Definition Day: Codec

Definition DayFor many years I would vigorously nod my head when the word “Codec” was mentioned and for good measure look sternly. It was one of those moments I call: “I know enough to be dangerous”.  That is to say, I knew the semantic environment of ‘codec’: it had to do with saving and outputting finished video clips to specifications given by the developer, or any other techie person who would take ‘my’ video and ‘put it up’.

So, what is a Codec really? A codec is a device or computer program for encoding or decoding a digital data stream or signal. Oy!

Codec is really the meshing of two words: coder and decoder (co/dec).  The simplest explanation: codecs encode and compress streams of data for storage or they decompress for playback or editing.

Ok, so I’m feeling a bit more confident about being ‘less dangerous’ now.