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 archive.org.
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).
- Lossless comparison by Rjamorim
- Extra-official Shorten website at etree (archived on September 4, 2018)
- Shorten and the shnutils utilities (with support for other lossless compressors) at freeshell.org
- foo_input_shorten, foobar2000 playback component
|Audio codecs: type/usage||for end-users to encode||on physical media etc.||legacy formats|
|Lossless||(Uncompr. linear PCM) • ALAC • FLAC • Monkey's Audio • MPEG-4 ALS • OptimFROG • TAK • TTA • WavPack||MLP/Dolby TrueHD||La • LPAC/LTAC • RealAudio Lossless • RK Audio • Shorten • WMA Lossless • (others)|
|Lossy||AAC • AC-3 • ADPCM • MP2 • MP3 • Musepack • Opus • Vorbis||AC-3 • DTS||ATRAC • QDesign • RK Audio (lossy mode) • Speex • VQF • WMA|
|Hybrid lossless&lossy||OptimFROG DualStream • WavPack||DTS-HD MA • MPEG-4 SLS||ATRAC Advanced Lossless • mp3HD|