One of the first questions I had when I started working at Encoding.com was “What’s the difference between encoding and transcoding?”. I had always used them interchangeably, as does most of the rest of the world. I decided to do a quick internet search and was surprised that I did not find a clear answer. While encoding and transcoding both represent ways of converting files between formats, there is a distinct difference. Encoding, by definition, takes analog source content and converts it to a digital format, such as converting your old family Super8 films to DVD. In contrast, transcoding takes an existing digital format and converts it to a different digital format, as is the case when you take a Flash video and convert it to an adaptive bitrate format such as HTTP-Live-Streaming. Despite the clear differences by definition, only the truly geeky (like me!) use the term with distinction. When we founded the company, we recognized the familiarity of the usage and went with ENCODING.com. Just look at the graph above showing search traffic over time. While ‘encoding’ is decreasing in volume it still vastly outpaces ‘transcoding’. So far so good!