From Hydrogenaudio Knowledgebase

Shorten is one of the oldest lossless audio formats. It was created by Tony Robinson in 1993.

Being the first open source lossless compressor, it became popular in its time, especially in the bootleg trading community. Shorten files are still occasionally encountered e.g. at

Now considered a legacy codec, it lacks most features of modern codecs, like tagging, streamability / seekability (although there is a "hack" that adds seek support), and support for multichannel and high sampling rates. Due to its historical status, it has been included as a reference in lossless comparisons long after its final maintenance release in 2007.

Shorten files can be converted or played back with several tools including ffmpeg (after a bugfix in 2016, ticket 4712).

See also