Sunday, June 21, 2009

Re-doon-danciy? What is this strange and alien concept you speak of puny earthling?!

Would it be so hard to add data redundancy to media files? My computer has just south of 1 terabyte of hard drive space. Most people have at least a couple of hundred gigabytes. Storage is so cheap, and transfer speeds so fast, that making all media files 10% bigger is a pretty painless cost for self-reconstructing media files.

Figure 1: Image corruption may well be the end of us all!

Take an image. Split it up in a bunch of quadratic sub-images. Let each of them store low resolution copies of it's Von Neuman neighborhood's contents. Give the blocks checksums, and compress them individually. If a block fails to pass the checksum, you can now reconstruct it using interpolation from it's neighbor's low-res copies. It wouldn't be picture perfect, but you'd be able to deduce the contents of the image even at pretty bad corruption (information recovery at 75% data loss at a best case scenario).

Do the same with video, while you're at it. Seriously, give me a video codec that does this, and you will make the world a better place.

Better yet, add redundancy to text. Add a plaintext Huffman coded copy of the textual contents of a document to it's metadata.

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