An encoder is a hardware or software component that is used to encode audio or video data. Encoders are typically used in conjunction with media playback software, such as media players or web browsers, and are responsible for compressing the audio or video data in a format that can be transmitted over a network or stored in a file. Encoders use a variety of algorithms and techniques to compress the audio or video data, and can be configured to produce different levels of quality and efficiency. Different types of encoders are available, depending on the application and the type of audio or video data that is being encoded. For example, real-time encoders are used for streaming applications, where the encoded data must be delivered to the client as quickly as possible, and offline encoders are used for non-real-time applications, where the encoding process can be performed at a slower pace.