[Flac-users] FLAC/LPAC/Bzip2 better for archival?

Josh Coalson xflac at yahoo.com
Wed Apr 10 11:12:17 PDT 2002

--- linuxrulesusa at netscape.net wrote:
> Hi.  I am a student with limited funds and storage space on my linux
> box.  So I am trying to decide what audio compression scheme to use
> for my collection of audio tapes (recordings of one speaker,
> preaching in an church auditorium, recorded with low-grade mics and
> tape decks) converted to digital audio (16bit, stereo, WAV, 44100Hz).
>  Is FLAC, LPAC, or a standard data compression format better for
> compressing this type of audio for long-term storage/archival
> purposes?  Thanks for your help.

First, bzip2 is not designed for audio so the compression will
be very minimal.

You have to rank what's available by your needs.  I'm biased of
course and some of these may be different for you but here's my

#1 For archival, the format must be open, otherwise you run the
   risk of losing access to your data at some future time
#2 Are there codecs for all the platforms you want to run on
#3 Performance on your data (compression ratio/speed)
#4 Other features (metadata, error recovery, etc.)

You may have a special requirement in #2 or #4 that is an
overriding thing, but if not, this pretty much defines what
you can use.

For #1, you have 3 choices: FLAC, Shorten, and maybe Monkey's Audio
(3.96alpha only, there's no source for other versions).  But
for Shorten and MAC3.96a, you have to be good enough with code
to reverse engineer the format from the implementation.  There
is Bonk, Kexis, and Ogg Squish but they are not actively

For #2, see the first table at http://flac.sf.net/comparison.html
Only FLAC and Shorten have any support for non-windows players.
Only FLAC has any support in any kind of hardware.  Judging from
your email address I'd say Linux support is mandatory... that
really narrows down your options.

For #3, see the next table on the comparison page.  FLAC is
somewhere in the middle.  It may move up in the next release
but that is still a couple of months away.

For #4, this will take some more research into each format
but your list should be pretty narrowed down by now :)  You
can see a summary of FLAC's features here:

Hope this helps.


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