Carrying Bits

Because the computer industry was “born” digital, it was the first to be confronted with the problem of “mapping” digital data onto analogue carriers, i.e. storing bits on intrinsically analogue devices. One of the first solutions – storage of bits on paper tape – was limited to small quantities of…

Reference Software

One morning of July 1990, Arian Koster of KPN Research called me to make a suggestion: “What if MPEG developed a software implementation of the MPEG-1 standard?”. My immediate reaction was to ask what MPEG would gain from this. He said that various companies had already developed their own software…

Conformance

MPEG-1 is a great standard, but there is a potential problem in its practical adoption. Imagine I am a manufacturer and I choose to be in the business of making MPEG-1 encoders and decoders. I believe I have faithfully implemented all normative clauses in ISO/IEC 11172-1, -2 and -3 and…

Inside MPEG-1

MPEG-1 is formally known as ISO/IEC 11172. ISO/IEC refers to the fact that the standard is recognised by both ISO and IEC because JTC 1, the Technical Committee under which MPEG operates, is a joint ISO and IEC Technical Committee. The number “11172” is a 5-digit serial number that the…