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Last updated: August 30, 2006
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Thirty Years of Audio Recording
Peter Friedlander: Wednesday, 30 August 2006

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Software for Sound Recording
There are two elements to the software to consider. There is a need for software to download recordings to the computer and software to edit recordings. Devices such as Minidisc recorders and IC recorders come with dedicated software, so you have no choice which to use, but the sound editing software is something you can pick and chose.

Sony IC Recorder ICD-MS525

It is important that the recorder allow the files to be saved in a format on the computer such as a Wave file. Wave is the name of a file format which has two advantages, it is easy to exchange between different programs, and it is lossless, the file is a perfect copy of the original. However, it also has a major disadvantage; the files are large and so unsuitable for distribution over the internet etc.

It is also important to have sound editing software which will allow the sound file to be saved in a format which will be suitable for distribution. The most common format for this at the moment is MP3. MP3 is a compressed format, it is not as good as the original at low levels of compression it is very similar to the original and at high levels of compression it is a poor, but working copy. Windows users can also use WMA format files, which are highly compressed but good quality and start to play as soon as you start to download them on a modern PC, but Mac users cannot access them. Quicktime and RealPlayer are also good formats, but I stick to MP3 as far as possible.

To distribute recordings on CDs they can be converted from Wave files into Audio CDs or as MP3 files they can be distributed as Data CDs. To distribute as downloads they need to be in the form of MP3 files and/or WMA files. Finally to distribute as email attachments low quality MP3 files are my preferred option.


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Texts and Translations © Peter G. Friedlander unless otherwise indicated.