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Sustainability of Digital Formats

The Digital Formats Web site provides information about digital content formats including sustainability factors and format preferences for audio and video. The analyses and resources presented here will increase and be updated over time. The compilers are Caroline R. Arms and Carl Fleischhauer.

NDIIPP: ASF not preferred (MPEG2 and Wave instead), AVI no preference, H.264 (same as MPEG4 AVC), MJPEG (nothing listed), MPEG1 not preferred, MPEG2 used (prefer DigiBeta or losslessly compressed video), MPEG4 (no preference stated), QuickTime (not preferred, but acceptable for uncompressed video)

Preferences in Summary

Uncompressed video

  1. Digital Moving-Picture Exchange (DPX), Version 2.0
  2. Material Exchange Format (MXF) with MJPEG 2000
  3. MJPEG 2000
  4. Uncompressed or lossless compressed in AVI, QuickTime, etc.

Compressed video

  1. MXF with MPEG2
  2. MPEG2
  3. MPEG-4_AVC
  4. MPEG4
  5. MPEG1
  6. Compressed in wrappers like AVI, QuickTime, etc.

Sustainability / Quality & Functionality Factors

Similar to Britain's guide to celecting file formats.

  1. Disclosure
  2. Adoption
  3. Transparency
  4. Self-documentation
  5. External dependencies
  6. Impact of patents
  7. Technical protection mechanisms
  8. Normal rendering
  9. Clarity (support for high image resolution)
  10. Fidelity (support for high audio resolution)
  11. Support for multiple sound channels
  12. Functionality beyond normal moving image rendering

Best Practices

Video Equipment