MPEG1, which was the original video format used in CDRoms and VideoCDs, has 24-bit color and CD-quality sound. It was followed by MPEG2 - the standard for DVD movies - and has developed into MPEG4, which is backward compatible with the older formats. It produces high quality video at small file sizes and uses lossy intraframe compression.
AVI (Audio Video Interleave) developed by Microsoft, is a popular format for audio/video data on the computer but it is of relatively low quality.
Quicktime, created by Apple, is capable of storing video, audio and single photographs. It supports most encoding formats including JPEG and MPEG. It can also create or view virtual reality and 3D graphics and it allows the integration of text, graphics, video and sound into one file. To view files in web browsers a (free) plug-in is required.
RealVideo is a streaming format, which means compressed files can be played during download rather than having to wait for the file to be completed. It supports third party formats such as AVI, WAV, MIDI and MPEG. Just like Quicktime it requires a (free) RealPlayer plug-in to receive and play data. Most digicams have video possibilities with sound. Their recording time is mostly limited to storage capacity on the memory card.