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Re: Sound file formats for journal

A somewhat parallel discussion recently took place on the cec-cnference list stimulated by the announcement / speculation that Sibelius [music notation program] might cease development. To me, what became clear [again] is that the file format needs to remain "independent" of 'interpretation' in order to remain viable for the future. I have several boxes of disks with files which cannot be opened, some less than 15 years old.

Given that bandwidth and memory are no longer major issues in computing, it seems to me that a 'raw' [equivalent] file format may be best to survive a couple of decades. The file, while large, would be independent of the program which would compress / expand it for transmission. mp3 was created to reduce file size in an era when bandwidth was an issue. I recall discussions as to whether the CEC [Canadian Electroacoustic Community] Newsletter and its jukebox [sonus.ca] should make files available in any other format than mono 8bit/12kHz sampling. The decision was to store the 'master' file as 16/44.1 stereo, and convert to 8/12 mono when the file was to be sent to the modem. [A high speed device that would transfer up to 2400 bits/sec.]

With the later decision to store the files as 16/44.1 and stream at 320 kb/sec, the original files could simply be 'switched over' [or even made available] when the bandwidth problem was solved. For my classwork, the minimum acceptable audio format is 24/48kHz, with most students preferring to work at 32/96kHz, this in a way approximating a 'raw' format for audio http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raw_image_format.

The question is then articulated as what file formats should be supported for longterm storage, and which for transmission purposes? Transmission formats could / would change over time, but the 'raw' would always be resident in the files.


On 2012, Sep 13, at 10:54 AM, 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
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> e-mail: robert.zatorre@xxxxxxxxx
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