preferred formats

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Mystic_Realmz 101 Mar 25, 2007 at 13:37

While I understand that most games now use mp3 format…are there any other preferred formats other than .ogg, also, what is the best compression ratio?

Thanks,

Mystic Realmz Productions

www.mysticrealmz.com

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Nils_Pipenbrinck 101 Mar 25, 2007 at 14:33

Wma is also used sometimes, all other formats play no major role.

The choice of format is usually pragmatic: You take the format that works best (e.g. is supported by your library / operation system).

When it comes to deliver audio (I think that’s the reason why you’ve asked): I always got the final tracks as uncompressed wav (44khz, 16 bit). This is important especially if the music runs in sync with a movie. mp3 files can have a short delay at the start which ruines all the syncronization.

For pre-releases I was always happy to get good sounding mp3 or ogg file. If I just want to see how something works with music a 128kbit mp3 is more than sufficient.

Nils

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Mystic_Realmz 101 Mar 25, 2007 at 16:28

That is VERY helpful:) Thank you!

Seems you’re a fellow guitarist from the photo, very cool! I have gotten too far away from guitar since I got into synths…think I’ll do some work in the rock arena for a change…gotta work out this military piece I’m working on first. Thanks again!

Mystic Realmz Productions
www.mysticrealmz.com

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Nils_Pipenbrinck 101 Mar 25, 2007 at 18:11

@Mystic Realmz

That is VERY helpful:) Thank you!

Seems you’re a fellow guitarist from the photo, very cool! I have gotten too far away from guitar since I got into synths…think I’ll do some work in the rock arena for a change…gotta work out this military piece I’m working on first. Thanks again!

Mystic Realmz Productions
www.mysticrealmz.com

No problem. I’ve worked with musicans before (in the game biz), and it’s not a trade secret. One thing that I forgot to mention: Programmers like to compress the files on their own. This gives them the best control over disk usage, decoding speed and streaming bandwidth. For stuff like audio and video, where a lot of data has to be converted, that can make a big difference.

That will degrate the quality. The gamers won’t notice, but you will.

If you listen to one of your tracks in a game, don’t get upset. It’s not that the programmer/sound guy hates you. It’s just compressed that bad because it has to run on a lowend machine (e.g. couple of years old) as well.

Btw - Yes, I play guitar, but I’m not a musican. It’s just one of my hobbies.

Nils

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TheNut 179 Mar 26, 2007 at 00:45

Lots of games use a modified WAV format. Usually they compress and encrypt it into their own format. For music or long streams, it will most likely remain compressed (mp3, ogg) to improve playback performance. I haven’t seen any games take advantage of DVD-audio though (music). The difference is like night and day, really nice.

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juhnu 101 Mar 26, 2007 at 04:17

Make sure you check licensing issues of a format as well.

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MuggenHor 101 Mar 28, 2007 at 20:29

For the purpose of storing your audio I would suggest using a lossless format (e.g. uncompressed wav, or something like FLAC). Also what Nils said about programmers preferring to have uncompressed (or lossless like FLAC) holds true, at least for me. For example the OggVorbis (on a sidenote: ogg really is no audio format, just a fileformat, Vorbis is the codec really) libraries are much more friendly in streaming audio from non-disk sources (e.g. directly out of a .pak/.zip/etc file) than some mp3 implementations I’ve seen.

Also as juhnu said, licenses (patents to be accurate) play a role as well. For example mp3 is patented, whereas OggVorbis is not.

Anyway as long as you deliver your audio in a lossless format (wav is lossless as well btw, just very large at the same time), or at least keep you originals stored lossless, you should be safe.

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Mystic_Realmz 101 Mar 29, 2007 at 16:26

Thank you so much to all who responded, you guys rock!