RAR: 55% Lossless Compression

I know it’s a little snobby but it’s a little surprising when I run into musicians who don’t know about RAR.

It gets phenomenal compression rates on WAV and other uncompressed sound files. I often get to 60% of original size without any loss of data. (Compared with 95% with Zip.)

Of course if you’re a cracker/warez user you know it well for programs and other government secrets.

But the audio compression, specifically, is pretty magnificent. In later versions I have found setting it to ‘Auto‘ is just fine.

If you’re going to exchange loops/samples in their original WAV/uncompressed formats (which is the only way I know to preserve ACIDized loop information), then I recommend teaching your virtual partners about RAR.

ACID Pro has a LZW/Zip implementation built in to create a ‘bundle’ for your project, but the compression is useless for actually getting things smaller. Here are steps I do to scrunch down a project:

Do “Save as” acd-zip file type.

Do “Save as” again, only this time to a clean directory and a regular acd project. Make sure to have ‘copy media’ checked.

RAR up the new directory.

You will love the results.

I do similar steps to archive my FL Studio projects, which tend to drag along SoundFonts when bundling. (Remember that the meat of an SF2 file, are all the uncompressed wav samples so RAR works just as well on them.)

The only issue I’ve ever had is the handling of tar.gz files from my hoster. I found that I still need WinZIP to handle those.

8 thoughts on “RAR: 55% Lossless Compression

  1. victor

    Yes, and my guess is that the RAR is sniffing file types (hence the dialog box I pointed to) and applying an algorithm specifically designed for it. (I have tried to contact to the RAR folks but haven’t heard back yet.)

    My 55% was actually an average, on the high side because I didn’t want to set people’s expectations to an unreasonable level. If I read the charts correctly at firstpr, the “Pop” tune was reduced to 68% by their best “specialized” app (but then I’m in a hurry to get to the airport so I could have missed something…)

  2. Aaron

    I use WinRAR for tar.gz files. The only problem, I think is that you have to decompress twice: once for the gz and once for the tar. Does WinZip do it all in one go?

  3. victor

    > The only problem, I think is that
    > you have to decompress twice

    Yes, I know. The problem seems to be specific to the apache log files from my hoster… no bigee…

  4. ramdyne

    > The only problem, I think is that
    > you have to decompress twice

    Winzip does this “in one go”. When it encounters a tar file inside a gz file, it will ak if it should also “decompress” the tar file.

    GZip is the compression tool, tar is a tool to write multiple files into one file, traditionally it does not do compression by itself.

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