Codec

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What Does Codec Mean?

A compressor/decompressor (codec) is any dual-function device or application that compresses and decompresses a data object or file. It enables the compression of data or files and the subsequent reversal of the compressed data to its original state.

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A compressor/decompressor is also known as a coder/decoder.

Techopedia Explains Codec

Typically, a codec is implemented through the combination of hardware and software solutions. The software provides the algorithm or technique on which the data or file is compressed/decompressed, whereas the hardware provides raw computation to process data and/or physically implement the algorithm.

Codecs are widely used in computing applications to compress and decompress digital data. For example, a network-based compressor/decompressor utility compresses and transmits data from one end, whereas the process is reversed (decompressed) at the other end to retrieve the data in its original form.

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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.