What are codecs?

Whenever you encode some content, you're utilizing a codec. "Codec" is an abbreviation for compression/decompression. A codec can be either a software application or a piece of hardware that processes media through complex algorithms, which compress the file for streaming and then decompress it for playback. Unlike other kinds of file-compression packages that require you to decompress a file before viewing or listening, codecs decompress the media on-the-fly, so your audience can view or listen to a file from its original compressed format. Your audience sees your content immediately with minimal loss of quality from the original.