Multiple-image Network Graphics

A PNG-like Image Format Supporting
Multiple Images, Animation and Transparent JPEG


Welcome to the MNG Home Site, maintained by Greg Roelofs with some behind-the-scenes help from Gerard Juyn and Glenn Randers-Pehrson.

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Canonical URL: http://www.libpng.org/pub/mng/ (California, USA)

Mirrors:

[primary site hosted by SourceForge] The MNG site is very closely related to the PNG home site; in fact, it grew out of the PNG site in August 1998. Both sites are hosted courtesy of the ever-so-spiffy folks at SourceForge. Mirror sites have been provided in Texas and the Netherlands courtesy of Gerard Juyn and Triple-T Software; in the UK courtesy of Dave Beckett and the JISC National Mirror Service; in Germany courtesy of Tobias Schwarz and AmbiWeb; in Karlsruhe, Germany, courtesy of Sascha Schwarz and Cybermirror; in Oswiecim, Poland, courtesy of Piotr Maluty and Piotrkosoft; in Hong Kong courtesy of Marco Rinaudo and Internet.bs Corp; and in Vietnam courtesy of Sukit Tanariyakul and VNmirrorSite. Thanks! (But please, no more! We're in good shape at this point.)


The MNG pages are still evolving, but what exists so far is listed below. Most people will probably find the list of MNG-supporting applications to be of the greatest interest. Additions, updates and corrections are always welcome:

 * An Informal History of MNG (below)
 * News (and more history) of the MNG developers
 * MNG Technical Documentation (various formats and mirror sites)
 * Applications with MNG Support
 * MNG-supporting Hardware
 * MNG Programming Information:
 * MNG and JNG Images
 * Links to Other MNG Resources
 * PNG home page

MNG Basics (And How It Came To Be)

MNG (pronounced "ming"), is short for Multiple-image Network Graphics, as one might gather from the title of this page. Designed with the same modular philosophy as PNG and by many of the same people, MNG is intended to provide a home for all of the multi-image capabilities that have no place in PNG.

Although the idea of MNG has been around almost as long as PNG has, serious design discussions didn't begin until May 1996, and even then there was considerable debate over whether to make MNG a dirt-simple "glue" format around PNG or a complex multimedia format capable of integrating animations, audio and even video. By mid-1998, MNG had settled down to something in between; while it has fairly extensive animation and image-manipulation capabilities, there is no serious expectation that it will ever integrate audio or video. (Those are best handled by MPEG, particularly MPEG-4.)

The MNG specification was promoted to "1.0 status" on 11 January 2001, in accordance with an official vote of the MNG developers, and the final, edited version was released on 31 January 2001.

MNG includes a number of interesting features:

Of course, MNG also shares a number of PNG's best features:

MNG also (now) shares mailing lists and mailing-list archives with PNG:

MNG does not share PNG's MIME type, however:

MNG's design and feature list is compelling enough that there were already several applications with some level of MNG support even before the spec was frozen in May 1999--this despite the fact that there was no MNG reference library available for programmers to use. (There is now; Gerard Juyn's libmng implements almost all of the MNG spec for decoding and is what gives Konqueror, some versions of Mozilla/Netscape, and many other apps their MNG support.) In other words, each of the original half-dozen applications represented a completely independent implementation written from scratch. Way to go, folks!

[MNG (apps) now!]
(Button courtesy of Bear "BearCY" Yawnerson.)


Last modified 14 March 2009.
Copyright © 1998-2009 Greg Roelofs.