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    Sustainability Suggestion: FLAC by default


    Hello, I'm new around here

    Freesound is an amazing project, which I hope will be sustainable for many years to come. After reading the 2018 sustainability report, I realized that many sounds are in the wav format. Isn't it a bit wasteful on the bandwidth? Wouldn't it be worth it to compress wav files to FLAC (which is lossless, same quality) on the server, and let it be the default download option?

    Then, also allow people who can't use the format (or just don't want to) download the original wav file. Then maybe we'd have the best of both worlds.

    What does the staff think about this?

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    328 sounds
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    Surely your concern about saving server bandwidth is contradicted by your suggestion of having both the FLAC and the original WAV available for download in addition to the transcoded streaming file.

    FLAC files are very inconvenient for professionals in audio so it's hard to get people to agree with having FLAC as a standard download here. It's just not supported widely enough for it to be viable. I'm not denying that having lossless audio at a smaller file size isn't superior, i'm saying that right now it's redundant due to software incompatibilities.


    I am the thing that goes bump in the night...



    The Freesound Team
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    3400 sounds
    329 posts


    I use flac for really large files, but in general if I upload a sound in flac then I get complaints about users not understanding how to use it or telling me to reupload in wav or mp3. The download number of my flac files is considerably lower than wav files.

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    2067 sounds
    2243 posts


    Agree with all the points made. It is not the first time that a format or technology is not adopted in favour of another that is technically inferior but more popular (for commercial or other reasons). The beta videotape format comes to mind...

    Anyway. Be that as it may, for useability Freesound should not make FLAC the default format. It is still supported and people can upload in that format, if they want to.

    Personally, I have downloaded some sounds in FLAC format a few times. It is a pain to have to convert these files using additional software, so I can then try the sound in my DAW and see if it fits the project.
    But worth it, if the sound is a good one smile

    I want to believe.

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