Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language

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The Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language ( SMIL; . Pronunciation as engl smile) is an XML- based, from the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C ) standard developed for a markup language for time-synchronized multimedia contents. SMIL allows the integration and management of multimedia elements such as audio, video, text and graphics in web pages; SMIL files can be linked to Java applets and servlets or CGI scripts and so, for example, to access a database. Smil is used as the file extension. Smi or. .

  • 3.1 SMIL 1.0
  • 3.2 SMIL 2.0
  • 3.3 SMIL 2.1
  • 3.4 SMIL 3.0
  • 5.1 Outpatient
  • 5.2 Real Player
  • 5.3 HelixDNA client
  • 5.4 QuickTime
  • 5.5 Overview

Areas of application

SMIL applications can be used in many ways. They are suitable especially for applications to be enriched with additional media where videos played. In addition to the examples presented here further applications are conceivable. Especially in combination with SVG and ECMAScript open up applications that correspond to those of Adobe Flash and other rich Internet applications.

Computer -assisted instruction

An example can be computer-aided instruction with SMIL accumulate. In this case, it is very helpful, time-controlled display texts and additional information about a video. The video can for example automatically pause at key points in order to give the viewer the opportunity to record the appropriate information at rest. The viewer can thereby determine the speed of learning itself. Also can be built up by links in the video, or additional media interactive hypermedia structure. This allows the viewer to determine the direction of self- learning in addition to the speed of learning. Previously this was not possible with conventional linear video. Besides the advantages for the viewer resulting benefits for the author. So it can establish a SMIL presentation modular and thus achieve a higher degree of reuse, which allows time and cost savings. In addition, less space is required by a higher reuse.

Video editing

By the timing and fading functionalities SMIL may be used as a cutting tool. The author can specify exactly one frame at the beginning, the end and the active duration of a video or other element. Through small workarounds even a longer linear video are " cut " into smaller units, without the video file is actually changed. In contrast to professional video editing software will need the information about crop marks and other features only a few kilobytes. SMIL offers a variety of transition effects that can be changed even by further information. Also the blending of text and image is readily possible. These can be changed or replaced in any size and position. In addition, SMIL can include additional audio tracks. These and all other elements can be automatically selected depending on the user language without the user intervention. Here, too, individual elements can be reused. In addition, picture-in- picture or picture-by - picture even displays are possible. The biggest advantage is that the cut and edited video does not have to be time consuming rendered in a binary format. Any change can be immediately viewed and published.


Some of the key features of SMIL:

  • Specification of the layout and synchronization;
  • Adjustment to the transmission bandwidth;
  • Selection of different language versions;
  • Adapt to different screen resolutions and color depths;
  • Hyperlink support;
  • Easy to learn, just like HTML.


The current version to be used is SMIL 3.0.

SMIL 1.0

The W3C published in June 1998, the first official recommendation for SMIL 1

SMIL 2.0

The official recommendation for SMIL 2 was released in August 2001. Their non-normative previous Boston -Draft has been used for new implementations ( IE5.5 ).

SMIL 2 led, along with some extensions, with a modularization primarily a fundamental structural changes. The modularization is to integrate parts of the specification within another ( XML ) format playability allows you ( namespace mechanism), or a defined subset of the specification to implement.

From the vector graphics format SVG animation elements using version 2 adopted and expanded. An independent animation (as well as the showing and hiding of video content ) was not provided for in SMIL. SVG provides version 1.1 also expressly provide for integration of own format by SMIL.

SMIL 2.1

SMIL 2.1 is since December 2005 in the final version. This version contains a small number of extensions that mainly affect the use with mobile devices with multimedia messaging service.

SMIL 3.0

SMIL 3.0 has been submitted Draft December 21, 2006 as a W3C Working. The final version was released on 1 December 2008. Version 3.0 extends the functionality of SMIL 2.1 and replaced this version as a W3C Recommendation.


SMIL is text-based and an application of XML. The basic syntax defines the layout of the multimedia presentation; the timing and the interaction with the presentation is easy to learn. In principle, you can create or change a SMIL file with any text editor.

The creation of SMIL is supported by various applications:

  • Adobe GoLive!
  • Allaires Home Site
  • Oratrix GRiNS Editor
  • Macromedia Dreamweaver in conjunction with the G2 Objects
  • LIMSee 2.0 and 3.0 LIMSee
  • Cinema, free video editing program for Unix

While SMIL1 a standing for itself file format is SMIL2 can also be integrated into other file formats, such as XHTML or SVG. To this end, the namespace mechanism of the XML format is used, upon which all mentioned formats.

So far, SMIL has been found in the industry, no concrete and successful application. The first widespread use was in the SMIL HD DVD.



Ambulant is an open- source project of the Center Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI) in the Netherlands. Ambulant the only player that SMIL 2.1 is fully supported. Ambulant is available for Windows, Mac OS X, Linux and Pocket PCs with Windows CE.


RealPlayer plays SMIL files since version 8 In addition, the Player Real Text in SMIL files understands. This allows more formatting and time-dependent processes in SMIL presentations. Also RealPlayer allows some specific extensions that are understood only by him. An example of this is "rp: BackgroundOpacity " which allows transparent graphics or video.

HelixDNA client

The streaming media company RealNetworks offers the player Helix DNA Client for Linux as Open Source Software under the RealNetworks Public Source License to.


Apple's QuickTime Player supports only a subset of the entire SMIL 1.0 language scope.