If you spend much time working with audio files, either as a producer or you utilize them when creating other projects like software or applications, you have probably noticed how many different types are out there. In order to keep your workflow consistent, you need to utilize audio transcoding.
Why are there so many audio filetypes?
Some file types are older than others and may have been in use for years or even decades–these have found their place in the working world. Others are newer technology. The reason for all the different types is that each brings something different to the table.
Consider just a few of the common types you may commonly encounter:
- Mp3 – An mp3 is one of the earliest forms of condensed sound storage. It offers a compact file and is readily accessed by a variety of devices. There is some quality loss, but it is often considered minimal compared to the benefits
- Wav – A .wav file is the Microsoft standard for storing “chunks” of audio. The quality is considered very good, nearly CD quality, but the size restrictions can make using these files in a small app a bit challenging.
- Ogg – An ogg is a compressed audio file. It is a “container file” holding not only the audio clip itself, but information such as a title, track information and metadata. One of the biggest downfalls to ogg is that it is not supported by Apple.
- Aac – In many ways, .aac is very similar to .mp3. It is a condensed form of storage that has some quality loss. Overall, it is considered a bit higher quality and a bit more condensed, so it often is a better choice, but may not have the flexibility that .mp3 does for utilization.
- Wma – .WMA is a proprietary format utilized by Microsoft Windows. It actually encompasses different formats including higher and lower quality sound which can be larger or smaller in terms of space. Since it is only generally used by Windows systems, it may not be a good choice for all projects.
- M4a – M4a was originally intended as a successor for mp3, but it wasn’t necessarily picked up with the same readiness that the mp3 file format was. Yes, the quality is better and the size is smaller, but because the mp3 was already so accepted, it had a hard time gathering the following needed to gain steam. However, many popular programs do open m4a files.
The Audio Transcoding Solution
The reality is, if you are utilizing the wrong audio format for your application, you’re not getting the best possible output. Is space or size of the utmost concern, or do you need the best possible quality? If you have extensive audio files to include in an application, for instance, trying to push them through in .wav format could be an impossibility. The reason for this is that .wav is a nearly CD-level quality music format. Instead, you could format the audio file to something a bit friendlier (such as the well-known mp3 or even more compact and slightly higher quality AAC) and most likely your product will run much more smoothly.
With so many file types available, and such an importance placed on choosing the right one for your project, having an easy way to transcode from one format to another is a must.
Filestack offers an easy solution for audio transcoding format directly within an application. In fact, we can provide audio/video transcoding in as little as 2 lines of coding directly within your application. If you’d like to learn more about how Filestack works, we invite you to reach out to our team if you have any questions.
We look forward to helping you accomplish more with your audio!
Read More →