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What Are the Different Types of Multimedia Applications?

G. Wiesen
G. Wiesen

The different types of multimedia applications include live performances and demonstrations of products through the use of multimedia displays, as well as various applications for multimedia in advertising. Much of this advertising utilizes computers and is often found on the Internet, in which animations, sounds, and text are frequently combined to create an interactive or multimedia advertisement for a particular product or service. The term “multimedia applications” can also refer to the various programs used to create multimedia works, and these include animation programs, sound engineering and recording software, and compositing programs used to combine various raw source files.

There are many different ways in which multimedia can be utilized in various applications, though these are often commercial in nature. Such commercial uses can also be artistic, however, such as live performances of music or theatrical productions. Musical concerts, for example, can utilize multimedia presentations, as various visuals are used to accompany the live music being played, including laser light shows and projected images of animation or filmed footage on a large screen behind the performers. Performance artist works are often seen as types of multimedia applications, especially those that incorporate computers to create images and audio to accompany their own performances.

A laser light show is a type of multimedia presentation.
A laser light show is a type of multimedia presentation.

Other multimedia applications are far more overtly commercial in nature, such as advertisements found on Internet websites. These advertisements can be fairly simple, such as pictures and text similar to what might be found in a magazine or other printed media. More complex multimedia applications in advertising combine more types of media to create memorable advertisements that include animations and that may even interact with the content of a webpage. Interactive advertisements can also be created using these same types of media, allowing potential customers to establish a personal connection with the product or business being advertised.

Multimedia applications can also refer to those software programs actually used to create multimedia works, including both artistic and commercial works. A number of different animation programs can be used to create multimedia, and these are often used to make original images and animations. There are also programs that can be used to assemble various pieces of media into a single presentation or executable file, such as programs that assemble separate images into slides for a slideshow. More elaborate multimedia applications can allow various images, video and audio files, and text to be layered and edited together to create a final product.

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Discussion Comments


In multimedia applications what designs must one consider?


smartypantz, you are correct, a simple slideshow with music or sound is multimedia. Now, it may not be elaborate or complicated as a type of multimedia, but it certainly still counts. There are a ton of different types and examples, and there are only more and more each year.


I knew a teacher who had gotten involved in multimedia application development on the side. He saw a need for computer-based training to reinforce concepts that he was teaching his kids.

He bought one of the well-known multimedia authoring programs to build his product. An authoring program, unlike a software development environment, is meant to make the development of multimedia software easier. It’s designed for non-programmers and uses a visual approach to design the application, including a light, easy to learn scripting language.

He was able to put together a product in a matter of months (believe me, that’s fast) and he sold it in retail stores and it was quite successful. Of course, this teacher was also a published author, so he had the name recognition to help him too. But without the authoring software, he couldn’t have pulled it off.


@Animalz – By your definition (and the one given in the article), even a simple slideshow would be a multimedia application if it had music or sound effects.

My favorite multimedia application is probably those museum exhibits that have buttons on them, where each button makes a different animal sound when you push it.


As a web developer, I think of multimedia as the combination of two or more types of media. In my opinion, anything that combines two or more instances of still images, animation, interactivity, video, audio, or text is multimedia, and can be used to create a multimedia application.

With that said, here are some more multimedia applications examples:

Mixed Media – Fine art that combines any two of the items mentioned. One example would be a painting that plays music.

Rich Media – Also called interactive multimedia. It’s usually digital, and must combine two of the items I mentioned, and also be interactive. Video games are an example of this. A non-digital example would be an interactive storybook that talks when you press a button on one of the pages.

Hypermedia – A digital system that allows the user to access examples of all the items I mentioned above, in any order the user wishes. The internet is a classic example of this. A search engine would be another example.

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    • A laser light show is a type of multimedia presentation.
      By: mytree
      A laser light show is a type of multimedia presentation.