The invention is to exactly select an enconding method with satisfactory encoding efficiency, by comparing the final predicted code lengths for plural encoding methods, prior to the actual encoding operation. This object can be attained by an encoding device comprising generation means for generating difference data between an encoding target pixel and another pixel in each of the predetermined plural difference encoding methods, first prediction means for predicting the code length in case the difference data generated by the generation means are encoded, second prediction means for predicting the data length of additional data, other than the difference data generated by the generation means, selection means for selecting one of the difference encoding methods based on the code length predicted by the first prediction means and the data length predicted by the second prediction means, and difference encoding means for effecting difference encoding according to the result of selection by the selection means.
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