The Moving Picture Experts Group

Media Streaming Application Format

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MPEG Media Streaming Application Format (MSAF)


MPEG doc#: N8827
Date: January 2007
Authors: Filippo Chiariglione, Hyon-Gon Choo



The ISO/IEC 23000-5 Media Streaming Player MAF standardises a "streaming format" which, when combined with associated protocols leads to a full Media Streaming Player specification.

The standard specifies how to use specific MPEG technologies to achieve this goal, and references the data formats exchanged between a number of devices in a media streaming scenario: a Content Provider Device, a License Provider Device, an IPMP Tool Provider Device, a Domain Management Device and a Media Streaming Player.

The figure below shows the scope of the Media Streaming Player MAF: the data flowing through the dotted block is the subject of this standard.

Figure 1 — The Media Streaming Player MAF system overview

In the most general case a Media Streaming Player obtains streaming content from a Content Provider Device using a Content Access Protocol. In order to use that content, a Media Streaming Player obtains a licence from a License Provider Device using a License Access Protocol. Further, to actually process the content, a Media Streaming Player may need to obtain the appropriate IPMP Tools from an IPMP Tool Provider Device using an IPMP Tool Access Protocol.

The format of the media streaming content specified as part of this MAF relies on a number of MPEG technologies such as ISO/IEC 21000-2, ISO/IEC 21000-3, ISO/IEC 21000-4, ISO/IEC 21000-5, ISO/IEC 21000-9, ISO/IEC 21000-18, as well as on several MPEG-2/4 standards related to audio/video encoding, as this MAF specifies "native" resources for some application scenarios. Some of the Standards mentioned above are referenced in their entirety by ISO/IEC 23000-5. Some others, on the other hand, are only used partially, and in a specific way.

For supporting the operation of IPMP Tools on a device or between two different devices in an interoperable fashion, ISO/IEC 23000-5 employs the IPMP Messages specified in ISO/IEC CD 23001-3 Binary to XML mapping for IPMP-X.

ISO/IEC 23000-5 also employs ISO/IEC 29216 Media Streaming MAF Protocols as the specification of a set of protocols allowing the devices in Figure 1 to exchange information required for the establishment of a media streaming system in an interoperable way.

ISO/IEC 23000-5 is aimed at applications involving the distribution of governed media resources, metadata and related information over streaming channels to Media Streaming Players, possibly members of a domain in which the content can be securely distributed once stored in a file. Typical examples of such applications are the IPTV and the Digital Broadcasting without a return channel.