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Re: Sound file formats for journal


> They all support WAV though
> (well, except IE but who cares).

If the sound files are to be supported natively by browser, I think
that neglecting IE is not the best idea. Depending on how the
statistics are collected and calculated, it's still the most popular
or second most popular (+/- tied with Chrome) browser on the planet.

In general, I am not sure if struggling for native browser support is
worth the effort. With several not-so-compatible browsers and
technologies (and new may emerge) it might make more sense to rely
mainly on local playback in external applications. Besides, I imagine
that the readers would often want to do more than just listen to the
stimuli, for example make a spectrogram to see what's going on there

I think that WAV is an obvious choice for most files. It's lossless
(unless used a a container for lossy data, which should be strongly
discouraged) and universally supported. Formats using lossless
compression (FLAC, ALAC, and a few less widely known) have advantages
such as support for tagging, but this is a non-issue for this purpose.
The somewhat smaller file size of FLAC/ALAC compared to WAV is not so
important given chow cheap disk space and bandwidth is these days, and
lack of one universally accepted format also speaks in favor of
sticking to WAV,

I think that Lossy-compressed files may also be used. This method
would be reserved for long files containing stimuli for for which
psychoacoustic coding most likely does not matter. For example, 10
minutes of music used in a music cognition/emotion study as opposed to
a 223-ms snippet of carefuly designed multi-tone used to probe
peripheral processes. The decision which way to go might be left to
the authors: people doing auditory reserach should know what lossy
compression is and what its drawbacks are, right? Despite its many
drawbacks compared to newer formats (AAC, Ogg, etc), MP3 is probably
the best choice, because of wide hardware and software playback

> As for Nick's suggestion about mp3HD, I think this is a bit dangerous
> because only players (and readers) supporting mp3HD will read the lossless
> part. The others will only read the compressed part. So it might be a bit
> tricky to know which part is actually used.

Agreed. For most people mp3HD will be just mp3 file (quality-wise) but
much bigger than "normal" mp3.


> -Etienne
> On 14/09/2012 09:55, Dan Stowell wrote:
>> Robert,
>> It's not clear to me whether you're asking about short-term presentation
>> or long-term archival. I think Etienne's response covers the important
>> points for short-term (although I would point out that MP3 has an
>> overwhelming critical mass of usage, and certainly doesn't rely on flash for
>> playback!).
>> For archival, the "TC04" archiving standard (IASA 2009) would recommend
>> that you aim for 24bit / 96 kHz BWAV (BWAV, "Broadcast WAV", is related to
>> ordinary WAV, with some small tweaks to the format for scaleability).
>> Best
>> Dan
>> On 13/09/12 15:54, Robert Zatorre wrote:
>>> Dear list
>>> In an effort to enhance the Frontiers in Auditory Cognitive Neuroscience
>>> journal, we would like to enable sounds files to be uploaded for
>>> reviewers to be able to hear the stimuli used in a given experiment.
>>> Eventually we would also like to have a means of having these sound
>>> files embedded directly into the online journal article so that readers
>>> can hear the stimuli used. (Of course this could apply not only to
>>> stimuli, but also to other sound files that are part of the study, such
>>> as recorded vocalizations, speech or musical sounds produced under some
>>> experimental conditions, and so forth)
>>> My question for you all is what file formats do you think we would need
>>> to support? The two obvious ones are wav and mp3, but perhaps there are
>>> others that you may think are important or that have some advantages
>>> that should also be considered.
>>> Thank you for your thoughts.
>>> PS feel free to send me your comments directly
>>> -+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
>>> Robert J. Zatorre, Ph.D.
>>> Montreal Neurological Institute
>>> 3801 University St.
>>> Montreal, QC Canada H3A 2B4
>>> phone: 1-514-398-8903
>>> fax: 1-514-398-1338
>>> e-mail: robert.zatorre@xxxxxxxxx
>>> web site: www.zlab.mcgill.ca