MPEG-A facilitates the swift development of innovative, standards-based multimedia applications and services. To this end, the MPEG-A introduces a set of standardized Multimedia Application Formats (MAFs), together with their related software implementation. The normative software demonstrates how MAFs are used and offers vendors a head start for developing multimedia products based on MAFs. MPEG's ultimate objective for MAFs is to stimulate the increased use of MPEG technology through additional interoperability of different media types at the application level. Although in the past MPEG has specified profiles, subsets of technologies within specific parts of the standards, such as MPEG-2 Video, it has never recommended the use of specific combinations of profiles across different parts of a standard, such as MPEG-2 Audio and MPEG-2 Video, or across different standards, such as MPEG-4 and MPEG-7. It is this combination of technologies across MPEG standards which is the topic of MPEG-A.
ISO/IEC TR 23000-1:2007 contains a description of the original motivation for this new family of standards and the concept underlying the construction of all other parts (MAFs) of ISO/IEC 23000. Furthermore, it provides a short overview of all MAFs that have been standardized to date.