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New digital media is a fairly broad term used to describe a wide variety of digital technologies. While media theorists propose many different definitions of what can be classified as new digital media, they generally agree that it refers to digital products that came into development in the late 20th century. Some of the more commonly cited examples include the Internet, CDs, and cell phones.
Media is typically defined as any tool, object, or device that can store and distribute information. It, therefore, basically refers to a type of communication device. New digital media can be distinguished from so-called traditional forms of media — such as magazines, newspapers, and books — as it typically uses digital technology to perform the communicative function. Some of the other qualities usually attributed to new digital media include interactivity, density, and network capabilities.
Digital technology employs digital codes that are based on the binary number system. This generally facilitates the interpretation and transmission of information by devices, such as computers. The incorporation of this technology in media devices helped to create what is now called digital new media.
Some of the advantages of digital technology, and new digital media, include information storage capabilities. In general, digital devices can communicate and receive a greater amount of data than non-digital devices. New digital media can also rely on a series of networks that allow for the instant reception and transmission of communications and messages.
Compact discs are commonly cited as one of the forerunners of new digital media. In the CD, digital data is stored on an optical disc. CDs have become the most common means by which to store audio information. Some of the advantages of compact discs include sound quality, because, as opposed to traditional analog technologies, it can transmit sound with a minimal decrease in fidelity.
The Internet is one of the most common types of communication used in conjunction with new digital media. Employing a global network of linked computers, the Internet allows for communication and the distribution of information on a worldwide scale. The Internet supports various types of communication forms, such as websites, e-mail, web blogging, and instant messaging.
A cell phone, also known as a mobile phone, is a mobile communications device. It can perform a number of different functions, such as telephony or sending text messages. Some versions of cell phones can record video and audio or take photographs.