The Moving Picture Experts Group

MAF Overview

This document presents an overview of MPEG’s Multimedia Application Formats (MAF), which provide the framework for integration of elements from several MPEG standards into a single specification that is suitable for specific but widely usable applications. Typically, MAFs specify how to combine metadata with timed media information for a presentation in a well-defined format that facilitates interchange, management, editing, and presentation of the media. The presentation may be ‘local’ to the system or may be accessible via a network or other stream delivery mechanism. Selected Multimedia Application Formats are candidates to become parts of the ISO/IEC 23000 (MPEG-A) specification.

MAF specifications shall integrate elements from different MPEG standards into a single specification that is useful for specific but very widely used applications. Examples are delivering music, pictures or home videos. MAF specifications may use elements from MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, MPEG-7 and MPEG-21.

Typically, MAF specifications include:

  • The ISO file format family for storage
  • MPEG-7 tools for metadata
  • One or more coding Profiles for representing the media
  • Tools for encoding metadata in either binary or textual form (XML)

MAFs may specify use of:

  • MPEG-21 Digital Item Declaration Language for representing the structure of the media and the metadata
  • Other MPEG-21 tools as they are required
  • non-MPEG coding tools (e.g., JPEG) for representation of "non-MPEG" media
  • Elements from non-MPEG standards that are required to achieve full interoperability

MAF Specifications can contain elements from all existing MPEG Standards. MAF specification shall use existing Profiles In exceptional circumstances, non-Profile tool sets may be used.

MAF Specifications shall fully specify the elements that are used from the MPEG standards (and other standards if applicable) with all their constraints, so that full interoperability can be achieved.

MAF Specifications shall specify a core metadata set to be supported by any implementation of that MAF, and may enable private extensions.

Any URNs defined in MAF Specifications shall conform to the structure defined in Annex A.  This requirement supplements the general requirements for URNs in the MPEG namespace, as detailed in IETF RFC 3614 and MPEG output N8945.

MAF Specifications shall be made available in the form of text and Reference Software. The Reference SW shall enable a rapid uptake of the MAF in question.


Published in meeting: