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Re: AUDITORY Digest - 14 Sep 2012 to 15 Sep 2012 (#2012-229)
Here is a very simple rule to follow which easily answers the question
of file formats:
Dont use a proprietary format. Only use a format that has support in the
open source community (i.e., Linux/unix). I'm not saying you must use
Linux, rather I'm saying make sure somebody can run open-source to read
and write that file. Then your safe far into the future.
Save your files in an ISO format, such as on a standard DVD. Best to
save it to the internet, someplace safe.
Be aware of the life-time of the storage medium (dont use magnetic tape,
or floppy drives ;-)
On 09/15/2012 11:01 PM, AUDITORY automatic digest system wrote:
There are 4 messages totalling 741 lines in this issue.
Topics of the day:
1. Sound file formats for journal 2. Longcat AudioStage (2) 3. Cosyne
2013 Reminder: Call for Workshop Proposals
Date: Sat, 15 Sep 2012 02:15:59 -0400 From: Kevin Austin
<kevin.austin@xxxxxxxxxxxx> Subject: Re: Sound file formats for
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
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
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.