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Multimedia refers to content that uses a combination of different content forms. This contrasts with media that use only rudimentary computer displays such as text-only or traditional forms of printed or hand-produced material. Multimedia includes a combination of text, audio, still images, animation, video, or interactive content.

Multimedia can be recorded and played, displayed, dynamic, interacted with or accessed by information content processing devices, such as computerized and electronic devices, but can also be part of a live performance. Multimedia devices are electronic media devices used to store and experience multimedia content.  The term “rich media” is synonymous for interactive multimedia. Hypermedia scales up the amount of media content in multimedia application.

Multimedia may be broadly divided into linear and nonlinear categories. Linear active content progresses often without any navigational control for the viewer such as a cinema presentation. Nonlinear uses interactivity to control progress as with a video game or self-paced computer based training. Hypermedia is an example of non-linear content.

Much of the electronic old and new media used by commercial artists and graphic designers is multimedia. Exciting presentations are used to grab and keep attention in advertising. Business to business, and interoffice communications are often developed by creative services firms for advanced multimedia presentations beyond simple slideshows to sell ideas or liven-up training. Commercial multimedia developers may be hired to design for governmental services and nonprofit services applications as well.

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