geek music opensource tips

FLAC = the ultimate WAV compressor

Filtermodulation II
cc-licensed photo by altemark

Lately I’ve been dealing with a large amount of audio files in WAV format that needed to be shipped across the internet. I had heard about the open source audio compression format FLAC before, but after trying various of compression algorithms like Zip or 7zip it turns out that FLAC is the absolute shiznit when it comes down to compacting your WAV file in a lossless way.

It saves you up to 50% of space, which is a lot if you end up hoaling an hour of music over the net. That turns 600 MB in roughly 300MB, which also takes hours off my upload time due to pesky bandwidth limits. The time it takes to compress from WAV to FLAC is neglectable. It’s also supahfast compared to 7zip running in maximum mode for instance!

FLAC is also natively supported in wicked media players like WinAmp, and the open source sound editing tool Audacity. Windows Media Player doesn’t play ze FLAC, so it ain’t wicked. Nuff said.

If 50% gain doesn’t quite cut it you might want to consider converting to ogg or mp3 at extremely high bitrates. There will be some quality loss, but with mp3’s compressed with lame‘s insane preset I pretty damn sure you won’t be hearing any of that.
At all.

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