>"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 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
> 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]