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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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    543 sounds
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    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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    238 sounds
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    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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    2125 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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    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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    MP3′s have something of a poor generational half-life. You start with an MP3 rip of a CD – even at 256Kbps, you’ve already lost audio information. That MP3 then gets sent to a friend of yours, who burns it on a CD. More data lost (probably a fair bit, too). Your friend loses the digital original, and re-rips the MP3 from the CD to give it to a friend – by now, there is a very noticeable loss in audio quality in the file. Errors and irregularities have started popping up, and in the strictly archival sense, the song is now basically worthless as a record of the original.WAV format files are uncompressed, leaving the data of the file unaltered. This allows for all the recorded and sampled sound information to be retained, at the cost of much higher storage needs.But now have many programs can convert MP3 to WAV or re-convert such as wondershare http://www.avangate.com/affiliates/marketplace/product/Wondershare-Video-Converter-Ultimate.html but it is a little expensive for me to purchase it, so I choose a free program http://www.videoconverterfactory.com/tips/flac-to-alac.html can convert audio formats too, my audio most are FLAC and I often convert them to ALAC for more devices.
    cheers

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