A codec for video signals which is technically identical to the ITU-T
ITU-T
The ITU Telecommunication Standardization Sector is one of the three sectors of the International Telecommunication Union ; it coordinates standards for telecommunications....

 H.264 standard.
Part 11
MPEG-4 Part 11
MPEG-4 Part 11 Scene description and application engine was published as ISO/IEC 14496-11 in 2005. MPEG-4 Part 11 is also known as BIFS, XMT, MPEG-J...

 
ISO/IEC 14496-11 2005 2005 2009 Scene description and application engine
MPEG-4 Part 11
MPEG-4 Part 11 Scene description and application engine was published as ISO/IEC 14496-11 in 2005. MPEG-4 Part 11 is also known as BIFS, XMT, MPEG-J...

 
Can be used for rich, interactive content with multiple profiles, including 2D and 3D versions. MPEG-4 Part 11 revised MPEG-4 Part 1 – ISO/IEC 14496-1:2001 and two amendments to MPEG-4 Part 1. It describes a system level description of an application engine (delivery, lifecycle, format and behaviour of downloadable Java
Java (programming language)
Java is a programming language originally developed by James Gosling at Sun Microsystems and released in 1995 as a core component of Sun Microsystems' Java platform. The language derives much of its syntax from C and C++ but has a simpler object model and fewer low-level facilities...

 byte code applications) and the Binary Format for Scene (BIFS) and the Extensible MPEG-4 Textual (XMT) format
Extensible MPEG-4 Textual Format
The Extensible MPEG-4 Textual Format is a high-level, XML-based file format for storing MPEG-4 data in a way suitable for further editing...

 – a textual representation of the MPEG-4 multimedia content using XML
XML
Extensible Markup Language is a set of rules for encoding documents in machine-readable form. It is defined in the XML 1.0 Specification produced by the W3C, and several other related specifications, all gratis open standards....

, etc. (It is also known as BIFS, XMT, MPEG-J. MPEG-J was defined in MPEG-4 Part 21)
Part 12  ISO/IEC 14496-12 2004 2008 2009 (2010) ISO base media file format
ISO base media file format
ISO base media file format defines a general structure for time-based multimedia files such as video and audio. It is used as the basis for other media file formats...

 
A file format for storing time-based media content. It is a general format forming the basis for a number of other more specific file formats (e.g. 3GP
3GP
3GP is a multimedia container format defined by the Third Generation Partnership Project for 3G UMTS multimedia services. It is used on 3G mobile phones but can also be played on some 2G and 4G phones....

, Motion JPEG 2000, MPEG-4 Part 14
MPEG-4 Part 14
MPEG-4 Part 14 or MP4 is a multimedia container format standard specified as a part of MPEG-4. It is most commonly used to store digital video and digital audio streams, especially those defined by MPEG, but can also be used to store other data such as subtitles and still images...

). It is technically identical to ISO/IEC 15444-12 (JPEG 2000
JPEG 2000
JPEG 2000 is an image compression standard and coding system. It was created by the Joint Photographic Experts Group committee in 2000 with the intention of superseding their original discrete cosine transform-based JPEG standard with a newly designed, wavelet-based method...

 image coding system – Part 12).
Part 13 ISO/IEC 14496-13 2004 2004 Intellectual Property Management and Protection (IPMP) Extensions MPEG-4 Part 13 revised an amendment to MPEG-4 Part 1 – ISO/IEC 14496-1:2001/Amd 3:2004. It specifies common Intellectual Property
Intellectual property
Intellectual property is a term referring to a number of distinct types of creations of the mind for which a set of exclusive rights are recognized—and the corresponding fields of law...

 Management and Protection (IPMP) processing, syntax and semantics for the carriage of IPMP tools in the bit stream, IPMP information carriage, mutual authentication for IPMP tools, a list of registration authorities required for the support of the amended specifications (e.g. CISAC), etc. It was defined due to the lack of interoperability of different protection mechanisms (different DRM systems) for protecting and distributing copyrighted digital content such as music or video.
Part 14
MPEG-4 Part 14
MPEG-4 Part 14 or MP4 is a multimedia container format standard specified as a part of MPEG-4. It is most commonly used to store digital video and digital audio streams, especially those defined by MPEG, but can also be used to store other data such as subtitles and still images...

 
ISO/IEC 14496-14 2003 2003 (2010) MP4 file format
MPEG-4 Part 14
MPEG-4 Part 14 or MP4 is a multimedia container format standard specified as a part of MPEG-4. It is most commonly used to store digital video and digital audio streams, especially those defined by MPEG, but can also be used to store other data such as subtitles and still images...

 
It is also known as "MPEG-4 file format version 2". The designated container file format for MPEG-4 content, which is based on Part 12. It revises and completely replaces Clause 13 of ISO/IEC 14496-1 (MPEG-4 Part 1: Systems), in which the MPEG-4 file format was previously specified.
Part 15 ISO/IEC 14496-15 2004 2004 2008 (2010) Advanced Video Coding (AVC) file format For storage of Part 10 video. File format is based on Part 12, but also allows storage in other file formats.
Part 16 ISO/IEC 14496-16 2004 2009 (2010) Animation Framework eXtension (AFX) It specifies MPEG-4 Animation Framework eXtension (AFX) model for representing 3D Graphics content. MPEG-4 is extended with higher-level synthetic objects for specifying geometry, texture, animation and dedicated compression algorithms.
Part 17
MPEG-4 Part 17
MPEG-4 Part 17, or MPEG-4 Timed Text, or MPEG-4 Streaming text format is the text based subtitle format for MPEG-4, published as ISO/IEC 14496-17 in 2006...

 
ISO/IEC 14496-17 2006 2006 Streaming text format
MPEG-4 Part 17
MPEG-4 Part 17, or MPEG-4 Timed Text, or MPEG-4 Streaming text format is the text based subtitle format for MPEG-4, published as ISO/IEC 14496-17 in 2006...

 
Timed Text subtitle format
Part 18 ISO/IEC 14496-18 2004 2004 Font compression and streaming For Open Font Format defined in Part 22.
Part 19 ISO/IEC 14496-19 2004 2004 Synthesized texture stream Synthesized texture streams are used for creation of very low bitrate synthetic video clips.
Part 20
MPEG-4 Part 20
MPEG-4 Part 20, or MPEG-4 Lightweight Application Scene Representation is a rich media standard dedicated to the mobile, embedded and consumer electronics industries specified by the MPEG standardization group...

 
ISO/IEC 14496-20 2006 2008 2009 Lightweight Application Scene Representation (LASeR) and Simple Aggregation Format (SAF)
MPEG-4 Part 20
MPEG-4 Part 20, or MPEG-4 Lightweight Application Scene Representation is a rich media standard dedicated to the mobile, embedded and consumer electronics industries specified by the MPEG standardization group...

 
LASeR requirements (compression efficiency, code and memory footprint) are fulfilled by building upon the existing the Scalable Vector Graphics
Scalable Vector Graphics
Scalable Vector Graphics is a family of specifications of an XML-based file format for describing two-dimensional vector graphics, both static and dynamic . The SVG specification is an open standard that has been under development by the World Wide Web Consortium since 1999.SVG images and their...

 (SVG) format defined by the World Wide Web Consortium.
Part 21 ISO/IEC 14496-21 2006 2006 MPEG-J Graphics Framework eXtensions (GFX) Describes a lightweight programmatic environment for advanced interactive multimedia applications – a framework that marries a subset of the MPEG standard Java application environment (MPEG-J) with a Java API. (at "FCD" stage in July 2005, FDIS January 2006, published as ISO standard on 2006-11-22).
Part 22 ISO/IEC 14496-22 2007 2009 Open Font Format  OFFS is based on the OpenType
OpenType
OpenType is a format for scalable computer fonts. It was built on its predecessor TrueType, retaining TrueType's basic structure and adding many intricate data structures for prescribing typographic behavior...

 version 1.4 font format specification, and is technically equivalent to that specification. Reached "CD" stage in July 2005, published as ISO standard in 2007
Part 23 ISO/IEC 14496-23 2008 2008 Symbolic Music Representation (SMR) Reached "FCD" stage in October 2006, published as ISO standard in 2008-01-28
Part 24 ISO/IEC TR 14496-24 2008 2008 Audio and systems interaction Describes the desired joint behavior of MPEG-4 File Format and MPEG-4 Audio.
Part 25 ISO/IEC 14496-25 2009 2009 3D Graphics Compression Model Defines a model for connecting 3D Graphics Compression tools defined in MPEG-4 standards to graphics primitives defined in any other standard or specification.
Part 26 ISO/IEC 14496-26 2010 2010 Audio Conformance
Part 27 ISO/IEC 14496-27 2009 (2010) 3D Graphics conformance 3D Graphics Conformance summarizes the requirements, cross references them to characteristics, and defines how conformance with them can be tested. Guidelines are given on constructing tests to verify decoder conformance.
Part 28 ISO/IEC CD 14496-28 Composite font representation Under development


Profiles are also defined within the individual "parts", so an implementation of a part is ordinarily not an implementation of an entire part.

MPEG-1
MPEG-1
MPEG-1 is a standard for lossy compression of video and audio. It is designed to compress VHS-quality raw digital video and CD audio down to 1.5 Mbit/s without excessive quality loss, making video CDs, digital cable/satellite TV and digital audio broadcasting possible.Today, MPEG-1 has become...

, MPEG-2
MPEG-2
MPEG-2 is a standard for "the generic coding of moving pictures and associated audio information". It describes a combination of lossy video compression and lossy audio data compression methods which permit storage and transmission of movies using currently available storage media and transmission...

, MPEG-7
MPEG-7
MPEG-7 is a multimedia content description standard. It was standardized in ISO/IEC 15938 . This description will be associated with the content itself, to allow fast and efficient searching for material that is of interest to the user. MPEG-7 is formally called Multimedia Content Description...

 and MPEG-21
MPEG-21
The MPEG-21 standard, from the Moving Picture Experts Group, aims at defining an open framework for multimedia applications. MPEG-21 is ratified in the standards ISO/IEC 21000 - Multimedia framework .MPEG-21 is based on two essential concepts:...

 are other suites of MPEG standards.

MPEG4 Levels

Profile, Level
SP, L0
SP, L0b
SP, L1
SP, L2
SP, L3
ASP, L0
ASP, L1
ASP, L2
ASP, L3
ASP, L3b
ASP, L4
ASP, L5
Max. bitrate (kbit/s)
64
128
64
128
384
128
128
384
768
1500
3000
8000
Max. buffer (kbit)
160
320
160
640
640
160
160
640
640
1040
1280
1792
Max. delay @ max. bitrate (sec)
2.5
2.5
2.5
5
1.66
1.25
1.25
1.66
0.86
0.69
0.43
0.22
Max. VP size (bit)
2048
2048
2048
4096
8192
2048
2048
4096
4096
4096
8192
16384
Max. VOP size (MB)
99
99
99
396
396
99
99
396
396
396
792
1620
Max. decoder rate (MB/s)
1485
1485
1485
5940
11880
2970
2970
5940
11880
11880
23760
48600
Max. framesize @ 30Hz
-
-
128×96
256×192
CIF
QCIF
QCIF
256×192
CIF
CIF
352×576,704×288
720×576
Max. framesize @ 25Hz
-
-
144×96
304×192,288×208
CIF
QCIF
QCIF
304×192,288×208
CIF
CIF
352×576,704×288
720×576
Max. framesize @ 24Hz
-
-
160×96
304×208
CIF
QCIF
QCIF
304×208
CIF
CIF
352×576,704×288
720×576
Max. framesize @ 15Hz
QCIF
QCIF
QCIF
CIF
CIF
QCIF
QCIF
CIF
CIF
CIF
352×576,704×288
720×576
Max. framesize @ 12.5Hz
QCIF
QCIF
QCIF
CIF
CIF
QCIF
QCIF
CIF
CIF
CIF
352×576,704×288
720×576

Licensing


MPEG-4 contains patented technologies that require licensing in countries that acknowledge software algorithm patents
Software patent
Software patent does not have a universally accepted definition. One definition suggested by the Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure is that a software patent is a "patent on any performance of a computer realised by means of a computer program".In 2005, the European Patent Office...

. Patents covering MPEG-4 are claimed by over two dozen companies. The MPEG Licensing Authority licenses patents required for MPEG-4 Part 2 Visual from a wide range of companies (audio is licensed separately) and lists all of its licensors and licensees on the site. New licenses for MPEG-4 System patents are under development and no new licenses are being offered while holders of its old MPEG-4 Systems license are still covered under the terms of that license for the patents listed (MPEG LA – Patent List).

AT&T is trying to sue companies such as Apple Inc. over alleged MPEG-4 patent infringement. The terms of Apple's Quicktime 7 license for users describes in paragraph 14 the terms under Apple's existing MPEG-4 System Patent Portfolio license from MPEGLA.

External links