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There are two main types of "audio" files - 'sound' and 'music'.


This is just a sequence of sound samples (8 or 16 bit), which was sampled at a given frequency (4000 Hz, 8000 Hz, 11.1, 22.2, 44.4 kHz etc). they can be stored raw or compressed.

Variety of formats:

.WAV lossless, win31, win95 popular (also called RIFF by the subfmt)
.AIFF lossless, amiga, indy
.AU lossless, sunos, indy
.VOC lossless, soundblaster std, old pc std
.MP3 MPEG-3 audio, lossy (10x compression is undetectable) and optionally lossless I think, becoming very popular now (1997)

There are a host of others, proprietary, for WWW music sending, phone/speech compression for web-phone etc.

eg. RealAudio (becoming less popular due to MP3) It is /streaming/ audio - so it reduces quality if connection is slow, takes care of missing packets etc, more a protocol+compression. There are many others, usually plug-ins for Netscape.


Music files are more structured - they typically have the concepts of:

.MID (MIDI) standard for instrument/computer interfacing, indy, pc usually depends on host computer to synthesize/assign the instruments ie. more like an algorithm for playing the piece
.MOD old pc fmt, common 5 years ago for dance music/techno, embeds the instrument SOUNDS in it, simple file format
.ST3 soundtracker, screamtracker, similar to .MOD

Probably some others for indy.


allows you to edit waveforms, crop, add effects (echo etc) MIX 2 waveforms
allows composing of songs etc, basic instryments available
record WAVs of whole instruments, MIX them into a song, add drum machine etc like a mini studio, or a 4-track recorder etc
soundplayer?, soundedit?
Linux Applications and Utilities Page:
... huge list
Windows95 (probably 3.1 as well):
http://www.windows95.com/ windows 95 home page
... huge list



- Tortsen Seemann © 1997

Copyright © L.Allison Department of Computer Science, Monash University, Australia 3168 / 1997