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Shorten (file format)

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Title: Shorten (file format)  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Data compression, Comparison of audio coding formats, List of codecs, Windows Media Audio, Blu-code
Collection: Cross-Platform Software, Lossless Audio Codecs
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Shorten (file format)

Developer(s) Tony Robinson
Stable release 3.6.1 / 2007-03-19 (final)
Operating system Cross-platform
Type Audio codec Encoder
License Shorten Software License
Filename extension .shn
Developed by Tony Robinson
Type of format Audio

Shorten (SHN) is a file format used for compressing audio data. It is a form of data compression of files and is used to losslessly compress CD-quality audio files (44.1 kHz 16-bit stereo PCM). Shorten is no longer developed and other lossless audio codecs such as FLAC, Monkey's Audio (APE), TTA, and WavPack (WV) have become more popular. However, Shorten is still in use by some people because there are legally traded concert recordings in circulation that are encoded as Shorten files. Shorten files use the .shn file extension.


  • Handling Shorten files 1
    • Converting on Linux 1.1
  • See also 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4

Handling Shorten files

Since few players or media writers attempt to decompress Shorten files, a standalone decompression program is usually required to convert to a different file format that those applications can handle. Some Rockbox applications can play Shorten files without decompression, and third-party Shorten plug-ins exist for Nero Burning ROM, Foobar2000, and Winamp. All libavcodec based players and converters support the Shorten codec.

Converting on Linux

Current versions of ffmpeg or avconv support the shorten format. To convert all .shn files in the current directory to FLAC:

for f in *.shn; do ffmpeg -i "$f" "${f/%.shn/.flac}"; done

There are also various GUI programs which can be used, like SoundConverter [1]

See also


  1. ^

External links

  • Shorten Research Paper, written by the author of Shorten and detailing how it works.
  • Trader's Little Helper Download page. Trader's Little helper converts shn to wav among other things
  • Wiki article. is a trading site for authorized recordings of live performances; etree formerly used Shorten exclusively but is increasingly using FLAC.
  • Shorten FAQ (note: If looking for software to play .shn files, you will probably be better served by the etree software page, as the Shorten FAQ has many broken and outdated links.)
  • Lossless audio formats, a performance comparison of lossless audio formats, including Shorten.
  • A Small SHN and MD5 FAQ Includes a decent list of programs to handle Shorten files.

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