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Can someone explain how encoding works in plain english?

Thaellar

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I have seen video conversions where the software just "does it" and it takes a relatively short time (40 mins for a 2 hour movie converting from a VOB (renamed to .mpg) to WMV). But I've also seen other programs take forever...e.g. Win Media Encoder displays the movie in very slow motion while it works.

What gives? Why so long for some and not so long for others. Aren't there standard encoding methods by now?

thanks,

Thaellar
 
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