Thread: Shn 101 Faq
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Old 11-26-2003, 09:01 AM
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hokiefan hokiefan is offline
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Shn 101 Faq

What is SHN?
SHN is short for Shorten. It is a lossless compression algorithm for digital music. It was developed by SoftSound ( It compresses music files 1/2 to 1/3 of their original size, maintaining perfect sound quality.

Why not MP3/VQF/AAC/ETC?
These compressions all use a lossy algorithm. This means that over time, these lossy recordings can be re-extracted and re-encoded so that it sounds very inferior to the original source. Lossless algorithms such as Shorten (.shn) allow for pure digital reproductions.

What is MKW?
MKW is a lossless compression algorithm similar to shn. The mkw Audio Compression Tool (mkwACT) is a utility that interfaces with SHN, MKW, MP3, and MD5. See Michael K. Weise's homepage ( for more information.

What is MD5/MD5SUM?
MD5 is a checksum utility. It is commonly used to determine if all of the files have been correctly downloaded. Current FAQ has great Windows Info, unix, mac to follow

Why does it take so long to download files?
SHN files are not small. Am average disc filled with music is about 600 megabytes in a standard .wav format. SHN reduces this in 1/3 to 1/2, and the resultant disc will be about 3-400 megabytes

To md5check and convert Shorten (SHN) to and from WAV files with Windows, we suggest the mkw Audio Compression Tool. (

The mkw Audio Compression Tool (mkwACT) is a free Windows® 95/98/Me and NT/2000 and XP program created for the easy and convenient conversion of WAV audio files to and from various lossless and lossy compressed formats, including Shorten (SHN).

mkwACT is simply the easiest utility available for compressing and decompressing Shorten files, and checking and creating MD5 signatures.

Once you've converted Shorten (SHN) files to WAV, you'll need to burn the WAV files to audio disc. You may either use the software that came with your CD-R drive, or use Feurio!® (, an easy to use shareware software package designed specifically for burning audio CD-R's.

Feurio!® is a software program designed for creating audio CD-R's on PC's using Windows 95/98/Me and Windows NT/2000. You may use Feurio! for as long as you like without registering, without the software becoming crippled or any features becoming disabled. The only difference between the unregistered and registered versions of Feurio! are a few nag windows that will pop-up reminding you to register.

If you want to play Shorten files on your computer in real-time (without converting to WAV), we highly suggest Shnamp (, the Shorten plugin for Winamp® ( for Windows users, or xmms-shn ( for Linux users.
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