Addendum for Week 18

  • Multimedia on a PC

Sound Cards

Sampling is how the conversion from analog to digital is accomplished

Sampling is done at the speed of either 8 or 16 bits

Sampling rate must be at least 2 times the original in order to accurate reproduce signal

Sampling rate of CDs is 44,100 Hz

8 bit sampling creates range of bits from -128 to +127 (255 total) plus 0 no sound

16 bit sampling creates 65,536 bit values -32768 to +32769 plus 0 for no sound

External Ports on a typical Sound Card

Internal connections on a typical sound card

Sound cards must have a software driver to operate

A new sound card typically comes with a driver disk but searching the internet for the driver may be required.

Compression – sound has a lot of extraneous noise and silence associated with it when recorded. To minimize the amount of memory required for a sound, compression is used

MPEG (Motion Picture Experts Group) developed a system where the computer device only records the changes that occur from one frame to the next (background rarely changes for example). There are currently four standards listed below:

  • MPEG-1 standard

    • Image compression for business/home applications

  • MPEG-2 standard

    • Video film compression on DVD-ROM

  • MPEG-3 standard

    • Audio compression

  • MPEG-4 standard

    • Video transmissions over the Internet

Optical Storage Technology

CDs use tiny pits or lands on the surface of the CD to record sound, data or video. CDRoms use CDFS (CD file system) or UDF (Universal Disk Format)

CDRoms are record once only media. Data is physically burned into the surface and cannot be changed nor written over.

CDs store data as pits – unused areas are called lands

Use both Constant linear velocity for head speed or Constant angular velocity – Speed of the head changes the closer the head gets to the center of the CD

Surface is spiraled and is 3.5 miles long

Data played back by amount of light reflected off the surface as read head passes over the surface

Speed of a CD reader is measured as multiples of the first CDs which was 150kbs

Installing a CD is the same physical installation as any IDE device but one must remember to check the jumper for proper position


DVDs use MPEG 2 compression, write on both sides of a disk, and are installed identically to CD players and other IDE devices

DVDs come in a variety of devices such as:

DVDs require a decoder card if system is older. Newer models do not require such a card.

Tape storage – older Technology but still prevalent in many areas

Tape drives may be internal (ATAPI) or external (SCSI) are inexpensive don’t hold a lot of data

Storage area networks use Tape technology to record daily or weekly or monthly backups of important company data. SAN is a very profitable business to get into – many use tapes for the backup

RAID disks

Simple volume – single disk

Spanned volume – appears to computer as a single disk but actually spreads data over multiple disks

Striped (RAID 0) – two drives with parts of the data on both

Mirrored (RAID 1) – data is written to multiple disks at the same time creating copies of the original automatically

RAID 5 – striped that uses parity checking – servers only

Available in 2000 and XP and NT

Flash drives – new devices that are amazing