SFzip is a Windows program that performs lossless compression/decompression and manages archives of SoundFont files. Welcome to the SFzip home page.

SFzip is a release of Future Algorithms.



SoundFont files, created by E-mu Systems/Creative Labs, carry instrument definitions (sound samples and articulation data) for MIDI synthesizers like MidiSyn and the ones included in several of Creative Labs sound cards like the AWE, Live! or Audigy. To discover more about SoundFont technology read the article Basics of SoundFont or go to http://www.soundfont.com/.

Here is a list of the programís main features:

         High compression ratios. Values over 70% are not uncommon. This means that a 100 Mb SoundFont would take just 30Mb when compressed.

         Creation of archives containing any number of SoundFonts. There is no practical limit to the size of an archive (except the size of your hard-disk).

         Works in batch mode. After defining the files to be processed, SFzip can be left unattended, working in the background.

         Can split an archive into several files, a useful feature for Usenet posting and for e-mail interchange of SoundFont files. It can also split an archive into several volumes of removable media like floppy disks.

         Can control the access to an archive by using an Encryption Key.

         Can create self-extracting archives. This feature can even be used with split or encrypted archives.

         Can add an entire directory tree to an archive. The tree structure is faithfully reconstructed when the archive is decompressed.

         32-bit CRC control, to detect and prevent file corruption.

         Can automatically launch the default SoundFont editor to edit a file.

         Drag-and-drop operation.

If you want to have a better idea of how SFzip works, please take a look at the Operation Manual.

The most popular compression program around is probably WinZip. However, if you are familiar with this program, you will know that WinZip gives very poor results when dealing with sound data. SFzip works very much like WinZip but is especially adapted to obtain high compression ratios on SoundFont files.

When dealing with SoundFonts it is important to use lossless compression. That means that using SFzip, after decompression, the resulting SoundFont is bit-by-bit identical to the original. There are programs that obtain higher compression ratios on audio data but they use lossy algorithms and that is not acceptable for SoundFonts.

It is particularly important to have high compression ratios when distributing SoundFonts over the Internet. Because SoundFont files are usually very big (some are over 100 Mb), even a small increase in compression ratio will reduce drastically the download time, reducing at the same time the risk of server overload.

On the other hand, the SFzip split feature comes very handy when distributing SoundFonts via Usenet newsgroups. Or if you want to send a SoundFont by e-mail, as usually a mailbox will not have enough space for an entire SoundFont. In these cases you split a SoundFont into several small files (you control the size of each chunk), and then send them over to their recipients. The small files are then later joined together to rebuild the original SoundFont.

Another useful feature of SFzip is the encryption of archives. By using this feature you can sell SoundFonts over the Internet without you having to send a copy to each individual customer. Instead, you let the customer download his copy of the SoundFont and then, after registration, you send him the Decryption Key by e-mail.

The possibility of creating self-extracting archives may also prove very useful. With this feature, you can send SoundFont archives to someone that doesnít have SFzip installed. You can even use the self-extracting feature with split or encrypted archives.


Download SFzip

SFzip is shareware; the registration fee costs US$ 25.00 (including p&p).

The trial version has the same functionality as the registered version, apart from one nag screen each time it finishes processing a file.

To register, please go to the SFzip order page. Upon registration, you will receive by e-mail a registration key that will give you full access to the program.

To get the current version of SFzip including the executable, auxiliary files and documentation, go to:

The SFzip download page

At the download page you will also find instructions for installing and uninstalling the program on your system.

If you already know the program and you just want to know what is new in this version you can take a look at the SFzip history.


Where to find free SoundFonts

There are several Internet sites that provide SoundFont files. The most popular are:


o        HammerSound

o        The Sound Site

o        Sound Font Central




Comments, suggestions and bug reports are welcome and should be sent to fadevelop@clix.pt



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This page last modified 2002-09-20 - Copyright © 2002 ACE