[clug] Audio file formats

Mike Carden mike.carden at gmail.com
Mon May 19 04:25:23 GMT 2008

> With the aid of Sound Recorder I can record in four formats: ogg, wav, spx
> and flac.  I understand the difference in quality but have no idea of
> cross-platform, cross-media-player-device implications of these formats.
>  Can someone clue me in?

I'm sure someone knowledgeable will chime in with all sorts of info
and links, but I'll just contribute one small factoid.

I like and use FLAC but I've discovered a bit of a problem with it. If
96kHz, 24 bits per sample pcm audio (e.g. WAV) is encoded as FLAC,
most players can't play it. In fact so far I've only found that WinAmp
with a plugin  and FooBar2000 will play back 96/24 FLAC files on
Windows, and none of the usual suspects on Linux (VLC, mplayer et al)
play them at all. Not many people create 96/24 audio files, so it's
possibly no big deal but in Audiovisual Preservation Land, 96/24 is
very popular.

It looks like it has something to do with the way in which audio
players parse or fail to parse the FLAC headers that declare what the
audio part of the file is. Some players just play it back as noise and
others play back silence.

For my CDs that I keep stored as FLAC, this isn't an issue because
they're encoded at a much lower rate and resolution.


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