MPEG 7 and MPEG-21

 MPEG-7 or Multimedia Content Description Interface

MPEG-7 was an attempt by the image-based Motion Picture Experts Group consortium to define metadata structures. With MPEG-7 they offered:

  • A set of Descriptor Schemes
  • A language for those Schemes
  • A scheme for encoding the descriptive metadata.

The complexity — although designed for incredible power — left few interested. The only piece of software that I know of that uses MPEG-7 is the Frameline 47 software, now freely available. This powerful combination of MPEG-7 metadata with MPEG-4 media, hence MPEG-47, had some amazing capabilities, but the cost of adding metadata to older material prevented it from gaining the traction it deserved.

The Frameline 47 interface.
The Frameline 47 interface.

MPEG-21 — Digital Rights Management

MPEG-21 is a Digital Rights Management (DRM) technology. Unless you’re involved in the DRM side of your organization you will never need to know about this standard.  MPEG-21 is the foundation for the film and TV’s industry initiative  Ultraviolet.

MPEG-21 has not been widely adopted and can be ignored for all practical purposes. To date the success of Ultraviolet has been mixed.

There is no support for MPEG-7 or MPEG-21 in any current NLE.

Return to Metadata Standards.