Tell me, is 99% lossless compression of audio and video even possible?

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News: Tell me, is 99% lossless compression of audio and video even possible?

  1. Is 99% loss-less compression of audio and video files even possible? Apparently it is

    Over the first half of 2015, TheServerSide has had its favorite freelance writer, Barry Burd of Java Java Programming for Android Developers For Dummies">Programming for Android Developers For Dummies fame, covering what's going on with Google's Solve for X program, largely from the standpoing of the North New Jersey Google Developer Group. Not familiar with the Solve for X program? Here's how Mr. Burd describes it in his article entitled Google's Solve for 'X' program goes into high gear

    The ambitious Solve for X initiative brings together entrepreneurs and experts to help solve the world's most pressing problems. On the initiative's website, Google compares Solve for X projects with the moonshots of the 1960s and 1970s: Each moonshot project addresses a big, global problem, with a radical new solution/perspective/approach and leverages a breakthrough in science or technology.

    A wide range of new ideas

    There are plenty of interesting ideas festering under the Solve for X umbrella, ranging from saving the environment to creating new medical diagnostic technologies, but from the standpoint of a developer and IT professional, it's the XLABS project that asserts that they can achieve 99% compression rates on audio and video files that seems most interesting, if not a little bit impossible. So when given the chance to investigate the technology a bit deeper, Barry Burd jumped at the opportunity.

    Mr. Burd chronicles his interaction with XLBAS much better than I ever could in the article entitled A new approach to condensing data leads to a 99% compression rate. The basic takeaway from his experience was that he shot a video on his phone, he provided XLABS the file, the file was compressed at a ration of 460 to 1, and then the compressed file was expanded to produce the exact same, original raw video file that had been created moments before.

    Is this a pig in a poke?

    From my understanding of how compression works, that shouldn't be possible. In the article describing his experience, Barry provides a simple description of how most compression technologies work, and again, describes why there is always a hard limit to just how small you can squeeze a file. But of course, that's what Solve for X projects are all about - thinking outside of the box and coming up with solutions that nobody ever thought possible.

    So, what do you think? Is a 460 to 1 loss-less compression of a video file all smoke and mirrors, or are we looking at a new era of data compression that will change how organizations like Netflix and Amazon stream data?

    Give Barry's article a read:

    A new approach to condensing data leads to a 99% compression rate

    I'd love to hear your opinions on exactly what you think is going on with XLABS and this revolutionary new technology.

    Follow Barry on Twitter: @allmycode

    Books penned by Barry Burd:

    Java For Dummies 
    Android Application Development All-in-One For Dummies 
    Beginning Programming with Java For Dummies 
    Java Programming for Android Developers For Dummies



  2. In the meantime, a reader pointed me to http://www.nukodec.com/. I'll check it out.

  3. As with the ever on going search for perpetual motion, this concept also breaks a fundamental law: if you throw information away, it cannot be restored. So, if you have 8 bits and you compress that in 1 bit, it simply is impossible to restore the original 8 bit. Information was lost, it cannot be restored.

    You can try to derrive the missing information from the one you have left, but that will not be the exact original information. You can optimize this process by removing less critical information first (like sounds you don't hear because they're overshadowed or details you won't notice), but it simply is impossible to tell the original 8 bits from the information in 1 bit.

    So, as for restoring the EXACT original. IMHO, no, that is not possible. They're probably able to come up with smarter video compression, which of course is still a commercially very interesting algorithm.

  4. What if a bit was a dec?[ Go to top ]

    The idea is that they must be doing something entirely new? For example, hard drives store data as 1 and 0, basically, positive and negative magnetic charges. What if you could change the hard drive to use partial magnetism, or instead of 1 and 0, you had 1,11,111,1111,1111. I know. that's a hardware idea, and an impractical concept, and it's a bit nonsensical, but sometimes nonsensical things are achieved. Have they done something to revolutionize how how approach data storage? My hunch is that it's not bloodly likely, but there is far too much effort and enthusiasm here for it to be dismissed as simply being snake oil. Let's hope it has substance - the people involved all seem to be people of integrity.