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Shorten® (.shn) is an audio compression scheme that is used to compress audio (.wav) files losslessly. This means that after you decompress a Shorten file, everything that was in the original .wav is there. This is unlike MP3, in which the compression step throws away information that can never be recovered.

For distribution and archiving purposes, the Shorten (.shn) files themselves can also be burned onto a CD-R as data. One big advantage to archiving Shorten files is that you'll never have to deal with digital audio extraction (DAE) from an audio disc, which can sometimes produce clicks and other undesired artifacts.

The Shorten source code is the property of SoftSound Limited and has been made available to the general public for non-commercial use. The original SoftSound code has been extended by (most notably by the work of Wayne Steilau and Jason Jordan) to include "seek-tables" so that you can easily skip to any portion of a song in audio players like WinAmp and XMMS. The latest version of Shorten can always be found on the shnutils page or the FreshMeat project page.

For Windows users who wish to use a command line version of Shorten, you've come to the right place! When shortn32.exe is used along with the batch files, it's surprisingly robust and easy to use, minus all the bells and whistles of a graphical user interface. | shortn32.exe nav

Usage, Extracting
Usage, Compressing
Usage, Creating Seek

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This is the official distribution site for SHN v3 (seeking SHN) v3.6.1 (Cygwin) - 51.9KB     Released 3/19/07
Cygwin version of Shorten. Works on Windows 9x/ME/NT/XP.

shortn32.exe v3.1 OLD - 99KB     Released 10/10/00