Frequently Ask Question
- How do you plan to make money from the MIS specification? (new: 2008-01-30)
We will make money from the optional small advertisement yearly fee (see store) and from our other products/services. For example, we also offer paid support via email if it's really needed. We also have the MISfan blog setup to publish press release by companies wanting to promote(small fee) a new product or service.
- Do you have a software Audio/Video player that support .MIS?
Yes and try MIS Info Video. If your favorite player don't support the specification, we suggest that you ask them to support it and to be patient with them. The specification offer many options (tags) and will take some time for them to add or they may just support a few tags at a time.
Our own application, MIS Info Video, support most of the tags with a few exceptions(i.e. questions tags). You could use MIS Info Video as the launch pad for your videos. MIS Info Video is configure to use the default video player associated with the file extension or use the internal player.
- Why my DVD player do not show me the information about my media file (I burn the .MIS and media file) ?
You must ask the manufacturer of the product to support it. It may not be possible to support your product because of technical reasons.
- Why product X don't support all the features?
It's up to them to support or not certain features. It may be in their list of things to do or it just not possible for technical reasons.
A DVD player with no connection to the internet. They may show you only the URL.
- I found a product that support a .MIS but it's not on your web page of supported products? (updated: 2008-01-30)
We update our pages as soon a new product have paid the optional advertisement fee (see store). It's optional but very affordable.
- Why did you not make it available as an open specification? (updated: 2008-01-30)
In our case, we feel that companies interested in supporting the specification may be more comfortable to deal with us for support and not have to rely on volunteers that will answer at their convenience as they generally have other occupations.
There are other popular commercial file formats that are available with licensing but still not free for non-commercial application. In our case, we encourage it. We also wanted to keep control on the "tags" to make the specification has stable as possible. We do accept proposals for new "tags".
Do not forget that for each portable music player or DVD player, the maker must pay a royalties to the right owners for each format they want to support.
The fact that a format is open, non-proprietary, patent-and-royalty-free, does not necessarily ensure it's acceptance by companies.
- Why not use XML? (updated: 2008-01-30)
We have nothing against XML (we did considered it at first) but we wanted to keep the control on the "tags" to make the specification as stable as possible and have a less common file extension (.MIS) to differentiate the specification. We could have used a closed binary file format but we wanted the end user (and we mean almost anyone) to be able to read (more human-readable) and change (with a simple text editor) the content without having the "zigzag" visual effect common to XML. It was also taught with the current and future consumer electronics market in mind. A DVD player, for example, does not need a XML engine. It is a file specification on it's own with it's own rules.
The file is divided in 3 columns: Tag (always 15 characters, padded with spaces at the right), Separator (always 1 character), Value (0-200 characters). This way, any programming languages can read the file with low-level or advanced (e.g. Visual Foxpro) file functions. Also, not every programming languages has or needs functions to deal with XML. It was never our intention to be supported by any programming languages neither (e.g. Word, PDF, DivX... are also not internally supported by any languages).
Our own product, MIS Info Video, creates a small database with only a few tags from each of the .MIS in a folder but when the user selects a title, it will read the .MIS associated with the title. It was never meant to serve as a database even if it could be done.
Even XML is now being criticize. There are no perfect solutions but we strongly feel that ours is the best in this particular case.
- Is it supposed to replaced the internal metadata in current media format?
Of course not, but to extend and expose the non-technical content. We did add some tags for the codec information but the main ideal was to have a common file that is independent of the original file/format. We do not expect current codec's to support it internally as we know it won't be a feasible solution but future codec's versions could (e.g. putting a flag in the file header would mean that a .MIS is possible, available or it is the main metadata content holder).
If you convert a media file from codec A to B, the technical information (filename, resolutions, codec...) may change but the content (title, description, credit...) is still the same and are not necessary kept by codec B. It is not a problem with a .MIS.
One other major draw back of the current codec's is that they do not support more than one metadata languages at the same time. Some may support a few subtext or audio languages internally but not multiple metadata languages. Here in Canada, English and French are the 2 official languages. The government can release a video file with the audio in both languages and with the help of a .MIS, the users could see the title, description, links.. in a language that the user can understand.
Yes, it adds another file but you could have .MIS for the more important (weeding picture's, baby's first step video...) multimedia media files (supported or not by the codec).
From a programming stand point, it is easier to read one .MIS file than to try to decode or get the information from the multiple of existing codec's.
We still think of the specification as a standard metadata file for picture's, music's and video's files.
- What is behind the reason that the creation of Software Error (content-type 14)? (updated: 2008-01-30)
Why reinvent the software error writing every time? The idea behind it is that, hopefully, programmers everywhere will use it so to have a standard way to write errors in any software. As they changed jobs/projects or write their own personal applications, the standard will make it easier for a new employee to look at an error file and understand it. You could program your own internal error manager (no license), use a freeware/open source error manager or buy a commercial error manager.
- What is behind the reason that the use of WEBINFO.MIS (content-type 17)? (updated: 2008-01-30)
The idea behind it is simple: protect children, help parents and site owner keep their investment in their current domain. You could use a freeware/open source web browser/filtering software or buy a commercial web browser/filtering software .
We will consider all request for future versions, but to make our task easier, write it the same way as the existing ones.
- I am a developer of an application/web site, will it cost me a lot? (updated: 2008-01-30)
No, it is Free but you can buy optional advertisement for 1 year (see store).
- We have a discontinued DVD player (2004 and lower) that plays MP3/MP4. Can we support .MIS and at what cost? (updated: 2008-01-30)
You can support the .MIS via firmware upgrade and it will only cost you for time to program the firmware. We suggest that you limit yourself to the basic (title, description...) and that should only take between 5-10 hours. Your clients will appreciate your effort in supporting older products and eventually want more by buying a newer/current model that support more features.
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Last modified: 01/14/08