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Band releases album on floppy disk

By Matthew Sparkes

Posted on 9 Oct 2007 at 12:41

A band has released an album on the near-obselete floppy disk format, managing to cram 74 minutes of music into 1.44MB of space.

"Trunkeret & Ikonisk" by Batch Totem (an alias for musician, Jonas Olesen) consists of 19 tracks, which are heavily compressed in the GSM 6.10 WAV format, at various bitrates. The album is on the Ristretto label, and can be bought online with PayPal.

"The idea is essentially to release an album on an almost obsolete medium that fits very well with the music on an aesthetical level," says Olesen. "Secondly, the scope of the project is to use heavy compression as a feature that shapes the music, instead of a limitation that reduces sound quality."

It can be played on any media player, and requires no extra codecs to be installed. It has been composed with the format in mind, in order to take advantage of the very limited quality of recordings at such a low bit rate.

There is an additional advantage to using such low quality files, explains Olesen. "Another feature about the album is that, if you try to convert it into MP3 or another format, the timbre and structure will be drastically altered - a kind of radical 'copy-protection'!"

According to the band's website, on certain tracks, the "amplitude and low bitrates produce 'ghost' frequencies according to the Nyquist theorem, and the algorithm of the audio codec meaning that very high frequencies and white noise can occur at very low bitrates."

The site also suggests that listening to the album on a computer with a subwoofer provides the best experience. A sample track, only 42KB in size, can be heard here.

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