Audio Formats for Background Music

What audio format for background music?

If you start working with royalty free music for your background music you immediately discover that there are many various sizes and formats . Through the years, different manufacturers and software developers have created various audio formats. For beginners, it is not always clear to know which audio format you should choose for your background music needs.

Of course, you can always opt for the best quality. In terms of audio there is nothing wrong with this approach, but in reality it is difficult. We all know that computer files consist of bits and bytes, and that a very large top quality audio file needs loads of processor power, ram memory and harddisk space.

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 It is therefore important to select the correct audio format for your presentation, film or video projects. There are quite a few differences between the different audio format and in this serie of articles I will look into that in detail.

Compressed background music

A first form of audio formats are compressed formats.  This means that the software lowers the amount of data contained in the audiofile. This isn’t necessary a bad thing, surely not in the context of internet background music.

We distinguish two types of compressed files.

Lossless Compression

The first form of compression is lossless compression.

  • What this means is that after the process of compression and compression all data is restored like before the compression process.
  • No data is lost, hence the name lossless compression.
  • To explain briefly how this works: during the compression all empty spaces in the audio track are removed and reinserted during the decompression stage. What the computers sees as empty spaces are what human call ‘silence’.
  • It is clear that the extent to which you can compress very much depend on the amount of silence that exists in the file. A text that is spoken with some hesitations or a moment of silence while the speaker is thinking is filtered out. The software has much more ability to  leave pieces of audio behind and thus the resulting file will be substancially smaller. If you have busy background music there won’t be a load to silence to filter out.

Lossy compression

Another type of compression is a file, in which there is an actual loss of data.

  • The best known audio format under this category is the mp3. With an mp3, a large number of data is actually discarded. This seems at first sight a huge loss in information but there has been loads of research in this field. For the development of the mp3 format, scientists checked how the human brain interprets the audio signals that enter through the ear. Experiments have shown that it is possible to leave almost 90% of the data out, without a substantial loss in perceived audio quality.
  • This makes the mp3 a popular format for many applications. Youtube background music in mp3 format is an excellent choice and a good compromise between audio quality and file size. For that readon, our free music comes in mp3 format.
  • We’ll digg deeper into the subject in the next blog post.

In the meanwhile,

Stay Tuned!

Mike

Producer of Royalty Free Background Music

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