In this paper, from the standpoint of their potential for multimedia applications/services we examine key new elements of the MPEG-4 standard as well as concepts leading to the ongoing work for the MPEG-7 standard. We first examine generic requirements common to several practical future multimedia applications/services. We then identify and examine key new features of the MPEG-4 standard such as, image/video objects, facial animation, advanced sound, integration with the web, multi-user worlds and Java control. Next, we briefly review the goal, requirements and progress in the ongoing work on the MPEG-7 standard. We then discuss the player we intend to use which integrates a number of key features of MPEG-4 and search and retrieval concepts similar to that of MPEG-7 standard, as well as how to create content for the player. Next, we discuss an example multimedia application that we have developed. Finally, we summarize the key highlights of the paper.