MPEG Technologies and Applications:
Interoperability, Rights Management, and Adaptation

Guest Editor's Introduction • Jaime Delgado • November 2010

Theme Articles

This month's theme includes the following featured articles:

Accelerating the Media Business with MPEG Extensible Middleware
Media applications are becoming increasingly complex. A standardized set of protocols and APIs provides efficient access to individual system components, enables rapid deployment of new applications, and improves portability. More »

The MPEG Open Access Application Format
Learn about the motivation and composition of the MPEG Open Access Application Format, which standardizes the packaging of digital content and associated rights information into an application format to facilitate open access and interoperable exchange. More »

A Media Value Chain Ontology for MPEG-21
The Media Value Chain Ontology is a semantic representation of the intellectual property along the value chain that it is being standardized as MPEG-21 Part 19. More »

MPEG-21 and Its Interoperability with Rights-Information Standards
Providing effective protection and management for broadcast content is an important issue. This article analyzes several rights information standards and demonstrates the promise of achieving convergence of the rights information and interoperability between these standards. More »

A Platform for Context-Aware and Digital Rights Management-Enabled Content Adaptation
This article presents a platform designed for context-aware and digital rights management-enabled content adaptation based on MPEG-21's Digital Item Adaptation scheme and a unique profiling approach. More »

Automatic Adaptation Decision Making using an Image to Video Adaptation Tool in the MPEG-21 Framework
Learn about an effective method for combining automatic knowledge-based multimedia adaptation decisions with a quality-based decision system that uses regions of interest to improve the adaptation's outcome. More »

What else is new? »


MPEG Technologies and ApplicationsMPEG technologies are well established with respect to audio and video coding. New activities over these basic standards aim to develop applications to handle MPEG multimedia content; some such applications are already a reality. This month's theme presents some of the last research results around this idea. These articles discuss a middleware to help developing complex applications, a format to deploy open release content, an ontology to handle rights during content's complete life cycle, the rights information interoperability issue, and the improvement of content adaptation and its relationship with associated rights and context information.

"Accelerating the Media Business with MPEG Extensible Middleware" by Christian Timmerer, Filippo Chiariglione, Marius Preda, and Victor Rodriguez Doncel presents a middleware platform specified by the MPEG ISO/IEC standardization Working Group. The authors focus on the protocols and APIs that enable easy deployment of new applications while improving portability.

In "The MPEG Open Access Application Format," Florian Schreiner, Klaus Diepold, Mohamed Abo El-Fotouh, and Taehyun Kim introduce the concept of MPEG Application Formats (MAFs). In particular, they look at the Open Access MAF, which standardizes the packaging of digital content and associated rights information into an application format to facilitate open access to content and its interoperable exchange.

Content's complete life cycle must be taken into account to correctly manage the associated rights. The Media Value Chain Ontology (MVCO), standardized as a part of MPEG-21, is a step toward effectively handling the life cycle from a semantic point of view. Victor Rodgriguez-Doncel and I discuss this ontology in "A Media Value Chain Ontology for MPEG-21."

Also in the area of rights management, "MPEG-21 and Its Interoperability with Rights-Information Standards" by Hogab Kang, Keunyoung Lee, Taehyun Kim, and Xin Wang focuses on the specific needs for interoperability of applications such as broadcasting. Kang and colleagues discuss how this could be achieved with MPEG-21 Rights Expression Language profiles.

The last two articles in this theme concentrate on the content context and adaptation issues that MPEG helps to solve. "A Platform for Context-Aware and Digital Rights Management-Enabled Content Adaptation" by Anna Carreras and colleagues discusses this topic in relation to, again, rights management. In "Automatic Adaptation Decision Making using an Image to Video Adaptation Tool in the MPEG-21 Framework," Fernando Lopez, Jose M. Martinez, and Narciso Garcia specifically discuss the adaptation decision process and how to automate it.

I hope you enjoy these articles and find them useful. You might also be interested in this video interview with MPEG convenor Leonardo Chiariglione. Please log in to leave a comment about this month's theme.


Jaime DelgadoJaime Delgado is a professor in the Computer Architecture Department at the Universitat Polit├Ęcnica de Catalunya. Contact him at



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