Developing the code to parse and generate multimedia bitstreams has traditionally been a repetitive and error-prone task. It has also been an area of application development that defied the goal of software reuse. In contrast, BSDL abstracts the minutiae of bitstream parsing out of software code, into an interoperable data file (the BSDL schema), allowing developers to concentrate on the functionality of their particular application. BSDL's approach has demonstrated applications at numerous points in the multimedia delivery chain. In the future, this approach may be extended to still other processing tasks, such as transcoding and transmoding, or to types of binary data other than multimedia.