A451 – Files and File Types

We all know that there are different types of files however we may not understand what the difference is.

In this post I’ll look at:

  • JPG/JPEG
  • PNG
  • GIF
  • MP3/MP4
  • PDF

What is a JPG (JPEG) file?

JPG is short for Join Photographic Experts Group.

JPEG or JPG is a type of lossy compression technique, for colour images. It can reduce file sizes by around 5% or more, however some quality is lost.

jpg-2JPG icon

What is a PNG file?

PNG is short for Portable Network Graphics.

It is a type of photo compression that will in time replace GIF. Unlike JPG files, PNG is compressed in a lossless fashion so that all image information is restored allowing for higher quality photos than JPG and GIF.

pngPNG icon

What is a GIF file?

GIF stands for Graphic Interchange Format.

GIF files are compressed in a lossless format however if more than 256 colours are used, there will be a decrease in quality.

GIF files are often used on websites as it allows for transparent backgrounds and moving images.

gifGIF icon

What is an MP3/MP4 file?

MP3 and MP4 files are both MPEG files, which is short for Moving Pictures Experts Group.

MP3 is short for MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3.  It is used for audio and uses a compression algorithm that introduces loss, therefore it’s a lossy compression format.

MP4 is short for MPEG-4 Part 14.  MP4 is based on MPEG-4 Part 12 which was in turn based on Apple’s MOV file type.  MP4 is a container format, meaning it is used to store audio and/or video data, rather than to code the information.  MP4 video and audio can also be streamed over the internet.

Default_MP3_file_IconMP3 iconmp4Mp4 icon

What is a PDF file?

PDF stands for Portable Document Format. It has all the elements of a printed document as an electronic image that you can view, navigate, print, or forward to someone else. PDF files are created using Adobe Acrobat

pDFPDF icon
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