Format of BBC Radio 4 .m4a files

Jim web web at
Sat Sep 12 05:10:52 PDT 2015

In article <55F405D2.5070105 at>, michael norman
<michaeltnorman at> wrote:

> If you have mp4a files which will not play on a chosen device then you
> need to either find a device that will play them or save them and
> transcode them into a format your existing device will play them.
> Obviously if you transcode from one lossy format to another you will
> alter the original to its detriment.  As Jim says transcoding to flac
> will result in a bigger file, but will not throw anything away.
> Personal music players that will play anything are not hard to find.

FWIW One of the distinctions I adopted when presenting courses that dealt
with issues like this was to deliberately use different terms to
distinguish what was going on.

So for something like flac I'd describe it as "data compression", but for
something like mp3 I'd describe it as "data reduction". 

There's a similar problem at times having people distinguish "data" from

But in general we're now stuck with people using the same terms for very
different processes, which then often confuses people and clouds
discussions. Made even worse in audio by "compression" also referring to
*level* compression. Again quite different from the above.


Armstrong Audio
Audio Misc

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