Brandon,
 
FWIW, the standard that seems to have gained popularity in everday audio post-production is the BWF format. This is due primarily to the ability to write header data, as well as the cross-platform compatibility with most operating systems and software. While this doesn't neccesarily cross over into the area of archiving, most of the files we use for production work are archived in either BWF or SD-2.
 
--Scott
 
Scott D. Smith
Chicago Audio Works, Inc.
1644 N. Honore
Suite 301
Chicago, IL 60622
Phone: (312) 337-8282
 
----- Original Message -----
From: "Brandon Burke" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Wednesday, March 24, 2004 11:59 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Prefered format for digital archiving?

> >"In my non-professional opinion, there is no standard format."
>
> Yea...that's pretty much what I figured.  I've been researching
> standards for months now and it's becoming painfully clear that there
> is no general consensus.  In a way, I think this is good.  There's a
> ton of options out there and they all serve different purposes.  I was
> just putting the feelers out to get an idea what most of you thought on
> the matter; mostly because one of my co-workers asked me this question
> earlier today and, as much as I like to think I know what's going on, I
> wasn't sure what to tell him.  Things seem to change by the hour......
>
> More than anything I was interested to see if there was something I was
> missing regarding WAV v. AIFF.  I was unaware of AIFF's waning
> popularity so I guess that's a factor that I wasn't considering.  Nice
> to know.  Regardless, it seems like we're all on the same page here.
>
> Again, I appreciate the replies.
>
> Brandon
>
> Brandon Burke
> Graduate Research Assistant
> Digital Library Services
> University of Texas at Austin
> Austin, TX
> phone: (512) 495-4439
> email:
[log in to unmask]
>
> *********************************************************************
> *  "Stand up and face the full force of a dissonance like a man."  *
> *
>                                            *
> *                                                          -- Charles
> Ives                             *
> *********************************************************************
>
>
> On Mar 24, 2004, at 5:43 PM, Mike Richter wrote:
>
> > At 03:37 PM 3/24/2004 -0600, Brandon Burke wrote:
> >> I know this is a loaded question but...
> >>
> >> Is there an accepted standard format for audio files that are to be
> >> digitaly
> >> archived on a server of some sort? By this I mean a format that does
> >> not
> >> entail
> >> condensing and/or any other manipulations that would in any way
> >> affect my
> >> ability to go back, open up, and have access to "the whole thing".
> >> I'm not
> >> talking about simply saving, let's say, a Pro Tools session en masse
> >> but
> >> rather
> >> a file format that retains as much of the "sound" information as
> >> possible. Not
> >> the session itself. I'm asuming that these are completed sessions.
> >> Also, I'm
> >> not concerned with things like CD-Rs, etc; though I obviously would
> >> like to
> >> preserve the ability to make them again later.
> >>
> >> My guess is that we're talking about either a WAV or AIFF files, no?
> >
> > In my non-professional opinion, there is no standard format.
> >
> > There are three parameters of interest for a digital file with audio
> > information: sample rate, bit depth, number of channels. A CD uses 44.1
> > ksps, 16 bits, two channels. The highest quality at moderate cost
> > today is
> > 96 ksps, 24 bits, two channels. Purists will argue that information is
> > still lost with those parameters - and that is certainly true in
> > theory. In
> > the other direction, spoken word is generally considered fully
> > intelligible
> > at 16 ksps, 8 bits, one channel - my approximation to the target for
> > telephone quality. Somewhere in that 36:1 range, you are likely to find
> > your preferred operating point.
> >
> > AIFF has lost popularity in modern times; it offers no advantage over
> > WAV
> > and has been pretty much superseded even on the Apple computers which
> > were
> > its 'home' in decades past. Depending on the operating parameters you
> > choose and on your considerations of storage space and convenience, you
> > should look into lossless compression. Both Shorten and Monkeys Audio
> > provide lossless compression. If the parameters you have chosen for
> > WAV are
> > substantially used by your signal, compression of the order of 2:1 is
> > routine. If you have much wider bandwidth than is used for the bulk of
> > the
> > audio (including noise), substantially higher compression is routine.
> > Since
> > the compression is lossless, the decompressed file is identical with
> > the
> > original.
> >
> >
> > Mike
> > --
> >
[log in to unmask]
> > http://www.mrichter.com/
> >