Sustainability of Digital Formats: Planning for Library of Congress Collections

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Cinepak

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Format Description Properties Explanation of format description terms

Identification and description Explanation of format description terms

Full name Cinepak
Description Bitstream encoding for video; John McGowan states, "Cinepak uses Vector Quantization based image compression and frame differencing." Multiple versions exist, including "SuperMac," "Radius," and "Compression Technologies;" this document does not distinguish between them.
Production phase May be used as a middle-state (video production) or end-user delivery format.
Relationship to other formats
    Used by AVI_Cinepak, Audio Video Interleaved, Cinepak
    Used by QTV_Cinepak, QuickTime, Cinepak

Local use Explanation of format description terms

LC experience or existing holdings  
LC preference  

Sustainability factors Explanation of format description terms

Disclosure Proprietary standard with little or no public documentation
    Documentation None identified as of April 26, 2004.
Adoption Has been widespread; in 2000, John McGowan wrote that "Cinepak is the most widely used Video for Windows codec."
    Licensing and patents Apparently various providers of encoders license the use of their products.
Transparency Depends upon algorithms and tools to read; will require sophistication to build tools.
Self-documentation Not applicable; provided by wrapper formats.
External dependencies None.
Technical protection considerations Not applicable; provided by wrapper formats.

Quality and functionality factors Explanation of format description terms

Moving Image
Normal rendering Not applicable
Clarity (high image resolution) Moderate, varies according to encoder used.
Functionality beyond normal rendering Not applicable.

File type signifiers and format identifiers Explanation of format description terms

Tag Value Note
Filename extension Not applicable.   
Internet Media Type Not applicable.   
Magic numbers Not applicable.   
Microsoft FOURCC CVID
Used when this codec is wrapped in Microsoft file formats, e.g., AVI and ASF; see the list of FOURCC codes. FOURCC codes are no longer managed by Microsoft, which has developed a new mechanism for identifying rich media types in general.

Notes Explanation of format description terms

General Some discussion of Cinepak in John McGowan's AVI Overview: Audio and Video Codecs (http://www.jmcgowan.com/avicodecs.html).
History  

Format specifications Explanation of format description terms


Useful references

URLs


Last Updated: 02/21/2017