file-format-examples

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Revision as of 04:22, 9 April 2007

Contents

File Format

There is a clear differentiation between the content of a file (a song) and the format of a file (MP3). This exploratory discussion focuses on the need for displaying file format information on web pages.

The Problem

There is a clear differentiation between the content of a file (a song) and the format of a file (MP3). A song (content) can be represented as an AAC audio file (format), or an MPEG-2 music video (format). It is beneficial to identify file content along with available file formats on a web page to ensure that all download options are clear to site visitors.

The goal of file-format is to define a method of markup for file format information such as size, type, codec, bit-rate, sampling rate, and other file format specific variables.

Participants

Real-World Examples

Existing Practices

Summary of common patterns discovered

HTTP and FTP accessible directory listings are the most common example of file format. These often include at least file extension and size.

Other attempts to solve The Problem

Currently, most programs utilize screen scrapers and partial downloads to detect file type and format information. For example, Songbird will guess a file type by parsing the file extension. Items such as bitrate and number of audio channels are retrieved from the header of the file, which must be downloaded from the server. Doing so creates a burden on the server when the information could just as easily be embedded in the HTML code for the website.

Proposal

See Also

file-format-examples was last modified: Wednesday, December 31st, 1969

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