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.


1 Answer 1


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.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Android audio API is buggy in some respects, unfortunately, so I need PCM for some short samples, where OGG becomes buggy. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 18, 2012 at 17:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ In general you should use wav for very short (1-2 s) sounds \$\endgroup\$
    – bobobobo
    Jun 23, 2013 at 13:08

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