best archiver?

andrew clarke mail at
Fri Mar 13 12:41:03 PDT 2009

On Fri 2009-03-13 12:15:24 UTC-0700, Gary Kline (kline at wrote:

> guys, this is for any compression experts on-list.  my main desktop is nearly
> full.  i'm looking for the best means of compressing [mostly] audio files.
> mp3, ogg, and .flag.  i cross backup among my servers and would like to have
> the most reasoned approach to compressing my ~/Music/ files.  is rar/unrar
> better that bzip -9?  is there any new/forthcoming archiver on the horizon?

.mp3, .ogg and .flac files are already compressed.  You won't get them
much smaller.  Maybe 1% with rar or bzip2, if you're lucky, eg.

2009-03-06  08:38      22,524,903  FLOSS-059.mp3
2009-03-14  06:37      22,135,433  FLOSS-059.rar

If these sorts of files could be made significantly smaller than they
already are, people would be regularly transmitting them over the
Internet in that smaller format.

Possibly the only thing you'll gain from using rar instead of something
more primative like tar/bzip2 is marginally better error detection.

Personally I just burn all my media files to DVD-Rs, using Nero
Burning ROM under Windows.

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