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Transcoding is the process of converting an audio or video file from one encoding format to another in order to improve the number of appropriate goal devices a media file may be performed on.
Encoding and transcoding are typically used interchangeably, however the processes, though carefully related, are indeed different.
Encoding is the process of compressing video and audio files to be suitable with a single target device. Transcoding, alternatively, allows for already encoded data to be transformed to another encoding format. This process is particularly helpful when users use a number of target gadgets, equivalent to different mobile phones and web browsers, that do not all help the same native formats or have limited storage capacity.
Encoding is a naturally lossy process, which means that it causes a specific amount of data to be discarded and finally decreases audio and video quality. Encoding can use lossless compression, but it leads to decreased compression rates and elevated media file sizes.
With that in mind, there are three types of transcoding:
Lossy-to-lossy: This is the least ideal form of transcoding. It means you already have a file with decreased quality and transcoding causes the quality to degrade even further. The only reason to use this form of transcoding is to decrease the bitrate and save storage space on portable players.
Lossless-to-lossless: By taking advantage of better compression and hardware support a file can be losslessly compressed. This type of transcoding is useful for converting to new codecs without losing quality, but the resulting files are sometimes too large to send to portable devices.
Lossless-to-lossy: This transcoding methodology causes less quality loss than lossy-to-lossy and produces file sizes small enough for portable devices. You must keep archives of losslessly compressed files to actually leverage this transcoding method.
There is no such thing as a such thing as lossy-to-lossless transcoding. Once data and quality have been misplaced through the encoding or transcoding process they cannot be regained.
How Transcoding Works
Transcoding and encoding shouldn't be confused with transmuxing which only converts the container format equivalent to MP4 and FLV (Flash). However, video and audio files are compressed by codecs reminiscent of VP6 and H.264. Nonetheless, just like transmuxing, transcoding could be accomplished using FFmpeg, a well-liked open supply software designed to deal with all video and audio formats.
Examples of Transcoding
Transcoding is a powerful process that is leveraged by major streaming organizations akin to Twitch, which really uses both FFmpeg and its own TwitchTranscoder to stream video and audio on its platform.
The world’s largest provider of user-generated movies, YouTube, receives over 300 hours of uploads every minute—and it uses transcoding to make these videos available in 5+ totally different qualities and 5+ different formats. This means the unique uploaded content material can be transcoded into over 20 versions. YouTube kicks off the encoding and transcoding process as soon as the original upload is complete, which is why new movies are sometimes only available in low-resolution till the higher-res movies are transcoded
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