A new edition of the book "Compression for Great Video and Audio" by Ben Waggoner tries to take the mystery out what too many is an arcane art almost on par with alchemy.
Waggoner focuses heavily on video, yet audio gets some treatment. The book takes a "platform-agnostic" approach, avoiding shackling itself to any one particular compression package/algorithm.
It aims to be a "complete resource if you need to get quality video and audio on the Web."
Items discussed include practical things such as optimizing and prepping digital files for compression and bandwidth considerations along with technical theories and compression algorithm basics.
It is published by Focal Press and retails for $49.95.