As the term indicates data compression involves the shrinking of large files in a much smaller size. The main advantage of this action is that less room is taken for storage making available more space available for further storing of files. It is also extremely useful for very fast transfer of data over a network, whether it is internet or intranet or network of a local area. Grouping of files into a single package has been in vogue for more than 40 years now. This was done for avoiding the sending of multiple files between several computers. It used to be called the archive files.
Archive and how it helps the computer user
The idea of grouping into a single package has been further developed through the data compression technique. The term archive continued to be used even now, for the process of putting together a large number of files, instead of calling it as a compressed file. The technique involved the application of an algorithm to avoid the use of some repetitive bits. It is very much like short hand to take down dictated notes fast and then transcribe them fully on paper through long hand. Even though during the compression process the repetitive bits are excluded, they all get restored during the decompression process. The result is that you get a complete file.
Data decompression has been found to be very useful in all forms of transfer of data files including texts, multimedia files, and graphics while using the computer. It has been found that the compression process works better on certain types of files. The process of data compression has in use for quite some time though initially on a limited scale. Microsoft Windows has helped in making its use very much universal during the last two decades. Because of the nature of compression, the resulted file is also referred as zipped.
Programs for data compression
Programs of data compression are so designed that it is possible to split into pieces prior to being dispatched through a network. The software will enable at the receiving end to collect the split pieces and reassemble them. This is done when it is found that the compressed package is large. The leading technique of data compression is called RAR meaning Roshal ARchive files. This program is useful in the case of large multimedia files for both compression and decompression. It is particularly useful for long movies of similar programs.
The files created have got extension RARs also meaning multipart files. They are numbered part1, part2 etc. Music formats have found data compression techniques very useful for shrinking files particularly for maintaining the original quality of the audio. MP3 is a very good example of the compression format. Other techniques have also been developed for music files to correct the few disadvantages in the RAR format. More quality and quantity has become possible in the later versions. The programs are available online. Most of them are designed for supporting multiple compressed files. Good many of them come as freeware. A zipped file requires a program that will support of unzipping at the receiving end.