The first decade of the new milennium can easily be labeled the "age of multimedia." Advances in computer hardware and software, coupled with advances in communication systems and devices from the Internet to wireless personal assistants, are becoming part of the everyday lives of hundreds of millions of people worldwide. Central to these rapid advances is the use of "multiple media," more specifically digital interactive multimedia, such as sound, computer graphics, animation, text, and video, as tools for communication. Multimedia are first and foremost a means of communication between humans. In the past 15 years the development of user-friendly software has been aimed specifically at eliminating the need for computer users to know how to write computer code and programs. However, it is clear that a fundamental understanding of how a computer functions is a great advantage in maximizing its potential as a tool. This is also true for multimedia communications. To take full advantage of the potential for a wide array of multimedia applications, it is important to have a broad understanding of the principles of various media. Introduction to Multimedia Systems has been developed to be the first place to turn, as an introductory textbook or as a professional reference, for anyone diving into multimedia preparation. A full survey of multimedia capabilities is covered in this book. Website Feature: Learning by doing! The editors have developed this book in combination with a wide array of sample software and Web links for the reader to learn how to build by example. Each part of the book has a direct link to a publicly accessibly Web site that maintains these available software tools. The Web links will be updated as software versions advance, and most of the software involves demo or scaled-down versions of commercially available multimedia design software/editing tools. The Web site can be accessed at http://www.academicpress.com/multimedia .Mitra, Sugata is the author of 'Introduction to Multimedia Systems' with ISBN 9780125004527 and ISBN 0125004524.