Which file format to use for sound/music/voice?

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Anarchy
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Which file format to use for sound/music/voice?

#1 Post by Anarchy »

I'm thinking of including voice work in my next VN, and I was wondering what file format would work best. I'm under the impression that wav files have the best audio quality, but mp3 takes up the least space? Something like that? Can somebody give me some general guidelines on the pros and cons of the sound formats that Ren'py supports?

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Re: Which file format to use for sound/music/voice?

#2 Post by dramspringfeald »

WAV and MP3 are Microsoft products. Your best bet are Ogg's

But if you wish Wave is the way to go for it does not suffer Compression sickness as much as MP3's do.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vorbis <Ogg
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opus_(audio_format)
Last edited by dramspringfeald on Wed Nov 14, 2012 10:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Which file format to use for sound/music/voice?

#3 Post by KomiTsuku »

Anarchy wrote:I'm thinking of including voice work in my next VN, and I was wondering what file format would work best. I'm under the impression that wav files have the best audio quality, but mp3 takes up the least space? Something like that? Can somebody give me some general guidelines on the pros and cons of the sound formats that Ren'py supports?
.WAV files tend to be rather massive. I just use .OGG due to licensing restrictions on .MP3 and .OGG having a smaller file size.

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Re: Which file format to use for sound/music/voice?

#4 Post by Anarchy »

KomiTsuku wrote:
Anarchy wrote:I'm thinking of including voice work in my next VN, and I was wondering what file format would work best. I'm under the impression that wav files have the best audio quality, but mp3 takes up the least space? Something like that? Can somebody give me some general guidelines on the pros and cons of the sound formats that Ren'py supports?
.WAV files tend to be rather massive. I just use .OGG due to licensing restrictions on .MP3 and .OGG having a smaller file size.
Wait... so I have to pay licensing fees if I want to use an MP3 file in my VN? First of all, what the fuck. I did not know that at all. Second of all, thank you all for the advice, looks like I'll be using nothing but Audacity to record to .ogg from now on.

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Re: Which file format to use for sound/music/voice?

#5 Post by PyTom »

Record to something like flac, then compress to Ogg Vorbis.

The reason for this is that at some point, Ren'Py will support Ogg Opus, and that will very likely become the preferred format.
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Re: Which file format to use for sound/music/voice?

#6 Post by leon »

Anarchy wrote:Wait... so I have to pay licensing fees if I want to use an MP3 file in my VN? First of all, what the fuck. I did not know that at all.
I think the fees only apply to decoding and encoding software, not the MP3 files.

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Re: Which file format to use for sound/music/voice?

#7 Post by Ziassan »

There are many audio formats, but I'll comment about 5 of them here.
For your question : Music->Ogg, Voices->Ogg, Sounds->Flac. Replace Ogg by Opus when it'll be supported.

Lossy formats

* MP3 : Most popular, but far from the best nowadays. It is still used in audio distribution because most of mobile devices and such can't read better formats. It's proprietary and you have most of the time to pay fees to use it for commercial purposes etc etc. See this page for reference : http://mp3licensing.com/royalty/software.html
=> To only use if you want people to play your audio file on restricted devices like phones and such, or if selling the file (people often want to buy an .MP3, not some strang format they don't know about)

* OGG : Most popular free & open format, common among creators. It has a better ratio quality/filesize than the MP3, and you can use it as you wish. Vast majority of the projects around here use it, and as a musician I export the final file in this format 90% of time. You should use this one for long audio files.
=> To use everywhere else, as long as the next format isn't popular enough.

* OPUS : Recent format which has a far better ratio quality/filesize than the two previous, and it is also royalty-free, open and such. Being recent not a lot of things read it, but its quality being quite famous among people concerned by creation, its reputation is growing quite well.
=> To use when you can, actually it'll not be often, but in some nice futur, maybe..

Loseless formats (compression keeping all the data but being around x10 in filesize)

* WAV : Microsoft&IBM format, the most popular as loseless though now quite old and profesionnal don't use it (BWF for instance, is used instead).

* FLAC : Open/free alternative, you can somewhat say it is to WAV what OGG is to MP3. It allows a lot more variety of bitrate and is an efficiant loseless format.

Loseless formats is useful for short audio files (like sound effects) since "loading" them is less complexe for the computer than lossy ones (need confirmation for that).
When tweaking sounds and working with audio loseless formats have to be used until the last export (otherwise you loose each time a bit of quality).

If you have a very good ear and are a meloman, listening to loseless can be some pleasant luxury, but the truth is that a very few people can tell the difference between a 320 kbit/s OGG and a FLAC audio file, often people in audio creation.
Though if you sell music via internet you'll have quite a lot of people wanting loseless, for their own satisfaction I guess.

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Re: Which file format to use for sound/music/voice?

#8 Post by AxemRed »

Small correction: WAV isn't an audio codec, only a container file format. It can contain uncompressed audio, MP3 or a number of other codecs.

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Re: Which file format to use for sound/music/voice?

#9 Post by Ziassan »

Yeah of course, though nobody said it was an audio codec, and WAV is most of the time referring to PCM. I didn't go deeper to make it simpler.
The subject being quite large, if we begin to speak about codecs, container and such it'll never end ahah.

Also, really looking forward to
Pytom wrote:The reason for this is that at some point, Ren'Py will support Ogg Opus, and that will very likely become the preferred format.
the audio filesize being quite a thing, especially with voiced VN, it'll be really something good for everybody, creators and players.

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