The book is organised in ten chapters, which are broadly separated into three sections. The first section, comprises chapters one through four, and is about technology: we cover media data types; network technology especially looking at so-called real-time support; multicast routing support for interactive multimedia; coding and compression. The second section consists of three chapters and is about middleware: we discuss transport protocols and the important concept of application layer framing; we look at multimedia session creation, advertisement, invitation and so on; we look at conference control architectures. The third section is in three chapters and is about applications, and application support: we look at the applications themselves (audio, video, shared authoring/viewing of documents and so on); lastly, we discuss media on demand; we describe the security requirements and mechanisms for providing solutions to problems.
Each chapter in this book starts with an introduction, which explains what the chapter covers, then has a roadmap which explains how the material in the chapter fits together, and ends with a summary which captures what has been explained in the chapter.
This is a very fast moving area. We have attempted to be as accurate as possible, but this book is out of date even before we write it! The standards and the code and applications themselves are, as always, the best source of information.