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Appeared on: Wednesday, February 22, 2006
New Standard For Managing Multimedia Content Announced

Eastman Kodak, Fuji Photo Film and Konica Minolta photo imaging announced "EVERPLAY", a new set of standards designed to ensure compatibility of digital photos and motion images across a broad range of consumer products for future generations.

Since Photokina 2004, when its formation was announced, the EVERPLAY founders have worked to define the standard, which was initially called the Picture Archiving and Sharing Standard, abbreviated as "PASS" at that time. With the completion of the PASS standard and the start of licensing, the companies have changed the name of the standard to "EVERPLAY".

Methods to organize and preserve digital images have evolved independently by many different companies and have lost interoperability among the different systems. There are also potential problems as time passes, systems evolve and formats change. The new EVERPLAY standard aims to resolve these issues and respond to consumers' needs to protect images and enjoy widespread interoperability. The standard is designed to make it easy to implement and uses XML next-generation language in its specification.

EVERPLAY provides a folder structure for still pictures and animated media when recorded in optical storage media such as DVDs. The standard allows managing of MPEG-1/2/4 and MOV video files, as well as JPEG still pictures, MP3 and WAV audio files.

The EVERPLAY standard specifies a logical file format that can be read/recorded toward future generations of hardware. It works by the scheme below, where index and album files, written in extensible XML, are simply added to image data files.

Compared with existing systems, EVERPLAY provides interoperability of images and meta data, migration rules which enable secure preservation of the content as well as advanced search options of the stored content.

The EVERPLAY specification can optionally write corresponding image files into video format. This shall allow consumers to enjoy their pictures even with DVD players that are not yet EVERPLAY compliant.

Fujifilm, Konica Minolta and Kodak will begin a free license program immediately and call for the adoption of the EVERPLAY standard by all consumer digital-imaging companies. The goal for products and services is to use images interchangeably and movies ubiquitously while at the same time, acknowledge the value for protecting consumers' images.

By signing the licensing agreement, which is available on the Web site, any company can acquire a royalty-free license to execute the specification, use the trademarks and obtain rights to the patents owned by the EVERPLAY founders.

Further, the following tools will be provided at no cost: Software development kit (SDK) v1.10 and Verifying tool v1.10. Details can be obtained from http://www.everplay-spec.org .

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