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A list of video/audio terms and definitions to help you become more familiar with the terminology used in video/audio software and devices.

AAC Format (AAC)
A new MPEG audio format.
ASF Format (WMV)
ASF stands for Advanced Streaming Format because it is designed to be viewed while it downloads (streams) from the Internet. This is one of the formats used by Windows Media Player.
AU
AU is an audio format used for sound clips on the Internet.
Audio Codec
Codec stands for Compressor and Decompressor. Software component which compresses and decompresses audio.
Audio Codecs Properties dialogs
Property pages allowing you to customize the codec settings. You typically adjust the compression through these dialogs.
Audio Decompressor
Software component which decompresses audio. It must be designed to work with ACM or DirectShow. Note that different compression methods require different decompressors. There is no universal decompressor capable of decoding all compressed streams.
Audio Decompressors Properties dialogs
Property page for the audio decompressor. Some decompressors have a property page that allows you to change some of its settings.
Audio Renderer
The audio device that will play the sound. This is usually your sound card. Some computers can have more than one sound playback device. You choose which sound playback device will play the sound by selecting the corresponding audio renderer.
Audio Stream
The portion of the file holding the audio data. The audio data might be compressed to save disk space. The data has to be decompressed using an audio decompressor before you can play (hear) it.
AVC Format (AVC)
Advanced Video Coding (AVC) uses the (ISO/IEC 14496-10/AVC) standard, a codec for video signals.
AVI Format (AVI)
Audio Video Interleave (AVI) is a file format defined by Microsoft. It is the most common format for audio/video data on PCs. AVI files can have one or more video streams and one or more audio streams. The video and audio streams can be compressed using various compressors. Each compression has one or more possible decompressors. This means that two files are not similar just because they have the same extension. You might be able to play one AVI file (because you have its decompressors) but you might not be able to play another (because you do not have its decompressors). Or you might have the audio decompressor but not the video decompressor. (In this case, you would hear the audio, but not the video).
Close Caption
Close caption enables/disables the data from the close caption streams.
Close Caption Stream
The portion of the file holding the close captioning data. Replaces audio with text, usually found at the bottom of the screen.
Codec
This is a COmpressor combined with a DECompressor, or encoder and a decoder, which allows you to both compress and decompress data.
Compressor
Also known as an encoder, this is a module or algorithm to compress data. Playing that data back requires a decompressor, or decoder.
dB (decibel)
Logarithmic unit of measure for sound. The more decibels a sound has, the louder the sound.
Decoder
Also known as a decompressor, this is a module or algorithm to decompress data.
Decompressor
Also known as a decoder, this is a module or algorithm to decompress data.
DICOM Format (DIC)
The DICOM file format is used in the medical and healthcare industry for patient records and is a high resolution grayscale image format. For more information, refer to the DICOM Standard, published by the National Electrical Manufacturers Association, 1300 N. 17th Street, Rosslyn, Virginia 22209 USA
DV-decoding resolutions
  • Default
  • Full (720x480)
  • Half (360x240)
  • Quarter (180x120)
  • DC(88x60)
DV
Digital Video and has been defined in "Specification of Consumer-use Digital VCRs" (aka the Blue Book).

DV
compressed data format that can be decoded on one of the above sizes. The dimensions are in brackets and the units are pixels.
DVD Image
Files saved in DVD format. The files contain multiplexed MPEG-2 encoded video and MPEG layer1, AC3, or LPCM encoded audio.
DVD Burner
The driver that writes the data (burns the data) to the DVD. It is the software that burns the DVD image to the physical DVD.
DVSD AVI Format (AVI)
Standard digital video (DV) audio/video format encapsulated in an AVI encoded stream.
DVSD OGG Format (OGG)
Standard digital video (DV) audio/video format encapsulated in an OGG-encoded stream.
Encoder
Also known as a compressor, this is a module or algorithm to compress data. Playing that data back requires a decompressor, or decoder.
LEAD MCMW Encoder
This encoder is fast, and good for high compression capture. At high compression, the image becomes blurry rather than blocky. This is a proprietary encoder developed by LEAD Technologies, Inc.
LEAD Mux
This is a proprietary multiplexer which allows you to create Windows Media files. It will still use the Microsoft codecs to compress the data, but LEAD's own multiplexer. A multiplexer is a module that puts together the audio and video in a file.
Master Stream
The stream which contains the most accurate clock used for synchronization. Usually, the audio stream is the master stream. It is important for the audio and video to be synchronized, otherwise what you hear does not match what you are hearing. (For example, you would see the lips moving but you don't hear anything or you can see the lips have stopped but you keep hearing the person talk).
MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) Stream
This is an Audio stream with MIDI commands.

MIDI is a communications interface between digital musical instruments. It is composed of simple commands that can control keyboards and other devices. For example, when a person presses a key on a keyboard it sends a MIDI note-on command. It can also send the velocity at which the key was pressed. You can also send program change information to switch to another keyboard with a different sound.
MIDI does not send audio data through its cables. It was simply invented to control multiple synthesizer modules from a single keyboard.
Since these files do not contain music, only the commands to re-create music, these files are smaller than audio files like MP3, WMA, or WAV files.
MP1 Format (MP1)
MPEG-1 audio, layer 1.
MP2 Format (MP2)
MPEG audio, layer 2.
MP3 Format (MP3)
The MP3 file format is the most popular format for music files and uses lossy compression, resulting in small file sizes.
MP4 (ISO/IES 14496-14:2003) Format
MP4 is a multimedia format (container) that contains multiplexed audio and video streams. MP4 supports AAC encoded audio stream and H.264 or MPEG-4 encoded video stream.
MPEG (Moving Picture Experts Group)
The Moving Picture Experts Group sets the international standards for digitally encoding movies and sound. They have several standards for audio and/or video formats.
MPEG Splitter
DirectShow filter which breaks the MPEG stream into audio and video.
MPEG Splitter Properties Dialog
Property page for the MPEG splitter. Some splitters have a property page that allows you to change some of its settings.
Multiplexer
This is a module that puts together the audio and video in a file.
OGG Format (OGG)
OGG is the name of Xiph.org's container format for audio, video, and metadata. Its default audio compressor is called Vorbis. Vorbis compression offers better quality than MP3 and yields a higher compression ratio. Ogg Vorbis is different from other formats because it is completely free, open, and unpatented. The video and audio streams can be compressed using various compressors. Each compression has one or more possible decompressors. This means that two files are not similar just because they have the same extension. You might be able to play one OGG file (because you have its decompressors) but you might not be able to play another (because you do not have its decompressors). Or you might have the audio decompressor but not the video decompressor. (In this case, you would hear the audio, but not the video).
Other Stream
Data of type other than Video, Audio, Close Caption, and MIDI.
Target Format
The format to be used for the converted file. This includes the file format, any special settings used by that format, and which audio and/or video codec is to be used for the conversion, and any special settings used by the codecs. For more information, see the Settings Tab.
Target Formats Properties Dialogs
Property pages allowing you to change some settings related to the output file. For ASF, this property page allows you to select the compression.
Timecode
SMPTE timecode, more properly known as SMPTE time and control code, is a series of digital frame address values, flags and additional data applied to a video or audio stream, and is defined in ANSI/SMPTE 12-1986. Its purpose is to provide a machine-readable address for video and audio. These are usually measured in seconds and they measure the time elapsed from the beginning of the file. It is a term describing the number you see on the VCR while you are playing a tape.
Video Codec
Software component which compresses and decompresses video. Codec stands for Compressor and Decompressor.
Video Codec's Properties dialogs
Property pages allowing you to customize the codec settings. You would typically adjust the compression through these dialogs.
Video Decompressor
Software component which decompresses video. It must be designed to work with VFW or DirectShow. Note that different compression methods require different decompressors. There is no universal decompressor capable of decoding all compressed streams.
Video Decompressors Properties dialogs
Property page for video decompressor. Some decompressors have a property page that allows you to change some of its settings.
Video Renderer
The DirectShow component responsible for playing the video. Some renderers might have useful settings you can adjust if you have problems playing the video.
Video Stream
The portion of the file holding the video data. The video data might be compressed to save disk space. The data has to be decompressed using a video decompressor before you can play (see) it.
WAV Format (WAV)
The WAVE file format is used to store digital audio data in raw form and is a standard CD quality audio format that requires a large amount of memory (10 MB for 1 minute)
Windows Media Audio (WMA)
This is an audio format used on the internet. It was developed by Microsoft and is used in applications like portable digital audio players, where memory is a constraint. It is an Advanced Systems Format (.asf) file that is compressed with the Windows Media Audio (WMA) codec.
Windows Media Format and Certification
Microsoft controls the process of creating Windows Media Formats. We are using the Windows Media Codecs originated from Microsoft. These must be installed on your computer. You can get these codecs through Windows Media Player, by downloading a codec pack from Microsoft or through some other product. If you are having problems creating Windows Media Formats, we recommend you install the latest version of Windows Media Player.
Windows Media Video (WMV)
Windows Media Video (.wmv) files use the Advanced Systems Format (.asf) files. This format includes audio or video streams (or both). These files are compressed with Windows Media Audio (WMA) and Windows Media Video (WMV) codecs.
DivX« is a registered trademark of DivX, Inc.
 
 
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