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What Is a Multimedia Device?

By Felicia Dye
Updated May 16, 2024
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There are several types of media, including video, audio, and text. A multimedia device allows a person to deal with a variety of these media while eliminating the need to have a separate device for each. There are numerous tasks that may be accomplished on these devices, such as creating, editing, and transferring files. Many of these devices are compatible with computers, which allows them to be easily dealt with in ways that may not otherwise be possible.

Media is generally defined as a form of communication. Documents, music, and video clips are all common types of communication. People are increasingly interested in dealing with media in easier and faster ways. This has led to the development of a wide range of multimedia devices, which allow a person to create and access various types of media files on a single device. Examples of a multimedia device include a memory card, a tablet computer, and an MP3 player.

A multimedia device can allow a person to accomplish a wide range of tasks. To begin with, a person may need to develop communication. This can be done by typing a document, taking a picture, or producing a video. Once this is done, individuals may want to save these items. Later, they may want to access them again and alter them. There is also a possibility that a person will want to transfer media files from one device to another or share them with someone else.

It is important to understand that a device does not have to facilitate every type of media for it to be defined as multimedia. Many devices are also limited in the fact that they allow only certain types of tasks to be completed with each type of media. For instance, a memory card can store several types of media and allow it to be accessed numerous times, but it is not a device that can be used to produce media files. This must be done on another multimedia device, such as a laptop.

As two of the primary goals of these devices are consolidation and convenience, individuals are increasingly buying small electronics that can also serve as portable multimedia devices. A prime example is a cellular phone. These devices tend to offer users more media capabilities as newer versions are released. Like cellular phones, most modern multimedia devices have rechargeable batteries, though a small number may still use replaceable batteries. Many also have the ability to be connected to a computer so that media can be stored directly on them.

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Discussion Comments

By JessicaLynn — On Jul 17, 2012

I definitely consider my cell phone a multimedia device. I can use it to watch video, read books, send messages, take pictures, and make phone calls. Among many other things. I don't know how I got along without it before!

The one problem I do have with a lot of multimedia devices is that the batteries seem to run out quickly, especially if you use it a lot. I usually have to recharge my cell phone in the early evening, which can be inconvenient if I'm out and about.

By KaBoom — On Jul 16, 2012

@starrynight - I enjoy reading too, but I definitely wouldn't want to give up the ability to watch movies and other video on my multimedia devices. I sometimes like to use my tablet to watch streaming television shows while I'm in bed. The tablet is lighter than a laptop, and I can put my headphones in so I don't wake up my partner.

The only thing I really don't like about most multimedia devices is typing on a touch screen. If I need to type up a document, I definitely need a full size keyboard, so I still use my laptop for that.

By starrynight — On Jul 15, 2012

This may sound a little odd, but my favorite thing about having multimedia devices is being able to read ebooks. Now, these days, when a lot of people ask themselves the question, "What is media?" books aren't the first thing that come to mind. But they are definitely media!

I have an ebook reader, but I also have applications on my tablet and my cell phone that allow me to read ebooks that way too. I can sync whatever book I'm reading between all my devices, and then I can read a book anywhere. I really love it! I could take or leave the ability to watch movies though.

By Perdido — On Jul 15, 2012

@wavy58 – I know how you feel! I don't even own an MP3 player, but all of my friends and family have one. They say that I'm living in the dark ages!

My son finally taught me how to use the media player on our computer. I wanted to listen to music, and I had heard that you can insert a CD into the computer and listen to it that way.

I was astounded to see that this media player constructed colored shapes and movements in time to the music. I got hypnotized just watching the changing forms and colors on the screen. I think I enjoyed them as much as the listening experience!

Apparently, this is something that has been around for a long time. It was new to me, though.

By JackWhack — On Jul 14, 2012

My coworker was having trouble with his multimedia audio device controller last month. We couldn't figure out exactly what it was, so we called our computer technician.

He told us that it is just a fancy word for the sound card. He came to the office and reinstalled it, and it worked just fine.

We know how to do our jobs on the computer, but when it comes to technical stuff, we have no idea what to do. We can make files and access them on our multimedia devices with no problem, but when they pop up error messages, we panic and call a professional.

By Oceana — On Jul 13, 2012

My husband's cell phone is a multimedia player. He uses it to watch videos online, download music, and listen to online radio.

I like the fact that it can play music on demand like this. It comes in handy while we are camping and want to drown out the sound of the crickets!

I also love being able to watch and even record videos with his phone. We have recorded several of our puppies' antics and saved them to his memory card.

I can even record audio only. I recorded myself singing “Happy Birthday” and sent it to our niece. I think that was more special than just a text message.

By wavy58 — On Jul 13, 2012

I can remember a time when cameras were the only things used to take pictures, land line phones were used just for talking, and there was no such thing as a text message. Today, the market is full of confusing media devices that can do it all.

I know how to use my cell phone to talk and text, but that is the extent of my knowledge. I've never used a computer other than to check my email, and I don't have the internet on my phone.

I'm not much of a multimedia person, I'm afraid. I feel like the world has moved on and left me behind!

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