MJPEG Video Format

What is MJPEG video format?

What is MJPEG video format? In multimedia, Motion JPEG (M-JPEG or MJPEG video format) is an informal name for a class of video formats where each video frame or interlaced field of a digital video sequence is separately compressed as a JPEG image. Originally developed for multimedia PC applications, where more advanced formats have displaced it, MJPEG video format is now used by many portable devices with video-capture capability, such as digital cameras.

MJPEG video format and digital cameras

Although the bitrate of MJPEG video format is substantially less than completely uncompressed video, it is substantially higher than that of video codecs which use inter-frame motion compensation such as MPEG-1. The large library of legacy software, low computational requirement, ease of editing, and widely available JPEG libraries, ensures MJPEG video format content will be playable well into the future, even if the applications/equipment which created the content no longer exist.

Prior to the recent rise in MPEG-4 encoding in consumer devices, a progressive scan form of M-JPEG also saw widespread use in the movie modes of Digital Still Cameras, allowing video encoding and playback through the integrated JPEG compression hardware with only a software modification. Again, the resultant quality is inferior compared to a similar sized MPEG, particularly as sound (when included) was often uncompressed PCM at a low sample rate or low-compression, low processor-demand ADPCM.

To compensate and keep file sizes and transfer rates under control, frame sizes and rates, along with sound sampling rates, were kept relatively low with very high levels of compression for each individual frame. Resolutions of 160×120 or 320×240 are common sizes, typically at 10, 12 or 15 frames/second, with picture quality equivalent to a JPEG setting of 50 with mono ADPCM sound sampled at ~8kHz.

This results in a very basic, but still servicable video output at a similar storage cost to MPEG (~120 kB/s video rate, ~8 kB/s audio ?or approx 1 Mbit/s at 320×240 resolution), but with minimal processing overheads. This video is typically stored in the popular Windows AVI or Apple QuickTime MOV container files, generally viewable natively (or after installation of a simple Codec) in most versions of the applicable operating system. The AMV video format, common on cheap MP4 players, is a modified version of MJPEG video format. In addition to portable players (which are mainly consumers of the video), many video-enabled digital cameras use M-JPEG for video-capture.

MJPEG video format - Related conversion shareware

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