Two instructional videos from the xiph.org foundation, a “non-profit corporation dedicated to protecting the foundations of Internet multimedia from control by private interests” give a really excellent introduction and overview of Digital Media.
The first video – A Digital Media Primer for Geeks – discusses the current state of digital media – which everyone now has the power to manipulate, digital audio fundamentals (sampling rate, bit depth and channels) and video basics (frame rates, interlacing, gamma etc).
The second video – Digital Show & Tell – dives a little deeper into digital audio, covering the difference between analog and digital and converting from one to the other.
Demonstrations of sampling, quantization, bit-depth, and dither explore digital audio behavior on real audio equipment using both modern digital analysis and vintage analog bench equipment… just in case we can’t trust those newfangled digital gizmos. You can also download the source code for each demo and try it all for yourself!
The videos are well presented, fun, easy to understand, with great demos presenting an intuitive way to understand how digital audio works. The videos are produced under Creative Commons non-commercial share-alike license and can be freely downloaded and shared for non-commercial purposes.
If you have a spare half hour or two, I’d highly recommend checking them out, even if you’re familiar with the concepts presented.