Inventors at UCSD have invented a method for a multimedia information retrieval system and method including a method and system for automatic format conversion. This invention is especially useful in the field of multimedia information systems and more particularly to encoding/decoding techniques. The invention includes a data structure that is associated with each multimedia bitstream. The data structure identifies the encoding format, e.g., compression technique, used in the multimedia bitstream which is originated by a contents server. An automatic format conversion process then queries information from the client system (requester) and also receives the data structure identifying the encoding format. The client information identifies the decoding format. The automatic format conversion determines the transcoding process required for converting the bitstream from its encoded format to the format recognized by the client system. The format conversion process of the present invention also determines whether or not decoding is required before transcoding is performed thereby saving processing time and computer resources in those cases where decoding is not required. Moreover, the format conversion process also automatically determines the computer memory size required to perform the transcoding process thereby saving computer memory resources. The format converter can be implemented in software as an application and can also be integrated within a data access server. The data access server can be integrated within the client system or within the contents server. The format converter of the invention is particularly useful for electronic devices coupled in a communication network where the encoding format of the sender may not be compatible with the decoding format of the receiver, thereby requiring transcoding between the formats.
This is an issued patent - 6,463,445. Licenses are available.
|United States Of America||Issued Patent||6,463,445||10/08/2002||2000-028|