Audio and Music Items – A Basic Guide

What audio file formats can I upload?

We prefer that you submit the highest quality, non-compressed file that you have available. Our deriver program will attempt to create smaller file sizes and formats.

The lossless formats we prefer are: FLAC, AIFF, and WAV.

The most common lossy file format is MP3.

We also handle for VBR and OGG formats

We recommend that you do not attempt to special encode your file.

The less you encode your files, the easier our code will be able to process it.

Are there any file formats you prefer I don’t upload?

Yes, there are.  

Zip or Rar files will prevent your items from streaming and become significantly less accessible to others.  

Uploading of: .Zip, .Rar, .Exe or password-protected files may lead to them being removed by our moderators.

What should I do when uploading live music?

If you are submitting a Live Music Archive item, please consult the Live Music Archive article for more information.

How do I control the order of tracks in the playlist?

The playlist will be ordered alphanumerically.

To ensure that the files are arranged in the order you would like, you can add number prefixes to the files names.

Remember to always use the same amount of digits for the prefix. If there are more than 10 files, start with 01; more than 100, start with 001.

An example would be: 01trackone.flac 02tracktwo.flac 03trackthree.flac etc.

Can I add cover art?

An uploaded image file will automatically be displayed to the left of the audio player.

To add the image of your choice, ensure that it is a minimum of 750 p wide. Images should be jpg, png or gif format.


Select the change the files option and add the image under the Manage your Directory Tree.

Your new image will appear to the left of the player.

What is the bitrate of derived audio files?

VBR and MP3 files that are derived are typically in the 150-200kbps bitrate range.

The following page lists the file formats we will attempt to derive depending on what type of file you submit.

What non-audio files may be derived?

Waveform: a derived image file that is a visual representation of the volume of the audio track. This appears in the Audio Player while the track is playing.

Spectogram: a visual representation of the spectrum of frequencies of sound or other signals as they vary with time.

Essentia: derived with an open source library and tools for audio and music analysis, description and synthesis.

Columbia Peaks: .afpk are audio fingerprint files created by running the audfprint package by Prof Daniel Ellis from Columbia University.

What is the purpose of the squiggly line in the player?

The squiggly line is the waveform image. It is a visual representation of the volume of the audio track.

You can use it to spot silences between sound or particularly loud or quiet sections.

This can help you locate sections you might want to find without having to listen to the entire track.

It is not scrubbable, therefore you will have to move the play bar to navigate to another section of the track.

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