FOSSCOMM 2018

»Audio Encoding with open source tools«
2018-10-13, 12:00–12:45, Α4

This workshop will focus on understanding the physics of sound and comparing the various digital audio file formats, including a hands-on approach on the encoding processes that convert from one to another, using open-source software.

The variety of digital audio file formats can be distinguished into 3-main categories. The uncompressed lossless (wav, aiff), the compressed lossless (flac, ape, alac et.), and the compressed lossy (mp3, ogg, aac, etc.). Every category fulfills a different purpose, regarding the production and distribution of digital audio. This workshop will include a 10 minute lecture, trying to decipher the practical usability of having different formats for the producer or consumer of the audio. We will discuss the importance of open standards in that matter. A workshop will follow, whereby the participants will learn how to encode from one file format to another. More specifically, we will use a .wav file, and we will convert it to .flac and various types of .mp3. The participants are encouraged to pre-install the flac encoder (https://xiph.org/flac/download.html), and the LAME encode for mp3 (http://lame.sourceforge.net/). Simultaneously we will discuss the impact of audio conversion on the final version of the file, as well as the reasoning behind the psychoacoustic models that are used to compress the files without altering the quality of the audio.