In other posts, we discussed the MPEG-1 and MPEG-2 standards, as well as their respective corresponding international standard documents. Initially introduced in 1998, MPEG-4 absorbed the information of its predecessors and expanded upon it. As a video compression suite, MPEG-4 is used for webpages, digital television, and interactive media on the World Wide Web.
The set of technologies associated with MPEG-4 benefit authors by enabling them to provide content with far greater readability, network service providers by giving transparent content, and end users by bringing higher levels of interaction with content. MPEG-4 achieves these goals by representing units of aural, audio, or audiovisual content of natural or synthetic origin. MPEG-4 audiovisual scenes are composed of still images, video objects, and audio objects.
Please note that there is no MPEG-3. MPEG (Moving Picture Experts Group) once had a plan to define a video coding system for High Definition Television (HDTV) applications, but the working group realized that the tools needed for the video coding of HDTV were already contained in the MPEG-2 suite. As a result, the development of MPEG-3 was stopped, and the work was continued with MPEG-2.
Developed by MPEG as a working group of ISO/IEC JTC 1 (JTC1/SC29/WG11), MPEG-4 is specified in the ISO/IEC 14496 series of international standards. As with other MPEG documents, the first three parts cover the systems, video (visual), and audio. There are currently 30 parts in total, all listed below.
Please note that many of these standard documents have amendments, which make technical changes to the existing documents, and corrigenda, which repair editorial errors.
This standard has two amendments: Amd1:2010 – Usage of LASeR in MPEG-4 systems and Registration Authority for MPEG-4 descriptors and Amd2:2014 – Support for raw audio-visual data.
This standard has five amendments: Amd1:2004 – Streaming video profile – Amendment 1: Error resilient simple scalable profile, Amd2:2005 – Streaming video profile – Amendment 2: New Levels for Simple Profile, Amd3:2007 – Streaming video profile – Amendment 3: Support for colour spaces (this amendment has one corrigendum: Amd3/Cor1:2008), Amd4:2008 – Streaming video profile – Amendment 4: Simple profile level 6, Amd5:2009 – Simple studio profile levels 5 and 6.
This standard has six amendments: Amd1:2009 – HD-AAC profile and MPEG Surround signaling, Amd2:2010 – ALS simple profile and transport of SAOC, Amd3:2012 – Transport of unified speech and audio coding (USAC), Amd4:2013 – New levels for AAC profiles (this amendment has a corrigendum: Amd4:2013/Cor1:2015), Amd5:2015 – Support for Dynamic Range Control, New Levels for ALS Simple Profile, and Audio Synchronization, and Amd6:2017 – Profiles, levels and downmixing method for 22.2 channel programs.
Parts One through Three are available as the ISO/IEC 14496 – IT Coding of Audio Visual Objects Package.
This standard has around forty amendments. If you’d like to see a list, please refer to Part 4 Amendments.
This standard also has around forty amendments. If you’d like to see a list, please refer to Part 5 Amendments.
This standard has two amendments: Amd1:2015 – Multi-Resolution frame compatible stereoscopic video with depth maps, additional supplemental enhancement information and video usability information and Amd3:2016 – Additional supplemental enhancement information.
This standard has an amendment: Amd1:2018 – Handling of unspecified NAL unit types and other improvements.
This standard has four amendments: Amd1:2011 – Efficient representation of 3D meshes with multiple attributes, Amd2:2014 – Multi-resolution 3D mesh compression, Amd3:2016 – Printing material and 3D graphics coding for browsers, and Amd4:2017 – Pattern-based 3D mesh coding (PB3DMC).
It also has one corrigendum: Cor1:2015.
This standard has one amendment: Amd1:2014 – Updated semantics of Decoder Specific Info and font data description for ISOBMFF.
This document also has a corrigendum: Cor1:2007.
This standard has three amendments: Amd1:2009 – Extensions to support SVGT1.2, Amd2:2010 – Technology for scene adaptation, and Amd3:2010 – Presentation and Modification of Structured Information (PMSI).
It also has one corrigendum: Cor1:2010.
This standard has one corrigendum: Cor1:2007.
This standard has several amendments: Amd2:2010 – BSAC conformance for broadcasting, Amd3:2014 – Conformance for Low Delay AAC v2 profile, and Amd4:2016 – AAC Additional Multichannel Conformance Data.
This standard has several amendments: Amd2:2011 – Scalable complexity 3D mesh coding conformance (this amendment has a corrigendum: Amd2:2011/Cor1:2015), Amd3:2011 – Scalable complexity 3D mesh coding conformance in 3DGCM, Amd4:2012 – Conformance for efficient representation of 3D meshes with multiple attributes, Amd5:2015 – Multi-resolution 3D mesh compression, and Amd6:2015 – Pattern-based 3D mesh coding conformance.
Parts Thirty-One, Thirty-Two, and Thirty-Three are currently under development.