[if there's an already-existing thread covering this topic, please feel free to point to it]
I know I've got my own confusion, and looking through the forums I'd say I'm not the only one. I'm in search of a good website/podcast/etc. that talks about all those great settings available to us when we're creating our "final" output, be it the big screen, DVD, iPOD, GooTube...
and each of those have their own settings to play with.
Obviously all the various CODECs and other settings each have their strengths and weaknesses, but where's a good place to learn when to use what?
A good place to start is defining your target audience and delivery method. The appropriate compression for webcasting to the cornfields or other parts of the world without broadband will be vastly different from the appropriate compression for creating DVDs.
Ben Waggoner's Compression for Great Digital Video (c) 2002 CMP books could stand an update but it covers the groundwork. Since you asked for a starting point....