CHAPTER 1 Seeing and Hearing

The rest of this book is about practical compression issues, but it’s important to first understand how the human brain perceives images and sounds. Compression is the art of converting media into a more compact form while sacrificing the least amount of quality possible. Compression algorithms accomplish that feat by describing various aspects of images or sounds in ways that preserve details important to seeing and hearing while discarding aspects that are less important.

Understanding how your brain receives and interprets signals from your auditory and visual receptors (your ears and eyes) is very useful for understanding how compression works and which compression techniques will work best in a given situation. ...

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