Audio File Formats

An audio file format is a specification stating the structure of how audio data should be stored. (Remember that every minute of stereo audio consumes about 10MB of disk space!).

Compression-Some file formats offer compression-You can shrink the size of your audio files for use in low-bandwidth situations.
Compression affects the quality of the audio-mp3s are lower in sound quality than that of a CD.

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Some Benefits of Using Digital Audio

 Digital audio can be altered in many different ways than that
 of an analog recording-”Copy” “Cut and Paste”.

Endless editing capabilities.

Can be stored in a number of different formats.

When storing or backing up Digital Audio there is no loss of
of quality.

Digital Audio allows you to study a performance more  

Digital Audio Applications

CD - Most common application (74  Minutes of music or 650MB of memory)

CD-R (CD Recordable)

CD-RW (CD Recordable/Rewriteable)

DVD (Digital Versatile Disc) 4.7 GB Memory (DVD-RW, DVD-R, etc.)

MiniDisc - Introduced by Sony in 1992.  Intended to replace the cassette tape and CD platforms.  Popularity never took off.

MP3 - Standard distribution for commercial recordings.  (iPods, iTunes)

DAT - Digital Audio Tape is a stereo format that was popular for amateur and pro musicians to record their music.  Sound is recorded onto magnetic tape and used for direct to stereo recording of a live performance.  16-bit resolution w/ 48 KHz or 44.1 KHz sampling rate.  Uses a miniature VCR tape.

Now being discontinued.

Hard Disk Recording Systems/Workstations-Recording medium of choice.  Record sound onto a hard disk drive. 

Two main  types: Computer based multitrack recording or dedicated standalone multitrack recording.

Portable Hard Disk Recorders- Becoming very popular due to small size, features and recording capabilities. 
Can be directly interfaced into a computer, has built in mics, records on SD (Secure Digital)media cards.  Provides up to 380 minutes of recording (CD quality) or 34 hours in mp3 mode.

Portable Hand-Held Hard Disk Recorder

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