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Wikimedia accepts and encourages uploading audio files on Commons. Audio files, like images, must be freely licensed. The preferred audio container format is Ogg but other file types are supported. When uploading audio files use the file type oga; for video ogv, to differentiate amongst the generic ogg file type.

FLAC, both, embedded in the Ogg container or in its native container format is supported for applications where lossless compression is required, for example projects where a file has to be edited multiple times.

With all video processing tools you can easily extract an audio fragment from a video.

Converting audio[edit]

Audacity's user interface

To convert your audio to one of the allowed formats, you can use most video converters, they can also handle audio without video or extract audio from video. The command line tool ffmpeg is available for various operating systems and internally used by many tools with a graphical user interface. On Linux check out OggConvert. For Windows and Linux you can use VLC to convert e.g. m4a to oga.

With modern browsers the scripts Opusenc.js and Flac.js convert aiff, wave and raw audio to Opus or FLAC.

video2commons can be used to extract the audio from a video hosted on a variety of sites, including Commons itself (the video file URL itself has to be input, not the file page URL).

Creating and editing audio[edit]

When recording sounds or spoken samples with your own equipment please take care of the following aspects. Make sure to eliminate all background noises. Though, it is possible to remove unwanted noise from the audio stream afterwards, it is better to minimize your editing work. Furthermore, it is advised to use a high quality microphone. Built in hardware microphones, especially those from laptops, are considered to produce low quality recordings which include clipping, noise and therefore a low SNR.

Audacity is not only able to record audio, but also offers a multi platform editing tool for an unlimited number of audio streams. The Audacity user manual offers suggestions tailored to specific use-cases such as digitization of analogue material, so read it.

A note about copyright[edit]

Uploaders must ensure they have gathered all rights necessary, including (but not limited to) recording rights, and rights from any interpreters, performers, composers and lyricists involved, wherever applicable. These individual rights should be specified separately on each file description page of audio and video files.

Copyright collecting agencies represent the usage rights stemming from authors' rights for works of their members. Often authors are forced to transfer exclusive usage rights for all their works to the agency as required by the statute of the collecting agency, and even the authors themselves need the agency's permission to publish their own work under a free license as a consequence. Most larger agencies will not grant permission for Commons-acceptable licenses.

See also[edit]