Android Multimedia: CODECS

The word CODEC means Encoder + Decoder.


A codec is a way of compressing and decompressing digital files. Each codec uses a slightly different set of algorithms to accomplish this. 

Multimedia data is compressed or encoded by encoders and decompressed or decoded by decoders.

Traditionally a codec is a software algorithm/module runs on a computing device. Sometimes Digital Signal Processors (DSP) are used for realizing faster codec algorithms.

Software algorithms are in-adequate to handle today’s challenging system demands in terms of data rate, video resolution, sampling rate etc.

Today most of the multimedia systems use HW accelerated Codecs. HW accelerators are dedicated HW module inside a processor for faster multimedia data processing



Examples of speech codecs 
  • G723, G729 used for VOIP and video conferencing 
  • AMR-NB used in GSM & UMTS networks and systems those record voice 
  • AMR-WB, AMR-WB+ used in CDMA networks 
Examples of Audio codecs 

  • MP3 – Used in all systems those can play music 
  • AAC - Used in most of the systems those can play music & record 
  • WMA – Microsoft’s proprietary codec used in many systems 
  • RA – Real audio used by Real Networks. 
Examples of Video codecs 
  • MPEG1 – Used in Video CD
  • MPEG2 – Used in DVD 
  • MPEG4, H264 – Used in computer, handheld devices, digital TV transmission 
  • WMV - Microsoft’s proprietary codec used in many systems 
  • RV – Real video used by Real Networks 
Examples of image codecs 

  • JPEG, JPEG 2000, PNG, GIF

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