3D animation
A video technique used to produce special effects for movies, as well as entire animated films; examples include digitally animated films, such as Planes and the Shrek series.

3D CAD software
Applications used by engineers and scientists to create wireframe drawings of objects, which they can rotate to view from multiple angles; users can also overlay materials on wireframes to see the visual impact of different ones.

AAC and M4P
Formats used for iTunes downloads; files are compressed and copy protected and have .aac and .m4p file extensions.

AIFF (Audio Interchange File Format)
An uncompressed audio file format; AIFF files have.aiff or .aif file extensions, are large, and have good to excellent sound quality.

Analog sound
Continuous sound waves created in response to vibrations in the surrounding air, such as a drumstick hitting a drum pad. See also Digitize, Sampling, and Sampling software.

Animated GIF
A series of slightly different bitmap images displayed in sequence to achieve animation effects.

Animation software
Application programs that lets you create animations to give objects the appearance of motion or activity; examples include Adobe Illustrator, Adobe After Effects, Adobe Flash, and Microsoft Silverlight.

The art of bringing an object to life by giving it the appearance of motion or activity.

Audio capture and editing software
Applications that let you edit, copy, and share digital audio files.

Audio input device
A device that lets you input sound to a computer, such as microphone or headset.

Audio software
Applications included on portable media players such as iPods and smartphones that often offer features such as file-shuffling and volume control.

In the virtual world program Second Life, a virtual (imaginary) identity that can role-play with other characters, spend money to build homes, and buy goods such as clothing.

A form of social media that lets you create and update an online journal that you share with readers; examples include Twitter, Blogger, WordPress, and Tumblr.

The Windows bitmap graphics file format; BMP files have the .bmp file extension and can be large.

Browser plug-in
An application that plays certain types of audio files, such as MP3 or RA files, on a computer; examples include RealPlayer or QuickTime.

A digital video camera with the recorder in the same unit.

Clip Art gallery
A collection of illustrations and photos that often comes with application software, such as Microsoft Office.

Standing for compressor/decompressor, software that converts raw, uncompressed video into other formats and reduces file size for distribution; Moving Pictures Experts Group (MPEG) is a popular video compression standard, with a widely used codec called MPEG-4 or MP4.

Collaborative project
A form of social media that lets you read, add, and discuss articles about topics of interest; examples include Wikipedia, WikiAnswers, and Wikia.

A process that makes graphics files smaller by reducing the number of bits the files contain.

Computer-aided design (CAD) software
Applications used by architects, scientists, designers, engineers, and others to create highly detailed and technically accurate drawings, which can be shared, modified, and enhanced with exceptional speed and accuracy.

Content sharing
A form of social media that lets you view and distribute media and documents.

A type of crowdsourcing in which individuals come together on the Internet to provide funding that will support others in an endeavor.

The use of the Internet and the general public to accomplish a task or solve a problem for the benefit of all.

Digital audio
Any type of sound that is recorded and stored as a series of 1s and 0s.

Digital camera
A camera that creates a digital image of an object, person, or scene.

Digital graphic
An image you can see, store, and manipulate on a computer, tablet, smartphone, or other digital device.

Digital video
A series of image frames displayed quickly enough for us to perceive them as continuous motion; can come from a digital video camera, video-enabled smartphone, DVD, or digital video recording (DVR) device.

Digital video camera
A camera that is capable of capturing video files in a digital format, as a series of 0s and 1s.

To convert sound to a format your computer can read. See also Sound waves, Analog sound, and Sampling.

To transfer a file, such as a graphics, from an online source onto your computer.

Drawing program
Software applications such as CorelDRAW, that lets you create simple cartoon-like images.

File sharing
A form of social media that lets you send and receive files from others on an Internet location; examples include Dropbox, WeTransfer, and Egnyte.

Force feedback
A technology used in some game controllers that lets the users feel vibration or resistance in response to their actions.

Frames per second (fps)
A way to describe animation speed and quality, in which each frame contains an image; television uses 30 fps, many videos use 24 fps, and 3D computer games often display 60 fps.

Game console
Hardware that allows you to play video games; examples include Xbox, Nintendo Wii, and Sony PlayStation.

Game controller
An input device used to control movement and actions of players or objects in computer games, simulations, and video games; examples include joysticks, wheels, and gamepads, or might look like a steering wheel, a guitar, a TV remote, or many other forms.

A vector graphics file format used for simple graphics and short Web animation; GIF files have the .gif file extension.

An image or picture.

Graphics software
Software applications that allow you to create graphics or modify existing ones.

Graphics tablet
A hardware device used to create drawings with a pressure-sensitive pen; used by architects, mapmakers, designers, and artists.

HD (high-definition) video
Video technology that produces a much sharper picture than standard definition video.

Head-mounted display
A display device designed to give a personal, immersive gaming experience, often in 3D; may use OLED (organic light-emitting diode) technology to display the game and respond to motion.

An audio input device that combines speakers and a microphone into one device.

Image-editing software
Software applications that let you open and modify existing images.

An animation technique using a sequence of bitmap images, in which one or more objects is changed slightly between each image; the in-between bitmaps can be created manually or by computer.

A bitmap graphics file format used by many digital cameras; JPEG files have the jpeg or jpg file extension, and can be large.

Live streaming
A method of transferring media content to a computer, such as sports events, in which the content is sent out live, as it happens, and is available only once.

Lossless compression
A form of reducing graphics file size in which none of the original file data is discarded; TIF, PNG, and GIF files can be compressed using lossless compression. See also Lossy compression.

Lossy compression
A form of reducing graphics file size in which some of the original file data is discarded; the "lost" data is generally not noticeable; JPEG files use lossy compression. See also Lossless compression.

Media player
A software application that lets you play audio and video files; most tablets and smartphones include media players.

Media sharing
A form of social media that lets you view and distribute pictures, videos, and audio files; examples include YouTube, Break, Flickr, and Picasa.

On a digital camera, the measurement that describes its maximum resolution; the higher the number of megapixels, the higher the resolution of photos, and the larger the picture files.

A form of social media that lets you share short messages with readers; Twitter is the best known microblogging site.

MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface)
A system for creating and storing synthesized music; MIDI files do not contain sound, but instead contain instructions for generating specific sounds, including pitch, volume, and note duration.

To combine, such as mixing sound files in the Apple GarageBand music production software program.

Motion-sensing game console
A game console that may be used for activities other than entertainment; for example, doctors can practice their fine motor skills on surgery simulators using motion-sensing game consoles.

Moving Pictures Experts Group (MPEG)
A popular video compression standard, with a widely used codec called MPEG-4 or MP4. See also Codec.

A common format for music files; files are compressed and have an .mp3 extension.

Music production software
Applications such as Apple GarageBand that let you record, compose, mix (combine), and edit music and sounds.

OLED (organic light-emitting diode) technology
A technology featuring organic materials that emit light in the presence of electricity; used on many screens for mobile phones, digital cameras, and TVs.

On-demand content
Media such as radio or TV shows, in which the original media file is stored on the media distributor's server, and is sent to your computer for viewing; because the file is stored, you can watch it many times; on-demand content includes Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, and Pandora Internet Radio.

Paint software
Software applications that use brush tools and paint palettes that simulate water colors, pastels, and oil paints, such as Microsoft Paint.

Individual sound units; speech synthesizers break words into individual phonemes and string them together to form words and phrases.

Photo-editing software
Applications, such as Adobe PhotoShop, that let you enhance and correct photographs.

A component, such as Adobe Flash Player, added to a Web browser that decodes streamed content.

A bitmap graphics file format used for Web graphics, which are of good quality and highly compressed; PNG files use the .png file extension.

PowerPoint transition
In the PowerPoint presentation program, the animation that appears as one slide moves to another.

A compressed file format for music files supported by RealPlayer; files have an .ra file extension, and sound quality can be substandard.

The process of applying highlights and shadows to a wireframe drawing to create a solid 3D image.

Resolution dependent
Describes graphics whose image quality deteriorates as size increases; bitmap graphics are resolution dependent, but vector graphics keep the same quality as their size increases.

The clarity or sharpness of an image: the higher the resolution, the sharper the image.

A process that converts analog sound waves into digital sound. See also Sampling software, Digitize, and Analog sound.

Sampling software
Application that breaks sound wave into separate segments, or samples, and stores each sample numerically. See also Digitize, Sampling, and Analog sound.

A hardware device that converts a printed document into a bitmap file by dividing the image into a grid of tiny cells and assigning colors to each cell.

Set-top box
Hardware that allows you to view streaming media on your TV set; examples include Apple TV, Roku, or Google Chromecast.

A sophisticated computer animation that is useful for training and teaching in many fields, particularly in areas in which learning can be dangerous or difficult.

Visual created by audio software to go along with the sounds being played.

Smart TV
Televisions that incorporates the Internet abilities of set-top boxes, including streaming media and social media.

A mobile device with multiple capabilities; can act as a cellular phone, Web browser, document reader and editor, Global Positioning Service, text communication device, and digital camera.

Social bookmarking
A form of social media that lets you tag (mark) and search Web sites; share Web sites, articles, news stories, and media; examples include Delicious, Reddit, and Digg.

Social media
Refers to the many ways computer users share information and interact using the Internet; the information they share ranges from stories, photos, news, and opinions to complete diaries, daily life updates, professional networking and job searching, as well as sophisticated games.

Social networking
A form of social media that lets you share ideas, opinions, photos, videos, and Web sites; examples include Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, and Myspace.

Software development kit (SDK)
A collection of tools graphic artists and technical illustrators use to create game-playing interfaces, multiplayer control, and more; includes advanced software and graphics tablets to generate complex images.

Sound card
A circuit board that gives a computer the ability to process sound.

Sound recorder software
An application program that can capture sound from an audio input device such as a microphone or headset.

Speech recognition software
Software application that analyzes speech sounds and converts them into phonemes, which are then matched to words in a digital dictionary and written as text on a computer screen. Also called speech-to-text.

Speech synthesizer
Software that breaks words into individual sound units, called phonemes and string them together to create words and phrases.

Stand-alone player
An application that plays certain types of audio files on a desktop or laptop computer.

Streaming media
A way of viewing audio and video content on your computer; lets you watch or listen to the content as it arrives.

Streaming video
A technology that transfers a segment of a video file from the Web to your computer, letting that segment play while the next segment is being sent.

SWF format
A graphics format created by Adobe Flash, to create static or animated graphics for Web use; SWF graphics use the .swf extension.

Synthesized sounds
Sounds that are created artificially by computers and special software.

Text-to-speech software
Applications that generate sounds from phoneme sequences to create synthesized speech.

A bitmap graphics file format used for photos and graphics; TIF files have the tif or tiff file extension, and can be large.

Graphic that helps a viewer know when one scene ends and another begins; you can use video-editing software to insert transitions such as fades and swipes between scenes.

A technology that combines moving images and sound; can range from home slide shows on your home computer to feature-length high-definition Hollywood movies.

Video card
A circuit board that lets your computer process video.

Video conferencing
Face-to-face meetings using computers; video conferencing software programs include Microsoft Lync and Google Hangouts.

Video console
Hardware with special controllers that let you play video games.

Video-editing software
Applications that makes it possible for anyone with a home computer to enhance and customize video; video-editing programs include Windows Movie Maker and Apple iMovie.

Virtual game world
A form of social media that lets you play games with others in a simulated environment; examples include virtual reality games such as World of Warcraft and Second Life.

Virtual social world
A form of social media that lets you interact socially with others in a simulated environment; examples include forums, wikis, blogs, and chatrooms.

Virtual world
Communities participating in commerce and daily activities on the Internet, such as Second Life.

Voice narration that can accompany a slide presentation or other video.

Standing for Waveform Audio, an uncompressed audio file format; files have a .wav file extension, are large, and have good to excellent sound quality.

Web cam
A digital video camera that captures video and sends it directly to a computer; often built into laptops, tablets, and smartphones, they can also be attached through a USB or FireWire port.

Wireframe drawing
A 3D object composed of individual lines; you can then apply highlights and shadows to create a solid 3D image in a process called rendering.

WMA (Windows Media Audio)
A compressed audio file format that can be played using Windows Media Player; WMA files have the .wma file extension and are copy-protected.