A codec is short for "Coding-Decoding" a digital data stream, and has been used as a computer word since the 1970s. Can also be thought of as "Compressing-Decompressing" from a speed perspective, as streaming gets smarter.
Click here for the difference between .avi and .mp4, the two most widely used container file extensions when opening files, depending on the device. The codec is then employed to translate the data into a video and audio stream.
|Year||Codec||Who by||Container file extension||Comments|
|Launched by Apple|
|1992||Video for Windows||Microsoft||.avi|
|Launched by Microsoft as AVI using audio-video interleave|
|1993||MPEG-1||MPEG||.mpg, .mpeg||Launched by the |
|1996||MPEG-2||MPEG||.mpg, .mpeg, .m2v||Standard for DVDs and early digital television|
|1997||Adobe Flash||Adobe||.flv||To be no longer supported after 2020|
|1999||MPEG-4||MPEG||.mp4||Standard for Blu-Ray discs. First released in 2000|
|1999||WMV based on MPEG-4 Part 2||Microsoft||.wmv||Launched by Microsoft as part of Windows|
|2003||H.264||MPEG||.mp4||Popular with Blu-Ray, HD TV, Netflix, Youtube streaming|
|2012||VP9||.webm||Youtube, also popular with Netflix streaming|
Windows Media Player comes standard with Windows 10. Another popular player on PCs is VLC Media Player which downloads Codecs as necessary.
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