[Decoded] How data compression works

Published Date
14 - Sep - 2009
| Last Updated
14 - Sep - 2009
 
[Decoded] How data compression works

We use compressed data every day, whether it be music files (MP3), images (JPEG), video (MPEG-4) or mass-archive storage (ZIP). It is fascinating to watch a large amount of disk space get scrunched into a handy, tiny file. But how does this process of squeezing work?

In this three-part article, we will take you through some of the basics of data compression.
 

Part 1: Information

What makes our data susceptible to compression? Why cant data be compressed indefinitely?
 

Part 2: Data Explosion

Why do we need to compress files? Why do some files take up so much space?
 

Part 3: Reducing Redundancy

How does data get compressed? What does the compressor do that reduces size?