AVI (Audio Video Interleave) has been the long standing format to save and deliver movies and other video files. It has been around for a very long time and has been improved over time. MPG is just an abbreviation of the acronym MPEG (Moving Pictures Expert Group) in order to fit the 8.3 filename format of FAT system. A great majority of all videos out there are stored in this format.
AVI is used when you want to capture or show a lot of detail, thus this was the standard in video CDs. Capturing video in AVI usually takes up a lot of space since there is also a lot of information that needs to be saved. The MPG format is a lossy encoding of video and audio, sacrificing a little bit of detail in order to save a lot of space. MPG videos are very prominent in the internet where bigger files take longer to download, so it makes sence to encode in a smaller file size even if there is a minor loss in quality.
When you are recording video and you plan to edit it later on, it might be a good idea to record it in AVI so that there is still a lot of detail in your video and you can edit it as much as you want. MPG recording is good if you are just going to burn the file to a disc and send it to someone since you would not need to convert it anymore. Converting a file takes a lot of time, that’s why it should be avoided unless you really plan on editing.
In playback, AVI is still superior compared to MPG since there are more set top players that can play AVI formats compared to MPG. But there are already players that are capable of playing MPGs and it would only be a matter of time before all players have added support for MPG files.
The detail that is lost in converting to an MPG format is really very little as long as you set realistic compression. And the advantages of having a small file cannot be stressed enough. But recording in high quality video is essential in order to create videos that look professional and tidy. The choice is basically simple. When you’re recording for something professional, stick to the AVI format; since you can convert it to MPG later if you have to. But if it’s just something to show your friends you can record directly to MPG to avoid the hassles of re-encoding your file.
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