Audio compression is the reduction of transmission bandwidth requirement of digital audio streams and the storage size of audio files. Lossy and lossless compression algorithms are used to achieve audio compression. They reduce the information redundancy with the use of methods like coding, pattern recognition and linear prediction.
There are different types of audio compression technologies that include MP2 systems, MP3 systems, PAC, VQF, Windows WMA systems, TAC systems and sound cards. MP2 systems are used in the pro-audio field for film, radio and DVD. MP3 is the audio compression system most commonly used for consumer audio storage that uses lossy data compression.
VQF (Sound VQ) is an encoding scheme designed by NTT, Yamaha. The scheme is quite new and offers smaller file size and higher audio quality. It has been gaining popularity and offers file size around 25% smaller than MP3. Long encoding times, up to 40 times that of fastest MP2 encoders, poses as a serious shortcoming of the encoding scheme.
Best VQF programs include Rippers EAC 081b, and the preferred encoder includes YAMAHA VQE 254 that is available for free.