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While engaging in some media processing (ripping DVD to .avi to watch on my laptop), I became interested in all the technicalities I encountered regarding the video and audio encoding etc. What are recommended activities and resources I can engage in and consult to build a good, solid knowledge of modern media technologies? I am a very technical person, so I don't need "For Dummies" resources, but more something like detailed technical introductions.

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Wiki has some interesting details, btw en.wikipedia.org/wiki/JPEG#JPEG_codec_example –  Sathya Oct 6 '10 at 16:39

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Just a very brief rundown:

For video, the major formats concerning DVDs/AVIs: MPEG-1, MPEG-2 / VOB, MPEG4 / MP4 / H.263, FLV, WMV, MVK For audio: AAC, MP2, MP3

MPEG-1 typically isn't used much, unless it's for importing video from a camera, or as a common format for using among a wide range of video editors or players.

MPEG-2 / VOB is what's on a playable DVD, which is paired with MP2 audio

MPEG-4 / MP4 / H.263 is what's typically in use for video files these days. It's often paired with AAC or MP3 audio.

FLV is flash video, which is paired with MP3 audio. Flash video has largely been seen on sites which use flash video players. However, many sites have been migrating over to MPEG-4 / H.263.

WMV used to be in wide use, but not so much anymore. It's typically limited to live streaming nowadays. The compression rate is impressive.

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