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Part I: Connections > Streaming Multimedia Layout Using SMIL

Chapter 3. Streaming Multimedia Layout Using SMIL

Imagine that you’re playing Charades at a party. The category is “Web technologies that combine animation, text, video, music, and images.” Your teammate looks at the answer, moves to the center of the room, turns to you and grins. She keeps grinning. Do you think she’s crazy? Do you guess Flash? Or do you just say, “SMIL?”

SMIL, short for Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language, is one of the Web’s best-kept secrets. SMIL is a product of the W3C and a markup language in the increasingly long line of XML lineage. Currently in its second major version, SMIL is, as the acronym reveals, all about media integration. With SMIL, you can—as our Charades player indicated— combine the full complement of modern multimedia: Flash animation, MP3 music, streaming video, and plain old text. Best of all, you can synchronize all of these diverse elements into a cohesive, interactive presentation. SMIL 2.0’s main playback mechanism is the RealOne player from Real, Inc., whereas Apple’s QuickTime player has been SMIL 1.0 savvy since version 5.


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