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Coder-Decoder (Codec)

Coder-Decoder or Codec is a technology in telecommunications and computing that is used for encoding and decoding a data stream or signal.

In the context of digital media, codecs are essential for compressing (encoding) and decompressing (decoding) audio and video data. 

  • Data Compression and Decompression: Codecs compress data to reduce file size for storage or transmission and then decompress it for playback or editing. This is crucial for efficiently managing and transmitting large media files like videos and audio tracks.

  • Types of Codecs: There are both audio and video codecs. Audio codecs are used for music and voice, such as MP3 or AAC. Video codecs, like H.264 or MPEG-4, are used for movies, streaming video, and other visual media.

  • Lossy and Lossless Compression: Codecs can use lossy or lossless compression methods. Lossy compression (e.g., MP3, JPEG) reduces file size by removing some data, which can affect quality. Lossless compression (e.g., FLAC, PNG) retains all the original data, ensuring high quality at the cost of larger file sizes.

  • Standardization and Compatibility: Codec standards ensure compatibility across different devices and software. For instance, a standard video codec like H.264 allows videos to be played on various devices and platforms.

Codecs are fundamental to the digital media industry, enabling the efficient encoding, transmission, and decoding of audio and video data for a wide range of applications, from streaming services to video conferencing.

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