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Xvidis an open source program used to compress and decompress digital video files. Xvid is similar to the DivX software, except Xvid is totally free. Xvid still trails behind DivX in popularity, but numerous new DVD players support Xvid-encoded video formats. Xvid is also cross platform, and can be used on all operating systems.
Video data storage was formerly analog. Signals were stored in magnetic tapes like VHS and Betamax, the ancestors of the compact disc. Technologies for better digital storage began to emerge with the birth of the compact disc. Files must be tiny enough for easy upload/download and storage, however, the picture quality should be exceptional.
Digital video compression and decompression programs like Xvid soon followed. Xvid was made over ten years ago under the OpenDivX project. However, OpenDivX’s source code was under certain restrictions, and it eventually evolved into DivX. The project did fork off into a full open source version, and it was known as Xvid.
Codec comes from two words: enCOder/DECoder. Codecs are instructions for packing and extracting digital video. The Xvid codec essentially tells your system how to read digital video. An error message about a missing codec can occasionally pop up when you try to play a video. The video file can be played only when you have the correct codec installed in your system.
Xvid is like ZIP for video. ZIP programs like WinZip and WinRAR compress files into one smaller-sized file. Xvid does the same thing with digital video; it eliminates unnecessary information from the original file to make it tinier, while preserving virtually the same picture quality. The use of MP3/AC3 audio makes the file quality even better.
Codecstransform digital video into frequencies and signals using mathematical formulas referred to as algorithms. Xvid itself is not a file format like .avi or .mp4. Xvid’s file format is called MPEG-4 ASP (Motion Picture Experts Group-4 Advanced Simple Profile), playable on devices that support this file type.
Uncompressed digital video can be a monster. For example, one hour of raw video at PAL resolution can eat up 100 gigabytes of disk space. Using Xvid, it is possible to shrink an entire DVD movie to fit into one CD. Using Xvid, 100 GB quickly becomes 500 megabytes. That compression ratio is 200:1.
Compressed video is portable video. You can transfer videos to your MP3 player, tablet and even USB for entertainment on the road. Smaller files sizes also make video streaming simpler a lot easier. Xvid encoded files can be played on the most recent DVD players; always look for the “DivX” tag.