RealMedia Variable Bitrate

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What Does RealMedia Variable Bitrate Mean?

RealMedia Variable Bitrate (RMVB) is a file format developed by RealNetworks as a variable bitrate extension to the RealMedia multimedia digital container format. RMVB is typically used for media that is stored locally, as it is not designed for streaming, unlike the regular RealMedia container, which is meant to hold streaming media that is encoded at a constant bitrate.

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Techopedia Explains RealMedia Variable Bitrate

RealMedia Variable Bitrate uses a compression algorithm similar to that used in MPEG-4 Part 10 encoders, such as the famous x264. The compression results in videos with good quality but smaller file size, which makes them suitable for sharing and distribution over the Internet. In fact, for a time, it was very common to see RMVB files on peer-to-peer file sharing platforms such as Azureus, BitTorrent, eDonkey and Gnutella. RealMedia Variable Bitrate is still popular for sharing, although not for streaming, as the videos have good quality and smaller file size compared to other formats.

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Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor
Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.