The U on iTunes U - Terms

Lossy Compression

A lossy compression method is one where compressing data and then decompressing it retrieves data that may well be different from the original, but is close enough to be useful in some way. Lossy compression is most commonly used to compress multimedia data (audio, video, still images), especially in applications such as streaming media and internet telephony.

The advantage of lossy methods over lossless methods is that in some cases a lossy method can produce a much smaller compressed file than any known lossless method, while still meeting the requirements of the application. It is important to note all media storage methods are lossy when a live event has been recorded. Current recording methods only capture a small fraction of the total performance.

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