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KDE to gain cutting-edge multimedia technology
Apr. 28, 2006

Phonon, an advanced multimedia architecture due in KDE 4.0, will be demonstrated at LinuxTag, May 3-6, in Wiesbaden, Germany. The Phonon architecture supports NMM (network-integrated multimedia middleware), enabling such capabilities as delivering synchronized audio and video presentations across networked systems, controlled by a single, central application.

Phonon comprises a central hardware configuration database said to free multimedia applications from the need to configure hardware. This simplifies multimedia application development, according to the Phonon homepage. Additionally, Phonon will support NMM, an advanced multimedia middleware framework that, in itself, could bring a lot of new functionality to PCs and devices of all kinds.

NMM was developed at Saarland University in Saarbrucken, Germany, and was first demonstrated at CeBIT more than a year ago. Motama -- a Saarland University spin-off that offers commercial licenses, support, and development services around the technology -- was founded and is headed by Professor Philipp Slusallek, along with Dr. Marco Lohse and Michael Repplinger. NMM's license permits its use in commercial products, as well as open source and research projects.

What NMM can do

With NMM, multimedia content is readily shared among networked devices and even "handed over" from one device to another. One example is media playback, a task that can be handed over from a mobile MP3 player to a hi-fi system in a living room, for example, as a person approaches and then enters their home. As far as NMM is concerned, the devices on a network are all virtual devices, such that "a commodity mobile phone can become a radio receiver or the same video recording can be displayed on three TV sets simultaneously," Lohse explained last year.

NMM "handing over" a song to a PDA
(Click to enlarge)

Other potential NMM applications include networked multimedia home entertainment systems, distributed and parallel media processing applications, distributed streaming servers and services, communication and control systems, large-scale multimedia installations such as video walls, and DRM (digital rights management), according to Motama.

NMM, shown distributing an image across two laptops -- one running Linux, and the other running Windows

For more details on this technology, read the complete story at, here.

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