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Analyzing the Multimedia Operating System
Spring 1995 (vol. 2 no. 1)
pp. 68-84

Multimedia applications demand for the processing of audio and video data such that humans perceive these media in a natural--error free and nonartificial--way. This continuous-media data has its origin at sources like microphones, cameras and files. From these sources the data is transferred to destinations like loudspeakers, video windows and files located at the same computer or at a remote station. On the way from source to sink the digital data is processed by at least some type of move, copy or transmit operation. Therefore in this data manipulation process there are always many resources which are under control of the operating system. This resource management and the respective scheduling must be performed according to the real-time demands of multimedia applications.

This article outlines the main features of the operating systems capable of handling multimedia data, namely resource management, scheduling and file system issues where the focus is on scheduling. For all these topics the most relevant approaches and alternatives are presented. This survey concludes with a presentation of the architectures of operating system extensions for multimedia.

Contact the author at IBM European Networking Center, Vangerowstrasse 18, 69115 Heidelberg, Germany, e-mail

Index Terms:
multimedia, operating system, resource management, file system, scheduling
Ralf Steinmetz, "Analyzing the Multimedia Operating System," IEEE Multimedia, vol. 2, no. 1, pp. 68-84, Spring 1995, doi:10.1109/93.368605
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