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Musepack is a lossy audio compression scheme created by Andree Buschmann. It is strongly based on the MPEG-1 Layer-2 (MP2) algorithms. Informal listening tests have demonstrated that MPC is the best lossy audio encoder at ~140kbps and above bitrates, but competes less well at lower, 'streaming' bitrates such as 32/48/64kbps. This is due to MPC being a subband codec as well as the fact that very little optimization has gone into such low bitrates. As can be seen in various 128kbit/s listening tests (see below), despite the fact that MPC has been optimized little for such bitrates it is in the same class of other modern competitors such as AAC and Ogg Vorbis.


  • Best lossy encoder for mid-high bitrates
  • Suffers from far less "problem cases" than other formats.
  • Very fast encoding/decoding
  • Designed to be transparent by default at --standard setting.
  • Open source encoder


  • Marginal support (yet) on portable players
  • No multichannel
  • No specification available
  • Seeking is imperfect (to be fixed in SV7.5)
  • Not streamable
  • Can't be cut/edited
  • No support for sampling rates above 48khz