Multimedia is a form of communication that combines different content forms such as text, audio, images, animations, or video into a single interactive presentation, in contrast to traditional mass media which featured little to no interaction from users, such as printed material or audio recordings. Popular examples of multimedia include video podcasts, audio slideshows and animated videos. Multimedia can be recorded for playback on computers, laptops, smartphones, and other electronic devices, either on demand or in real time (streaming). In the early years of multimedia, the term "rich media" was synonymous with interactive multimedia. Over time, hypermedia extensions brought multimedia to the World Wide Web. While the term didn't exist yet, the idea of multimedia could be taken back to when the 19th century composer Richard Wagner believed in the concept of meaning 'total artwork'. Wagner strived to combine multiple art forms- opera, drama, music - to create a perfect synthesis on stage. He looked down on the Grand Opera at the time, which emphasized individual talent, rather than the complete work as a whole. By combining these art forms, Wagner believed the most profound art could be made. On August 10, 1966, Richard of Variety borrowed the terminology, reporting: "Brainchild of song scribe-comic Bob ('Washington Square') Goldstein, the 'Light works' is the latest multi-media music-cum-visuals to debut as discothèque fare.Two years later, in 1968, the term "multimedia" was re-appropriated to describe the work of a political consultant, David Sawyer, the husband of Iris Sawyer one of Goldstein's producers at Louring. In common usage, multimedia refers to an electronically delivered combination of media including video, still images, audio, and text in such a way that can be accessed interactively. Much of the content on the web today falls within this definition as understood by millions. Some computers which were marketed in the 1990s were called "multimedia" computers because they incorporated a CD-ROM drive, which allowed for the delivery of several hundred megabytes of video, picture, and audio data. That era saw also a boost in the production of educational multimedia CD-ROMs. A standard CD-ROM can hold on average 700 megabytes of data, while the maximum size a 3.5 inch floppy disk can hold is 2.8 megabytes, with an average of 1.44 megabytes.

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American Journal of computer science and Information Technology