Game Development Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for professional and independent game developers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

For certain reasons, I need raw audio data in my application. I would convert certain sounds to a PCM format (at development time), and store & load these PCM files in my game.

PCM stands for Pulse Code Modulation, and as far as I can see, it is a representation of signal, and thus cannot be patented by anyone. Only formats can be patented I suppose (e.g. WAV, which relies on PCM), but PCM sequence of bits cannot be.

So if I include PCM data in my application package, I don't violate any patent, do I?

I'm developing for Android, by the way.

share|improve this question
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Sure you can. You can also use WAV files, they are not patent protected. The formats themselves can't be protected by patents, however algorithms used in certain formats can. For example MP3 is affected by that.

But there are also other, probably better formats for that purpose:
Ogg Vorbis: Open & lossy codec, very small size, comparable to MP3
FLAC: Open & lossless codec, not as small as OGG or MP3 but still a lot (~50%) smaller than the PCM data while retaining the same quality.

share|improve this answer
Android audio API is buggy in some respects, unfortunately, so I need PCM for some short samples, where OGG becomes buggy. – Thomas Calc Aug 18 '12 at 17:03
In general you should use wav for very short (1-2 s) sounds – bobobobo Jun 23 '13 at 13:08

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.