What is transcoding This process can be extremely useful in applications for streaming music or video files. Transcoding simply means converting a file from one digital format to another. A media file usually consists of a number of pieces - called tracks - which are packed into a container along with metadata information. Each of the tracks is encoded into a specific format. Transcoding is done by extracting those tracks from the container, then decoding, filtering, and encoding again each of them one after another, and finally packing them into a new container.