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What are the Different Types of Digital Media?

By Tess C. Taylor
Updated May 16, 2024
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The term digital media refers to any type of media that is in an electronic or digital format for the convenience and entertainment of consumers. It includes anything that is presented in an audio (sound) or video (visual) form that can be seen and heard by others. Examples include music files, such as MP3, Midi, or WMA files; video feeds found on the Internet at popular video websites; and animated Flash® or graphic design files and images used to create interactive websites and games.

Digital media files are generally accessed by using complex electronics devices that contain digital receivers or processors. These devices can include computers, mobile devices, video game consoles, projectors, television and radio. Consumers access these files mostly for entertainment and educational value; however, others are used for manipulation into other forms of media, such as movies, albums, or websites.

Audio and music files are usually accessed with digital media players, such as MP3 players or radio devices; they can also be downloaded from the Internet on music file sharing websites. Since digital music files are easy to locate, download, and store, this format is very popular among music lovers. These files are also easy to share among consumers. This is a lower cost alternative to purchasing large albums or collections of music permanently stored on tapes, CDs and records.

Digital visual and video media is becoming a more popular form of sharing images and information for its quick entertainment value. Video and graphic image media is not only used by regular consumers who have access to affordable digital image and video creation and editing equipment and software, it’s also a format that many businesses are beginning to use. These files provide interesting and stimulating formats that have many ways of being used for the benefit of promoting ideas, information, and entertainment with the public.

Gaming digital media has been available since the first video games were introduced in the 1980s. While this has been traditionally a youthful pursuit, with the introduction of mobile gaming systems and family-friendly video games, this hobby is becoming a staple of many households and is enjoyed by consumers of all ages and abilities. The gaming media is most often found is either in a physical format, which must be purchased at video game retailers, or the more convenient downloadable forms that are found on the Internet.

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Discussion Comments

By chivebasil — On Oct 27, 2012

I think that after school I might pursue a career in digital media. What are the top digital media companies out there right now?

By BAU79 — On Oct 26, 2012

I am really excited to see how tablet computers change the future of books, from novels to textbooks. There will be so many new opportunities for enhanced content.

Imagine reading a scary novel and having a soundtrack that accompanies it. Imagine a biology textbook that was enhanced with videos and animations. There are tons of exciting new opportunities for content now that we have both digital media and a practical device for accessing it.

By tigers88 — On Oct 26, 2012

I am a big fan of podcasting and have been doing it for about three years now.

Mostly I do interviews. I talk to my friends or interesting local people and ask them about their lives. It is a simple format but it has produced some amazing results.

I upload a new interview to my blog each week. We do not have tons of followers, but more than I ever expected. Who would think that you could ask ordinary people simple questions about their lives and have thousands of people listen to the answers every week?

By disciples — On Oct 18, 2012

What is the next big thing in digital media? Will it be 3D, some new kind of game, ultra high def movies, amazing storage capacity? Does anyone follow this stuff and if so, what are you excited about?

By profess — On Oct 18, 2012

I am pretty behind the curve when it comes to technology and I just got my first MP3 player. It is very small and designed for running which is why I bought it.

I love that I can now make a mix and carry it on this tiny little device that straps to my arm while I run. I broke my personal distance record last night because the music was such a great motivator.

By truman12 — On Oct 17, 2012

I have been loving all the podcasts that have come out over the last 5 years or so. It is about time too. The radio has always been great idea that was restricted to all but a very few. But podcasts democratize that process and give everyone with a strong voice and bright idea a chance to put together their own show.

I do one myself that is all about contemporary fiction. I know that not a lot of people listen to it, but a few hundred do which is a lot bigger audience than I could get in my living room.

By blackDagger — On Jun 01, 2011

Now that digital media isn’t all that new, the greatest thing in the world is growing into wireless digital media.

This is basically digital media that can use something like a WIFI source instead of all of the adaptors and plugs and cords (things that we are used to tripping over on our way to the bathroom in the dark) to be heard or viewed.

It’s really pretty cool, although it is a little pricey at this point as well. Of course, as a poor college student, I buy Raman noodles on sale.

By dimpley — On May 30, 2011

Okay, so I’m a little confused. While that observation in particular is nothing new, am I wrong in thinking that digital media also includes the actual DVD’s, CD’s and blu ray discs that the various entertainments are be recorded on?

For some reason, I was under the impression that this was the case, but as I’m not a techno-junkie I will admit that there is a broad area there for me to be very wrong.

In short, what is digital media specifically? Can it only come through a computer or MP3 player or can it also be a hard copy?

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