Comparison of spectrograms of audio in an uncompressed format and several lossy formats. The lossy spectrograms show bandlimiting of higher frequencies, a common technique associated with lossy audio compression.
Partial map of the Internet, with nodes representing IP addresses
Solidyne 922: The world's first commercial audio bit compression sound card for PC, 1990
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Processing stages of a typical video encoder
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Visual representation of a strange attractor, with converted data of its fractal structure

In information theory, data compression, source coding, or bit-rate reduction is the process of encoding information using fewer bits than the original representation.

- Data compression

In the context of data transmission, it is called source coding; encoding done at the source of the data before it is stored or transmitted.

- Data compression

It may also be an analog signal such as a phone call or a video signal, digitized into a bit-stream, for example, using pulse-code modulation or more advanced source coding schemes.

- Data communication

Redundant data can be compressed up to an optimal size, which is the theoretical limit of compression.

- Information

Data (mainly but not exclusively informational) has been sent via non-electronic (e.g. optical, acoustic, mechanical) means since the advent of communication.

- Data communication

These fields deal with those processes and techniques pertaining to information capture (through sensors) and generation (through computation, formulation or composition), processing (including encoding, encryption, compression, packaging), transmission (including all telecommunication methods), presentation (including visualization / display methods), storage (such as magnetic or optical, including holographic methods), etc.

- Information
Comparison of spectrograms of audio in an uncompressed format and several lossy formats. The lossy spectrograms show bandlimiting of higher frequencies, a common technique associated with lossy audio compression.

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