Which Doesn’t Belong? Mp2, MP3, MP4, ACC, FLAC, SHN, WMA, WTF

Audio Formats

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Welcome to another addition of Terms You May not Know! Everybody knows about the MP3 (MPEG Layer 3) audio format. If you don’t you and are a fan of music, you have been living under a mountain since 1991! Ok, the consumer market for the mp3 emerged when the mp3 players did, and that wasn’t until later on it 1997.

There is more than just mp3 that rule the world of formats, such as WMA, WAV, and ACC. These have a stake in this world too.

I am not a fan of WMA (Windows Media Audio) because everything I have ever listened to in WMA sounds like rocks in a blender, but it is out there and many use this format. I think it’s because it’s all they know. We need to change that!

WAV format is another that is used a lot in Protools. At least it’s what I used in Protools. WAV is another uncompressed format like FLAC. (We will define this next week) WAVs are cd quality sound files, thus using them in Protools.

Lossy vs Lossless

A lossy file does exactly what is sounds like, it loses quality as it’s compressed. Lossy files are smaller in size compared to lossless files, but a greater quality of the audio is dropped.

Formats that are compressed, lossy files include:


Lossless files are file formats that can go through compression and then uncompressed and lose no quality. They include:


The Main formats Live Hub uses for downloads are mp3 and FLAC. We want users to be able to listen to the performances on their mp3 players along with hearing them how they are supposed to be heard.

Next Monday…It’s About the FLAC!

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  1. Steve says:

    You are slandering the wma format which is a fair bit better than mp3 for podcatsts or audiobooks.
    It can be played natively on non-ipod mp3 players and has two-pass encoding which is something that will probably never be implemented for mp3.
    It also has VBR and ABR just like LAME (although I use LAME for high bitrate files like music). There’s even a batch processor for Windows Media Encoder.

    It’s only minus is when it comes to mono audio, as only CBR and low bitrates are available.


  1. […] (Free Lossless Audio Codec) is actually a digital music format. FLAC is an uncompressed or lossless compression format, typically used by […]

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