Recording format

A recording format is a format for encoding data for storage on a storage medium. The format can be container information such as sectors on a disk, or user/audience information (content) such as analog stereo audio. Multiple levels of encoding may be achieved in one format. For example, a text encoded page may contain HTML and XML encoding, combined in a plain text file format, using either EBCDIC or ASCII character encoding, on a UDF digitally formatted disk.

A cylinder, head, and sector of a hard drive. The sectors are a recording container format. The digital data on the disks may be both secondary container file formats and raw digital data content formats such as digital audio or ASCII encoded text.
A map of Earth showing lines of latitude (horizontally) and longitude (vertically). The lines are a grid, a method for dividing and containing recorded cartographical data. The land masses and oceans are cartographical data in a raw content (pictorial graphical) format. The text is in an alphanumerical symbolic raw content format.

In electronic media, the primary format is the encoding that requires hardware to interpret (decode) data; while secondary encoding is interpreted by secondary signal processing methods, usually computer software.

Recording container formatsEdit

A container format is a system for dividing physical storage space or virtual space for data. Data space can be divided evenly by a system of measurement, or divided unevenly with meta data. A grid may divide physical or virtual space with physical or virtual (dividers) borders, evenly or unevenly. Just as a physical container (such as a file cabinet) is divided by physical borders (such as drawers and file folders), data space is divided by virtual borders. Meta data such as a unit of measurement, address, or meta tags act as virtual borders in a container format. A template may be considered an abstract format for containing a solution as well as the content itself.

Raw content formatsEdit

A raw content format is a system of converting data to displayable information. Raw content formats may either be recorded in secondary signal processing methods such as a software container format (e.g. digital audio, digital video) or recorded in the primary format. A primary raw content format may be directly observable (e.g. image, sound, motion, smell, sensation) or physical data which only requires hardware to display it, such as a phonographic needle and diaphragm or a projector lamp and magnifying glass.