Monday, June 11, 2007

Assignment #94

Audio and Video Formats

Kim Komando had a post last week on audio formats:

MP3--This is an old standard, but still very usable. Almost all music players can handle it. You won't go wrong with MP3.

WMA--This stands for Windows Media Audio. Its files are much smaller than MP3s, but they deliver comparable music quality. Because WMAs are smaller, you can get more of them on the player. Many MP3 music players can also handle WMAs.

AAC--This is Advanced Audio Coding. It is used to format the music sold by Apple and RealNetworks. It is difficult to convert to more open standards such as MP3. Therefore, it is generally restricted to just a few music players.

WAV--This is an uncompressed format. It is sometimes used on recordable CDs. But it is not suited for storage on a computer. It's just too big.

How do you convert WAV to MP3, or MP3 to WMA? There are a number of conversion programs. My favorite is dBpowerAMP. It's free at:

The only thing I’d add is Red Book Audio which is kind of like a WAV file and is the format on your audio CD’s.

Video formats are really complicated and probably the only things you need to know are these main formats that are also streamed.

WMV Windows Media Video from Microsoft

MOV Quick Time Movies from Apple and

FLV Flash Video from Adobe

There is a free piece of software that will change formats of video files. It’s called SUPER © and it’s a bit quirky and confusing but you can get it here:



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