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Xvid is a free, open-source video codec based on the Advanced Simple Profile implementation of MPEG-4 Part 2. It is relatively fast and can produce very good quality videos.

The switching of codecs

In the past, groups had almost exclusively used the DivX video codec. This changed once Xvid matured enough and proved to deliver better results relatively speedily, so most groups said goodbye to DivX. Currently, a new widespread codec change is in progress in the form of Xvid to H.264. This change is more complicated, however, due to the increased complexity of decoding H.264 and, to a lesser extent, encoding it. This will surely mean that Xvid will follow a similar fate to that of DivX, as will H.264 eventually, thus continuing in the seemingly infinite cycle.

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