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Re: Sound file formats for journal


Yes, I agree with you. In particular, not keen on mp3hd which is not common and support may easily dry up. I suggest the following summary:

(1) If an author is about to generate some sound samples and wants to know what format the journal wants, the journal should recommend WAV, and ideally 24-bit 96 kHz BWAV. (2) If an author wants to submit audio such as stimuli that were used in an experiment, then they should not be asked to transcode them at all, but to submit the files that were used.

Any good web developer knows how to embed a widget to play audio back in the browser (currently, a widget that automatically uses flash or html5 as appropriate). The journal's technical infrastructure should be able to provide MP3 and Ogg for this purpose from the archival format. This choice of format may change in future.


On 14/09/12 12:59, Etienne Gaudrain wrote:
Hello Dan,

I realized part of my message was unclear.

I might be wrong but I think the ubiquitous method to play sound files
in a web-browser is, to date, based on Flash. This is the only
third-party multimedia plugin that is available on almost all computers
(and plateforms). Now if you download an MP3 file on your machine, of
course there's gazillions of (free) software that will let you read
them, not disputing that.

Now, as Flash is more-or-less set to disappear, especially on portable
devices, a lot of people have turned to HTML5. There you really rely on
what the browser natively supports. Again, I may be wrong but to my
knowledge, while IE, Chrome and Safari support MP3 (and not OGG, apart
for Chrome), Firefox and Opera support OGG (and not MP3). They all
support WAV though (well, except IE but who cares). So if compatibility
is to be maintained with all three main browsers, then both MP3 and OGG
should be used. That's what I wanted to suggest.

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.


On 14/09/2012 09:55, Dan Stowell wrote:

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


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