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    MP3 vs WAV


    Seems like most of the sound files on the site are WAV files. For folk on a limited mobile data connection it would be useful if samples were available as smaller MP3 files also.

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    329 sounds
    66 posts


    It's a rather tricky line to distinguish.

    MP3 does limit the quality of the audio significantly (although most often negligible to our ears, the difference is there). If more sounds were uploaded as MP3, you would lose that quality.

    Further, you can always downgrade audio quality, but you can never upgrade audio quality: a .wav file can become an .mp3 file, but an .mp3 file would sound identical if converted to a .wav file (and have a bigger file size too).

    So it seems that it is more logical to keep things how they are, seeing as it is a minor inconvenience to few to have to download .wav files, and/or convert them to .mp3 themselves, compared to a major inconvenience to all if every sound was uploaded as .mp3, therefore with lower quality.

    You could argue that this site could offer multiple different formats to download the sounds, but (to be realistic) with the amount of sounds on this site, it would be far too pointless to significantly increase the amount of data uploaded from this site for something that can be done by each individual user (unless there's a simpler way I don't know of - I am no expert at this stuff).

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    224 sounds
    525 posts


    InspectorJ wrote:
    You could argue that this site could offer multiple different formats to download the sounds, but (to be realistic) with the amount of sounds on this site, it would be far too pointless to significantly increase the amount of data uploaded from this site for something that can be done by each individual user (unless there's a simpler way I don't know of - I am no expert at this stuff).

    Absolutely seconded. The only cases where multiple formats would help are bandwidth constraints like for mojorising1 and inability to convert the downloaded files (lack of proper software and/or knowledge).

    That said, there may be alternatives that impact more on the processing side than on the storage, no idea how feasible they are in Freesound's case in particular.

    The "cheapest" solution is based on the assumption that the playable sound previews are low quality versions of the original sounds; can anyone confirm/confute that? If confirmed, the previews of high quality sounds could be made downloadable.

    An alternative would be to convert the high quality sound to mp3 on the fly, and trash the temporary file once downloaded.

    A similar alternative would be to zip the .wav on the fly; a zipped .flac would save less but it may still be something.

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    2076 sounds
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    copyc4t wrote:
    ... to convert the high quality sound to mp3 on the fly ...
    Mp3 encoding is still under-patent in some regions ... https://wikipedia.org/wiki/MP3#Licensing_and_patent_issues
    So if Freesound was to incorporate an mp3 encoder they'd be liable for a license-fee.

    copyc4t wrote:
    A similar alternative would be to zip the .wav on the fly; a zipped .flac would save less but it may still be something.
    Zipping a flac doesn't reduce file size any further.

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    224 sounds
    525 posts


    Timbre wrote:
    copyc4t wrote:
    ... to convert the high quality sound to mp3 on the fly ...
    Mp3 encoding is still under-patent in some regions ... https://wikipedia.org/wiki/MP3#Licensing_and_patent_issues
    So if Freesound was to incorporate an mp3 encoder they'd be liable for a license-fee.

    OGG then wink

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