What are sonic encoders?

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What are sonic encoders?
Sonic's encoder products have direct compatiblity with video cameras. (Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images)

The Rovi Corporation began the acquisition of Sonic Solutions in 2010, and that process is ongoing at the time of publication. However, for many years prior to the merger, Sonic Solutions has developed and released quite a few software products that can author digital video. "Encoding" is the technical term that describes creating and editing video. Sonic encoders are integral for some video features and functions on a PC, and you can make sure these programs work as designed.

Consumer Branded Products

Sonic Solutions developed the Roxio and DivX encoders prior to the company's merging with the Rovi Corporation. These two brands are still actively used by consumers, and technical support continues for users that need assistance. According to the Sonic Solutions website, the Roxio Creator and Roxio Toast programs are leading the market in digital video editing. Roxio and DivX products also continue to have their own separate Internet domains, Roxio.com and Divx.com.

Error Messages

Encoding is the process of burning your video data to a DVD or to the hard drive. After you obtain a Sonic program, such as Roxio and DivX, you install its executable (.exe) application files in the operating system. The operating system syncs the Sonic encoder with the DVD drive hardware in the computer. If the encoding program has problems editing or burning video to the DVD disc, an error message appears on the screen. It is at this point that you might see the title "Sonic Encoder" or something similar, though the branded name of the program is "Roxio" or "DivX."


Error messages can appear somewhat generic and vague. Nonetheless, you are commonly required to try to manually fix the problem. This manual fix might be as simple as downloading an updated program patch for Roxio or DivX and letting patch automatically fix the problems in the program. If you upgraded your operating system, the older version of your Sonic encoder may not work ever again on your PC. Follow the instructions on the screen if a fix is provided. Also, navigate to the encoder's support website to learn about fixes.

Other Software Considerations

Operating system developers, including Microsoft Windows and Apple Mac OS X, typically do not include DVD video-encoding software with the basic operating system. However, some PC manufacturers, such as Dell, HP and Toshiba, might pre-install a Sonic encoder on the machine so that end-users don't have to obtain the program on their own. The presence of a Sonic encoder on the PC might increase the usability of other non-Sonic programs. For example, the Windows Media Player might gain the ability to play DVD video, a process known as "decoding."

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