WAV is technically proprietary, as it's a subset of Microsoft's RIFF.
One of the reasons broadcast WAV became--and is--the defacto standard for
audio preservation was because of its ubiquity of being read. Don't get me
wrong, I love FLAC, and it's what I've standardized on at home for my
digital audio needs, but FLAC isn't universally read out in the real
world. I know of at least one DAW widely used in libraries and archives
that can read FLAC but not write it. I also don't know if ProTools can
read FLAC as I've never tried it. Anyone know that one?
Getting back to Richard's original question, FLAC isn't the standard for
It's an interesting take of the Aussies to place more faith in FLAC than
BWF, but I wouldn't use it for preservation. Now that various metadata
standards and tools are getting out there, it's a no-brainer to me to have
BWF remain the preservation standard since FLAC and XML don't play as
nicely together as BWF and XML.
On Wed, May 13, 2015 at 6:53 AM, Matthew Snyder <[log in to unmask]>
> Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> What digital audio formats aside from FLAC are considered "non-proprietary,
> > or open source"? Is WAV? How about AIFF?
> Both of those are used and have proven their utility. WAV probably has the
> edge, but a preservation engineer would be a better person to ask. (Matt
> Sohn, hello?) But the link that started this discussion is the first time
> I've heard of a compressed format being used for preservation. If a FLAC
> file is corrupted, can it be at least partially recovered, the way WAV can?
> The Library of Congress's digital preservation website has an extensive
> list of audio file formats and their characteristics here:
> I thought at some point I saw a narrower listing of formats preferred for
> preservation purposes, but maybe I dreamed that. Still, reading these specs
> makes it pretty clear which formats are best for preservation and why.
> Matt Snyder
> Special Collections Unit
> The New York Public Library
> [log in to unmask]
> Tel: 917-229-9582