What Are Codecs?

Posted January 5, 2013 by Desert Valley Audio Video


Most people who use computers enjoy listening to streaming music and watching streaming video from the many popular media sites that are available. Many people also enjoy buying downloadable music of different formats and movies online instead of going to a physical store. No matter how you enjoy your audio and video on your computer, there is a good chance that you have seen a popup in your browser or media player that says that you need to install a codec to play a file. What exactly is a codec? Today we will tell you what codecs are, and how they work.

What is a Codec?

Codecs are program installments which allow the data in media files to be conveniently transferred to and opened in computer media player applications, or to allow you to view and listen to streaming media without interruption. Codecs essentially compress and decompress media to allow the best, uninterrupted performance on your system.

Examples: mp3, DViX, FLAC, .mov

There are two different types of codecs:

Lossless Codecs: Lossless codecs contain all of the original data that was a part of the produced file, meaning that no audio or video information is sacrificed when it is compressed.

Lossy Codecs: Lossy codecs contain most of the audio/video content, but are missing bits of information as a means to reduce the file size.

The Difference: Lossless codecs contain complete information, while lossy ones contain a reduced amount of information. Lossless codecs are large files which take up more space on your computer, and lossy ones are small files which allow you to store more on your computer.

Now you know the basics of codecs and how they work. Contact a representative at Desert Valley Audio Video to get answers to any of your questions involving audio and video.

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