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Wavpack Windows HowTo


Offline BassPlayer

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Heres a brief howto on how to use Wavpack on Windows:

What is it:
WavPack is a completely open audio compression format providing lossless, high-quality lossy, and a unique hybrid compression mode. Although the technology is loosely based on previous versions of WavPack, the new version 4 format has been designed from the ground up to offer unparalleled performance and functionality.

In the default lossless mode WavPack acts just like a WinZip compressor for audio files. However, unlike MP3 or WMA encoding which can affect the sound quality, not a single bit of the original information is lost, so there's no chance of degradation. This makes lossless mode ideal for archiving audio material or any other situation where quality is paramount. The compression ratio depends on the source material, but generally is between 30% and 70%.

The hybrid mode provides all the advantages of lossless compression with an additional bonus. Instead of creating a single file, this mode creates both a relatively small, high-quality lossy file that can be used all by itself, and a "correction" file that (when combined with the lossy file) provides full lossless restoration. For some users this means never having to choose between lossless and lossy compression!

WavPack 4.31 features include:
  • Compatible with virtually all PCM audio formats including 8, 16, 24, and 32-bit ints; 32-bit floats; mono, stereo, and multichannel; sampling rates from 6 to 192 kHz (and non-standard rates)
  • Multiplatform support including Windows, Linux, and OS X
  • Instantly seekable and streaming capable (and gapless)
  • ReplayGain (including WavPack file scanner and compatible plugins)
  • Uses ID2v1 and APEv2 tags for metadata (including ReplayGain)
  • Error-tolerant block format conducive to hardware decoding
  • Optional "asymmetrical" mode for improved compression
  • MD5 audio checksums for verification and identification
  • Unique hybrid mode (provides high quality lossy + "correction" file
  • Hybrid mode now operates as low as 2.25 bits/sample (or 196 kbps for CD audio)
  • Free and open source with easy to use library interface and unrestrictive license (BSD)
  • Intuitive command line interface (with wildcards and destination directory)
  • Small, efficient executable (no large programs or dlls to install)
  • Fully backward compatible to WavPack 1.0
  • Self-extracting archives (Windows only)
  • Complete piping support

Why Not Just Use Monkeys Audio:
By all means use MA if you like. I'm not stopping you. I'm just offering a solution that works on Windows, MAC and Linux. MA has not be under development for some years AFAIK. Plus you can create self extracting files to send to Windows users who do not have Wavpack.

How Does it Compare to Monkeys Audio

Consider the following file raw wave file
-rwx------+ 1 1003 513 47628044 Mar 14 20:37 70sclavfull.wav*

When using Mokeys Audio you end up with a file ~ 13.9Megs
-rwx------+ 1 1003 513 13977412 Mar 14 20:36 70sclavfull.ape*

When using Wavpack you get a file of ~14.4 megs. Plus you can send these files to windows people that don't have Wavpack by creating a self extracting exe and the file is not that much bigger.
-rwx------+ 1 1003 513 14430914 Mar 28 15:01 70sclavfull.wv*
-rwx------+ 1 1003 513 14461634 Mar 28 15:01 70sclavfull.exe*

The main software is command line but speex makes a nifty frontend for windows.

Main software Installation:
  • Download the windows binary from
  • You want this file: 
    WavPack Win32     Windows command-line programs and user documentation     Download     229kB     4.31
  • Extract the files to a dir and your done. I chose C:\Program Files\wavpack

Windows Frontend Installation:
  • Download the front end from
  • Extract the files to the same wavpack directory C:\Program Files\wavpack
  • Right click on WavPack frontend.exe and click "Creat Shortcut"
  • Drag the shortcut to your desktop or wherever you want it.

Note: For the frontend to work you might need a few windows systems files since the fontend is made with visual basic. You can DL them from Speeks site but he has bandwith limmitations so here are some alternate places to get them.

Visual Basic 6

Some VB6 Controls if your don't have them.

Windows Front End Use:
  • Click on the Wavpack Frontend shortcut you just made
  • Click the Lossless Tab
  • Change the "Mode" to High
  • Click Add
  • Select your WAV file
  • Click the Open button
  • Under "Output Directory" click the ...
  • Select your output directory
  • Click the "Go" button

Note: You will see a windows command prompt pop up.  That is the front end calling the command line backend. It may prompt you for input when overwriting files and what not.


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