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Patent Application Titled "Multimedia Data Stream Format, Metadata Generator, Encoding Method, Encoding System, Decoding Method, and Decoding System"...

July 23, 2014



Patent Application Titled "Multimedia Data Stream Format, Metadata Generator, Encoding Method, Encoding System, Decoding Method, and Decoding System" Published Online

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Electronics Newsweekly -- According to news reporting originating from Washington, D.C., by VerticalNews journalists, a patent application by the inventors WANG, Sung-Wen (Hsinchu Hsien, TW); Tung, Yi-Shin (Hsinchu Hsien, TW); LIN, PIN-TING (Hsinchu Hsien, TW), filed on December 17, 2013, was made available online on July 10, 2014.

The assignee for this patent application is MStar Semiconductor, Inc.

Reporters obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The invention relates in general to a multimedia data stream format, a metadata generator, an encoding method, an encoding system, a decoding method and a decoding method, and more particularly to a multimedia data stream format, a metadata generator applying the multimedia data stream format, an encoding method and an encoding system applying the metadata generator, and a decoding method and a decoding system corresponding to the encoding method and the encoding system.

"When viewing a multimedia file implemented by progressive streaming online, a user is usually required to wait for an inevitable period of time for a system to finish downloading the complete multimedia file before being allowed to view the multimedia file. However, the waiting time increasingly lengthens as the size of multimedia files continues to grow, thus undesirably affecting the convenience and instantaneousness of online viewing.

"An original format of a multimedia data stream includes an audio bitstream and a video bitstream. Both of the audio and video bitstreams are usually compressed and encoded to reduce a data transmission amount. In order to synchronously play corresponding audio and video after decoding the audio and video bitstreams, the audio and video bitstreams are fed into a multiplexer. The multiplexer places the corresponding audio and video at neighboring positions in the multimedia data stream and combines the audio and video into a data format. The data format is then demultiplexed and decompressed by a demultiplexer to obtain audio and video to be later played.

"FIG. 1 shows a schematic diagram of a data format of a multimedia data stream MSD0 transmitted by progressive streaming. As shown in FIG. 1, the multimedia data stream MDS0 includes multiple multimedia frames F0, F1, . . . , F19, F20, F21, F22, . . . , and FN generated from an audio bitstream and a video bitstream processed by a multiplexer. The multimedia frames include multiple audio frames A0, A1, . . . , A19, A20, A21, A22, . . . , and AN (to be referred to as audio frames) and multiple video frames V0, V1, . . . , V19, V20, V21, V22, . . . , and VN (to be referred to as video frames) that are alternately arranged, where N is a positive integer. The audio frames and the video frames having the same numerical denotations are regarded as the same multimedia frame in the multimedia data stream MDS0, and are played at the same time point. For example, the multimedia frame 19 includes the paired audio frame A19 and video frame V19, which are played at the same time point when playing the multimedia data stream MDS0. Similarly, the multimedia frame 20 includes the paired audio frame A20 and video frame V29, which are played at the same time point when playing the multimedia data stream MDS0.

"When decoding audio and video frames in a multimedia data stream by a back-end demultiplexer, a method of searching audio and video frames is facilitated based on the same size of all multimedia frames. That is, given that a starting point of a multimedia data stream and an arranged sequence of a target multimedia frame among all multimedia frames in a multimedia data stream are known, the target multimedia frame can be identified through sequential access. However, since the audio and video frames in the multimedia data stream MDS0 are generated through compression and encoding processes, sizes of data between not only the audio frames but also the video frames may be different. Hence, when searching for a target multimedia frame from the multimedia data stream MDS0, the target multimedia frame may not be correctly identified by using the above sequential access based on the starting point of the multimedia data stream MDS0 and an arranged sequence of the target multimedia frame among all multimedia frames in a multimedia data stream MDS0. To overcome such issue, a metadata MDT0 included in the multimedia data stream MDS0 is designed to record address information of the audio and video frame alternately arranged in the multimedia data stream MDS0. As such, instead of being affected by the size differences of the audio and video frames, a back-end demultiplexer is enabled to quickly retrieve the audio and video frames when decoding the audio and video frames. This method yet suffers from certain drawbacks. For example, the data size of the metadata MDT0 proportionally increases as the audio and video frames of the multimedia data stream MDS0 expands, such that the metadata MDT0 occupies a substantial data amount in the multimedia data stream MDS0.

"When downloading and playing the audio and video frames having the data format of the multimedia data stream MDS0 in FIG. 1, in the multimedia data stream MDS0, assume that a time interval that a user wishes to view corresponds to the audio and video between the multimedia frames F19 and F21. Based on the above progressive streaming mechanism and the above sequential access for the multimedia data stream, it is known that, before the user is allowed to access and view the audio and video of the time interval corresponding to the multimedia frames F19 and F21, the address information of all the multimedia frames from F0 to F21 need to be sequentially accessed from the metadata MDT0 while also waiting for all the multimedia frames to be completely downloaded. During the process, in addition to the time-consuming process of waiting for the all the multimedia frames to be completely downloaded, the number of times and the time for sequentially accessing the metadata MDT0 are spent on an unneeded data interval. In an event that the audio and video desired by the user are close to an end of the multimedia data stream MDS0 having a large data amount (i.e., N in a large value), the above sequential access mechanism is quite inefficient as the user needs to wait for a lengthy period before accessing and playing a desired video clip."

In addition to obtaining background information on this patent application, VerticalNews editors also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "To solve an excessive data processing amount and a lengthy waiting period resulted by retrieving and downloading a multimedia data stream from the beginning of the multimedia data stream in the prior art, the invention is directed to a multimedia data format, a metadata generator, an encoding method, an encoding system, a decoding method and a decoding system.

"The encoded multimedia data stream format comprises a plurality of multimedia positioning frames and a metadata used for storing a plurality of address information and number of multimedia frames stored in the user data region of the multimedia positioning frames. Each multimedia positioning frame comprises a basic multimedia frame and a user data region used for storing a plurality of multimedia frames following the basic multimedia frame in a multimedia data stream. And, the multimedia data stream is a progressive streaming data stream.

"The multimedia data stream encoding system comprises a multiplexer, a metadata generator and a multimedia data encoder. The multiplexer performs bit interleaving on an audio bitstream and a video bitstream to generate a multimedia data stream. The metadata generator selects a plurality of multimedia frames in a multimedia data stream as a plurality of multimedia positioning frames, and generates a metadata according to address information of the multimedia positioning frames and numbers of multimedia frames between two successive multimedia positioning frames of the multimedia positioning frames. The multimedia data encoder relocates the multimedia frames between two successive neighboring multimedia positioning frames to a user data region of corresponding multimedia positioning frames according to the metadata to generate an encoded multimedia data stream. And, the multimedia data stream is a progressive streaming data stream.

"The multimedia data stream decoding system for decoding a encoded multimedia data stream comprises a multimedia data stream decoder and a demultiplexer. The multimedia data stream decoder searches a metadata according to an instruction to find addresses and numbers of multimedia frames of at least one multimedia positioning frame, and retrieves at least one multimedia frames from the at least one multimedia positioning frame according to the addresses and numbers of multimedia frames. The demultiplexer performs bit interleaving on the at least one multimedia frames to generate a decoded audio bitstream and a decoded video bitstream.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

"FIG. 1 is a schematic diagram of a data format of a multimedia data stream implemented in coordination with progressive streaming.

"FIG. 2 is a block diagram of a multimedia data stream playback system according to an embodiment of the present invention.

"FIG. 3 is a block diagram of a metadata generator in FIG. 2 according to an embodiment.

"FIG. 4 is a schematic diagram of a data format of a multimedia data stream implemented in coordination with progressive streaming according to an embodiment of the present invention.

"FIG. 5 is a schematic diagram of retrieving multimedia frames stored in each multimedia positioning frame by use of an additional LUT stored in a user data region of each multimedia positioning frame according to an embodiment of the present invention and the data format in FIG. 4.

"FIG. 6 is a flowchart of an encoding method according to an embodiment of the present invention.

"FIG. 7 is a flowchart of a decoding method according to an embodiment of the present invention."

For more information, see this patent application: WANG, Sung-Wen; Tung, Yi-Shin; LIN, PIN-TING. Multimedia Data Stream Format, Metadata Generator, Encoding Method, Encoding System, Decoding Method, and Decoding System. Filed December 17, 2013 and posted July 10, 2014. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=4232&p=85&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20140703.PD.&OS=PD/20140703&RS=PD/20140703

Keywords for this news article include: Electronics, MStar Semiconductor Inc..

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Source: Electronics Newsweekly


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