Digital media is electronic multimedia that can be stored on a computer. It includes digital images, digital audio, digital video, and animation, for example. A digital media program can create digital media, edit digital media, or play digital media and may have other functions as well. It is usually designed for specific operating systems.
For each type of digital media, there is a wide range of software choices for each stage of working with the media, from capture through publication. Choosing the best digital media program involves identifying the type of digital media you want to work with, the operating system you want to work with it on, and what you want to do with the digital media. In addition, the quality you need will determine whether you need a consumer product or a professional product. Only when these four elements are specified can you choose the best digital media program for your purposes. It is worth investing time in assessing the field and trying out demo software, when possible, in order to get the best digital media program for you.
For example, an image from a digital camera could edited in a high-end software program like Adobe® PhotoShop® or its lighter version PhotoShop® Elements. In PhotoShop®, you can do professional editing and use the accompanying module Bridge to organize photographs or view a slideshow. PhotoShop® Elements has fewer editing features, but more possibilities for sharing. Alternatively, you could use options provided with one’s operating system, like Apple® iPhoto — part of iLife® and supplied with many of its computers — or Windows Live™ Photo Gallery a feature of Windows 7® and Windows Vista®. Each of these two latter programs allows you to do simple image editing, as well as organize your photos, create a slide show, email photos, etc.
A digital image does not need to be from a camera. It could be created in Comic Life Magiq® or another drawing program, and in that case the range of programs for creating, editing, and displaying it would be different. It might be headed for page layout software to be combined with digital text and made into an ebook. Or it might be placed into a web design program to become the header of a website.
For an example in another area, digital audio can be created completely on a computer in a program like GarageBand® or created from acoustic audio, recorded directly onto the computer or by other means. Whatever the origins of the sound file, it can be edited in a program like Audacity®, and played or converted to a different format in a program like iTunes®. Alternatively, the digital audio could be created with a professional music notation program like Sibelius®.