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    Audio format for smartphone games


    Hello! I've been hired as a sound designer for a mobile game. It will be released on IOS, Android and maybe on PC (most likely as a browser game).

    All the sound FX are nearly done, but I'm thinking ahead about the delivery format.

    I've been looking at android apk-s and they're often packed with ogg files. But I'm not sure. And I think that IOS's native format is aac or m4a.

    Any help would be greately appreciated.

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    Hey

    I work for a mobile app developer. I can tell you a little info that might help you out a bit, even though I'm not actually employed as a sound designer for this company, I can just give you the info that I do know.

    Our app is on both iOS and Android platforms, and has music tracks that play within the app.

    We use .m4a (aac) as a format for both platforms, this is because .m4a is indeed iOS' native format for audio playback and doesn't have Ogg decoding capability, and although Android can handle many types of audio codec/container, we wanted to limit the server holding to just one set of music tracks for simplification.

    From what I understand via the code developers, when you are making a game, you want to try and limit the decoding of audio in the app as to also limit the consumption of resources on the device, it's more important for a game because the SFX are a big part of the experience, but it depends on how 'heavy' the game is already as to whether it's significant. But it may be that the game developer wants the audio compressed to massively limit the file size (usually the case) - in which case ogg vorbis is a better compression format to use over mp3 or m4a, due to its comparatively lower file size and better quality, that is probably why a lot of APKs are packed with Ogg Vorbis audio.
    Comparason here: http://www.xciv.org/~meta/audio-shootout/

    That is all I can say really. You might have to converse with the game devs to determine the best codec to use. I don't think that's a bad thing which will make you appear inexperienced, it's just the nature of developing with options for file formats; we have to assess which is more appropriate for the scenario and given the multi-platform nature of the project.

    Hope this helps a little bit in your endeavour

    Regards,
    Sam


    I am the thing that goes bump in the night...

    Freesound Housekeeper
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    Thanks!

    The client said that he'd like to get the sfx in mp3 format, but I explained the problem with mp3 file format in games - it adds some samples at the start and the end of the file, so looping sounds becomes a problem. I think we're going to settle for m4a.

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    Yeah, m4a is probably the best bet to keep some unity with all the SFX files.

    Personally, I would always veto the use of mp3s for a number of reasons, you will also understand why. I hate it when clients ask for mp3 files, it grinds my gears. grin

    It's like going to a top class restaurant with many gourmet options, and asking for french fries macdonalds style.


    I am the thing that goes bump in the night...

    Freesound Housekeeper

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