XviD is an open source MPEG-4 video codec library distributed under the terms of the GNU
General Public License. It emerged to compete the proprietary DivX Pro codec, which is placed
under license restrictions and therefore is only available for members of the DivX Advanced
Research Centre (DARC).
This is not a format. It utilizes MPEG-4 ASP (Advanced Simple Profile) compression. Videos encoded with it are referred to as MPEG-4 ASP videos, so they can be decoded by all MPEG-4 compatible decoders, particularly those based on the open source libavcodec library (FFmpeg).
XviD codec is intended for compressing video data in order to facilitate and speed up online video data exchange and improve storage on hard disks. The codec is capable of stripping video data of unnecessary junk and ensures higher compression rates. XviD-compressed videos can be 200 times smaller than the source video, with the visual quality well intact.
Why Use XviD?
XviD ensures fast compression and exceptional quality video performance and exceeds many expensive similar products. The codec is available for free, and it is incorporated in many hardware devices. The extensive hardware support eases data exchange between portable, home and other types of devices. There are no feature, testing or time restrictions for XviD, and it can be used safely and conveniently all the time. Since XviD is open-source software, its
source code is available for public review, so anyone can check it and make sure there is no spyware or adware.
Primarily, XviD competed with the proprietary DivX codec, and there was pretty mush patent controversy around this software. Since it featured many patented technologies, Xvid 0.9.x versions were confronted with license barriers in some countries. GNU-licensed 1.0.x releases enjoyed greater freedom, although there are still legislative restrictions on XviD use in some regions.
In 2002, XviD had tension with Sigma Designs, which released the REALmagic MPEG-4 video codec. Later, it became evident that the codec was pretty much based on XviD technology, which was fraught with a serious copyright infringement issue. Sigma Designs promised to rewrite their codec, but in fact they simply masked it. There were still XviD elements in the REALmagic MPEG-4 video codec. The issue made its way to public media, and Sigma Designs had to give in.
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