The MOV file format is most commonly associated with Apple and the QuickTime video clip. The file format was developed by Apple as was QuickTime Player, it is compatible with both the Microsoft and MacOS platforms. MOV files are capable of storing two or more tracks which can be video, audio, text, graphics or effects. This flexibility makes this file format very popular for music and video editing.
MOV files use a proprietary compression algorithm and each track that is held within the file is made up of an encoded media stream or a reference to a media stream that is located in another file - this allows the embedding of existing media. QuickTime player which was developed and created by Apple allows a user to open and play .MOV files and later version of QuickTime Player, such as QuickTime Pro allows the user to edit and export .MOV files.
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The GIF file format is a type of bitmap image and has become popular due to the growth of the internet. This file format supports up to 8 bits per pixel therefore giving an image the ability to contain 256 distinct colours chosen from the 24-bit RGB colour space. It also supports animations and whenever you see a logo or other sharp edged line art then you are probably dealing with the GIF format. It uses the lossless data compression technique which reduces the file size without any impact on the quality.
The GIF file format was invented by Compuserve for their online service, but they made the specifications publicly available. GIFs are able to hold multiple bitmaps of up to 256 colors each, using LZW (Lempel Zev Welch - a simple form of file compression that removes inefficiencies in the data storage without losing data or distorting the image) compressed raster data to minimize file sizes. The idea is to lessen the amount of colours in a GIF image to the minimum number necessary and to therefore remove stray colors that are not required to represent the image. A GIF graphic is unable to have more than 256 colors but it can have fewer colors, down to the minimum of two (black and white). Images with fewer colors will compress more efficiently under LZW compression.
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