from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- adj. of a communication channel, subject to loss of signal strength
- adj. of an electricity transmission line, subject to various forms of power loss
- adj. reducing the amount of information in data.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- adj. characterized by or causing dissipation of energy
Most codecs also serve as compressors, so they are "lossy" - they reduce the quality of the information in order to make the file smaller.
Hence, compressed formats are also known as lossy formats, since details are lost.
JPEG is called a lossy file format, however, because it compresses photos to save disk space.
Masking is a compression scheme based on removing the data the represents a low volume sound in an audio signal that would likely be missed by your ears due to other high volume sounds and therefore masking your ability to hear them; the masked data is thrown out and therefore defined as lossy, period.
The ubiquitous MP3 format is what's known as a lossy format, tossing away what the algorithm considered to be unnecessary portions of the audio track in order to compress the file down to a more compact size.
This is known as lossy compression, and can result in a loss of quality if a high level of compression is applied.
It could be defensible if one regards the genome when going through duplications as a "lossy" decompression.
The higher storage capability, combined with much more efficient codecs standard-def's MPEG-2 is a notoriously 'lossy' and inefficient codec will allow for less noticeable compression, leading to a more pleasing viewing experience.
Remember that MPEG-encoding is basically a "lossy" form of compression.
MP3s, on the other hand, use a "lossy" compression technique -- they save on space by missing out some of the detail.
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