Definition: Multimedia entertainment applications aim at diverting users, engaging them in amazing experiences such as reading a book, listening to music, enjoying videos, and playing a game.
To understand modern multimedia entertainment applications a definition of both entertainment and multimedia notions is needed. Entertainment is something diverting or engaging, i.e. a public performance, a usually light comic or an adventure novel. Multimedia means using, involving, or encompassing several media. Classic media are hypertexts, sound, image, video and animation. From these standpoints, multimedia entertainment applications aim at diverting users, engaging them in amazing experiences such as reading a book, listening to music, enjoying videos, and playing a game. While in the past, traditional multimedia entertainment technology offered predominantly passive experiences, such as, video on demand for example, advances in ICT are promoting a greater interactivity as well as allowing more exciting immersive experiences to consumers, such as interactive virtual environments, interactive storytelling and online games. In fact, with the coming of the Internet era, the network communications have been fueled in a way not available on any other medium. This fact improved the chance to interact in real-time with remote applications rather than to sit passively, bringing online the multimedia entertainment.
Further, multimedia entertainment was historically not considered as a topic deserving of serious study. Yet, two main reasons attract, today, an increasing number of researchers and practitioners. The former is the explosive growth of the multimedia entertainment market, from its niche position to a multi-billion dollar industry with an ever-increasing trend. Analysts report the following. In February 2004, 51 million people were using Microsoft’s Windows Media Player, Apple sold over 2,016,000 iPods during the 4 th quarter of 2004 as compared to...