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The optimum single standard run lengths for a binary first-order Markov source are derived and extended to multilevel first-order Markov sources. Maximization of the compression ratio is used as the criterion of optimality. When the output symbols are block coded, the optimal single standard run length for each symbol is shown to satisfy an implicit equation of the form , where is a transition probability. An expression for the overall compression ratio is derived for the binary case, and a comparison is made with enumerative source encoding. Compression ratio maxima are found by computer search for the binary independent source when the output symbols are subsequently Huffman coded, and a comparison of this scheme with ordinary run-length and source-extension coding is given.