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Old 5th September 2008, 01:55   #1  |  Link
F J Walter
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Uncompressed PCM audio in MP4?

Is it possible to use a PCM audio stream in an MP4 container?

If it is possible, what formats are supported/recommended (ie signed/unsigned, bit depth, endianness)? Would playback be supported by the majority of players, including current and future hardware/embedded players?

The reason I ask is that I can't find a way to add PCM audio to MP4 using ffmpeg, which kind of tells me I am trying to do something unsupported. Looking at various websites about MP4, PCM audio isn't listed as being officially supported (though Apple lossless is...?)
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Old 5th September 2008, 07:22   #2  |  Link
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No, it's not defined for the .MP4 format. For QuickTime .MOV, it's possible in various ways (float, int, 8, 16, 24, 32 bits).
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Old 6th September 2008, 18:51   #3  |  Link
F J Walter
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Hmmm ok. I am trying to determine the best container format for future playability, and I figured that MP4 was a good candidate because it was pretty flexible, and its future support was virtually ensured due to its use in hardware players, mobile phone protocols, Quicktime, Youtube etc. But finding out that it can't do uncompressed audio is a disappointment.

I'd use Matroska, but I don't think its future playability is as assured - which influential companies are using it?

In other words, I don't want to open my videos in 10 or 15 years time and not be able to find some software online to play them in whatever OS I am using at the time.
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Old 6th September 2008, 21:15   #4  |  Link
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I've got to believe that, if any presentday video and/or audio codecs are still in existence in "10 or 15 years time", those that conform to "MPEG-2" will be among them...

Last edited by setarip_old; 7th September 2008 at 05:10. Reason: Typo - Replaced ? with "
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Old 7th September 2008, 03:24   #5  |  Link
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I, personally, would use MKV as my container. Watch this container as the current future of mainstream hardware adapts...

besides, mkv supports quite a few more features than mp4
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Old 7th September 2008, 08:55   #6  |  Link
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the classic and most widely used container for uncompressed pcm audio is obviously .avi/.wav
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Old 7th September 2008, 18:27   #7  |  Link
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Other containers to consider are .TS or .M2TS...
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Old 8th September 2008, 02:55   #8  |  Link
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Thanks all for your suggestions. I will seriously consider TS, as I know it is definitely well used by lots of different vendors including DVB and broadcast stuff as well as newer camcorders.

I was wanting something that could contain H.264 video and some sort of decent multi channel lossy audio (like AAC), but that on a whim could also contain a popular lossless video codec (like HuffYUV) and uncompressed audio (PCM).
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