An Overview of Multimedia Devices – CompTIA A+ 220-801: 1.12

Our PCs have become very powerful multimedia devices. In this video, you’ll learn about devices like digital cameras, microphones, webcams, camcorders, and MIDI devices.

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Although we’re taking a lot of our pictures these days on our smartphones, we still have these standalone digital cameras that can be used as multimedia inputs into our computer. Might be one of these higher end digital SLR type systems, which have very advanced optics that has the ability to swap out some advanced lens capabilities, or it might be an all-in-one device like this. And usually these are saving to some type of storage device, some compact flash or secure digital flash card that you can take out of the camera and then plug into your computer to make that transition.

Very often, there is a USB connection on here as well, so you can plug the camera in, and it becomes another storage that you can see in the operating system that you’re using. Because of that, you want to be sure that you have the right driver for the camera that you’re plugging in. That way, your operating system is able to recognize the camera and, of course, able to interoperate and transfer any type of files to or from the flash that might be inside of the camera.

If you’re working with multimedia, you’re planning to have video conferences, you’re planning to do audio conferences, you’ll also need a microphone. These usually will connect via a USB connection. That’s usually that digital connector that gives you the highest quality. Sometimes, these might be analog connections with a 1/8th-inch connector going into the back of your computer, as well. If you’re going to be doing something that requires audio, you’re certainly going to need a microphone to be able to accomplish that.

Because of this increasing need to have video on our computer systems, it’s very common to find the webcam built right into the displays that we’re using, or the laptops that we’re using, just so we can get that video display into our computer. These are occasionally also external devices that are plugged in via an 802.11 wireless or a wired connection going into a USB connection on our computer. This is providing us with live video.

If we wanted to be on a video conference, if we wanted to record some live video and store it for later, we could certainly do that as well, and upload it to YouTube for people like you to be able to watch. Very common to see this integrated into our laptops, and even into our mobile devices, as well. We can walk down the street and have a way to instantly be able to take a video and have that multimedia video uploaded and shared with other people.

For more advanced video capabilities, you might want to consider a camcorder. This is a device, of course, that is able to store a large amount of video on that single device, and usually it has the ability to store that in flash memory. Sometimes, it’s a hard drive that’s built into the device, but it very often has much more storage capabilities than something like a smartphone may have. When you’re ready to transfer that video off of the camera, you want to use something like FireWire. Sometimes, there’s a direct HDMI connection, so you can display your video immediately on a display or television screen, or if you just want to transfer the files, you can simply plug into a USB connection on the camcorder.

If you’re a musician, you’re probably familiar with midi, that stands for a musical instrument digital interface. This is a way to take a musical device and digitize that information and get it into your computer in a very standardized way. Most of the applications that have musical capabilities are using midi as the standardized format to get information into and out of your computer system. It’s very common to connect these midi devices to our computer using something like Ethernet or perhaps even a USB connection. On the other side, where your musical instrument is, you’re usually plugging in via these larger din connections to create that connection between the musical instrument and the interface inside of our computer.