The overworked souls at fileminx towers have pressed their blistered noses to the grindstone once more and conjured up yet more brilliant file converting wizardry. They sound similar, but what exactly are DivX and Xvid?
DivX is a video codec created by DivX Inc based on MPEG-4. It has grown in popularity in recent years for sending long videos over the internet due to its advertised high compression ratio. They state that DVD-quality video and audio can be compressed typically 7-10 times further than standard DVD (MPEG-2) technology. Being unbiased sorts at fileminx, we couldn’t possibly comment but it has been noticed during testing that file sizes for divx do tend to be a tad smaller than similar formats. Video with the DivX codec can only be played using the DivX player or plugin.
Xvid on the other hand (or possibly the same hand depending on the way you look at it) is basically like an open source version of DivX. Indeed, “Xvid” is “DivX” spelled backwards – demonstrating the two offerings’ similar roots. Again based on MPEG-4 encoding, Xvid advocates state very high compression ratios while maintaining high quality video. Xvid encoded video requires a plugin or third party app to play. But bizarrely, due to patent concerns, you cannot download such a plugin directly from the Xvid website.