What is bit depth? - Definition from WhatIs.com
Part of the Multimedia and graphics glossary:

In digital audio , bit depth describes the potential accuracy of a particular piece of hardware or software that processes audio data. In general, the more bits that are available, the more accurate the resulting output from the data being processed.

Bit depth is frequently encountered in specifications for analog-to-digital converters ( ADC s) and digital-to-analog converters ( DAC s), when reading about software plug-in , and when recording audio using a professional medium such as a digital audio workstation or a Digital Audio Tape machine.

Bit depth is the number of bit s you have in which to describe something. Each additional bit in a binary number doubles the number of possibilities. By the time you have a 16-bit sequence, there are 65,536 possible levels. Add one more bit, and you double the possible accuracy (to 131,072 levels). When you have a 24-bit process or piece of 24-bit hardware, there are 16,777,216 available levels of audio.

This was last updated in April 2005
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

Related Terms

Definitions

  • pixel

    - The pixel (a word invented from "picture element") is the basic unit of programmable color on a computer display or in a computer image. (WhatIs.com)

  • lossless and lossy compression

    - Lossless and lossy compression are terms that describe whether or not, in the compression of a file, all original data can be recovered when the file is uncompressed. (WhatIs.com)

  • image metadata

    - Image metadata is information about an image that is associated with the image file either automatically or deliberately added. (WhatIs.com)

Glossaries

  • Multimedia and graphics

    - Terms related to multimedia, including graphics, animation and video definitions and words and phrases about images and sound.

  • Internet applications

    - This WhatIs.com glossary contains terms related to Internet applications, including definitions about Software as a Service (SaaS) delivery models and words and phrases about web sites, e-commerce ...

Ask a Question. Find an Answer.Powered by ITKnowledgeExchange.com

Ask An IT Question

Get answers from your peers on your most technical challenges

Ask Question

Tech TalkComment

Share
Comments

    Results

    Contribute to the conversation

    All fields are required. Comments will appear at the bottom of the article.