- Wednesday, August 15, 2012
- Soundcloud and M4A files
As many of our users have noticed, in trakAxPC Version 4 we no longer support exporting files to MP3 (although we do of course support importing MP3 files). After much debate internally, we decided to make the M4A file format, our preferred format (this is also the desired file format for iTunes, iPods and many sites on the web).
Now for the technical bit - M4A stands for MPEG 4 Audio which is a popular file extension used to represent audio files and is compressed using MPEG-4 technology which is an algorithm with lossy compression. It is primarily associated with “MPEG-4 Audio Layer” and files in this extension are the audio layer of MPEG-4 movies (non-video).
Most people are familiar with MP3 and how it shrinks down the file size of songs and other audio files. M4A and MP4 do the same thing as MP3, but even better. Quality is better and file sizes are usually smaller than MP3 files. But unlike MP3, no licenses or payments are required to be able to stream or distribute content in M4A format (unlikeMP3 which requires you to pay royalties on content you distribute in MP3 format). This fact alone, is more than enough reason (due to the extreme cost savings) to use M4A files instead of MP3 files. In addition, M4A files tend to sound much better than MP3 files encoded at the same bitrate.
Now although we mainly market trakAxPC as a video tool, we know lots of our customers actually use trakAxPC as a audio editor and audio creation tool - especially for DJ mixes. Soundcloud is the number one place to share your mixes, get feedback and discover new music.There is some confusion on whether Soundcloud accepts M4A files or not. We have had no problem uploading and playing M4A files on Soundcloud in the past and just did a test earlier today to confirm this. The file below is a M4A mix Colm uploaded to Soundcloud:
As M4A is not listed officially on their website, I decided to ask Soundcloud for some clarification - I’ll let you know when we hear back.
For those users who really need their files in MP3, you can always convert your audio files to MP3 in iTunes. Full details are available from the link below:
If you’d uploaded something to Soundcloud recently, let us know in the comments - would love to check out your work.
Soundcloud and M4A files we get on soundcloud and dfilmybuzz.com , so thanks to them.