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Thread: Archiving samples: SHN better than MP3?

  1. #1
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    Archiving samples: SHN better than MP3?

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    Hey everyone,

    Today I received an email from a friend of mine which included an attachment of a recent small mixset he performed live. The set was sent in .shn, which I'd never even heard of before.

    So I went searching and came across a small .SHN (and .MD5) faq, which describes SHN as "an audio compression scheme [..] that can compact wav files without subtracting out any frequencies. It's 'lossless'- everything in the original wav is there, so that full quality is maintained."

    It goes on to claim that the compressed SHN file size is roughly 50-70% the size of the original WAV file.

    While it's nowhere near the compression ratio of MP3, even halving file sizes (especially of samples that are being archived "just in case") sounds like a worthwhile gain.

    Has anyone actually dealt with SHN compressed files? If so:

    + Are they really lossless? No discernable difference in quality?

    + Are they straight forward enough to work with or is there some hidden catch here I'm not seeing?
    - alex23 -
    "Then I saw her face and I got this weird, deep sickly churning in my stomach; she looked exactly like George W. and I realised 'Phark, it is her'. George W's daughter going nuts to We Want Your Soul, miming the words." [Adam Freeland]

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    I'm guessing SHN files work like the FLAC compression does, which in turn works a bit like ZIP compression - it takes the all the similar bits of data and represents them in a different way: for example if you have a row of ten zeroes, the compression scheme would show them as 10x0 instead of 0000000000 - less data. In this case, and with FLAC, the process has just been optimized for audio use (as you probably know, normal ZIP compression doesn't do much to audio files).

    Probably works, but I haven't really used either, since HD space is so cheap these days

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    Originally posted by krushing
    Probably works, but I haven't really used either, since HD space is so cheap these days
    Good point...I'm kinda excited about the 250GB SATA RAID 0 setup I'm installing next week
    - alex23 -
    "Then I saw her face and I got this weird, deep sickly churning in my stomach; she looked exactly like George W. and I realised 'Phark, it is her'. George W's daughter going nuts to We Want Your Soul, miming the words." [Adam Freeland]

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    Shn files are great. They have a built-in error check doohicky, which i never check. you can get plug-ins for yr cd burner program so u can drag and drop them in. once u get the software all installed theyre very easy to use.

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    Originally posted by alex23
    Good point...I'm kinda excited about the 250GB SATA RAID 0 setup I'm installing next week
    You should just forget what audio file compression is then.

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