Best audio compression settings for webm and 3gp

I needed to compress a NT audio so the app could be on Playstore or less that 150 MB. I tried webm 12.2 kpbs with SAB and result was a raspy speaker. Here is a sample webm. I got better results, and a smaller file using 7 kbps sample 3gp .

Do you have any suggestions for the specs to get high compression like this for webm and 3gp. Command line samples are appreciated.

It seemed like the speakers with higher pitch voices have less distortion, but the main speaker sounds fairly bad in the webm file.

Thanks for your suggestions and experience with these formats.

I went to using 3gp for embedding. I believe I was using 12kbps. Sound quality is usually fairly decent at that. I went to embedding audio for the Gospel of Mark only in the Play Store version. We have also been posting a version with the full audio embedded on I would be happy to post apks for the full audio on SE for you if you want to send them to me. We felt we could not get the size down low enough to embed the whole audio in the Play Store version. Users can download the audio on demand for the rest. we set the app to open to Mark by default.

@rgreen620 We could setup Scriptoria to publish an APK with full audio to SE.

Hi Chris,

Are you offering a way to publish an app to the playstore with more than 150 Mb audio (expansion files or _____) or just saying Scriptoria can hold any size app that can be downloaded by users and installed manually (not by playstore)?

The app currently is 160 MB total, audio is 83 MB 3gp, but it would be nice to have less compressed audio that sounds better. The users do not have much 4g access. They get the app by going to internet cafe, or copy phone to phone. Playstore installs are so much easier than manual installs.


Thanks Loren,

These users do not have 4g coverage. So far they download the app at internet cafe. I may offer a larger app with better quality and they can decide what they like. --Roger


I am saying that Scriptoria can also publish to a website (like ScriptureEarth). The user could download the APK from the website and they would have to install it outside of the Play Store. They will have to deal with repeating this process if there are updates.

We have similar concerns for some locations in Mexico. We have worked some with BibleBox type devices and with giving out microSD cards loaded with resources. I think it isn’t possible to get the audio for the whole NT small enough to distribute the apps in the Play Store with the whole NT audio. Supplying some audio and having the app start by default with a book that has audio seems like a reasonable compromise. We have been posting apps with the whole NT in 3gp audio on ScriptureEarth, where we don’t have the 100mb limit. I think they tend to run around 200 to 250mb in size. Here is an example:

When app builder stopped supporting older phones, we kept an older version of the apps on SE.

This doesn’t respond directly to the question, but there are some other threads that talk about compression settings and the commands to use, specifically:


Thanks Jeff,

I copied the file conversion script from SAB conversion popup box and used that script in FFMPEG BATCH AV CONVERTER, which is a GUI for FFMPEG. It allows bulk copying and saving of different scripts for different output settings in mp3, webm, 3gp, or any format FFMPEG allows.

3gp format has various codecs (AMR-NB, AMR-WB, and AMR) that yield slightly different audio. I was hoping someone had experimented with these different codecs and the bit rates they use and determined what codec worked best for average Bible audio. AMR stands for Adaptive Multi-Rate and it is a variable bit rate developed for the mobile phone system audio in GSM phones. AMR-NB encodes frequencies of 200-3400 Hz at one of 8 different bit rates depending on the complexity of the audio waveform. For some voices this will produce an acceptable result, but some voices may exhibit unacceptable distortion. I was surprised that the voice I am compressing sounded much better with a higher 3gp compression, than with a less compressed webm or even mp3 file. I think it is due to the quality of the original recording of the speaker who has a voice quality that can sound a bit raspy even when heard live.

One lesson from this is to make text takes of the audio of each speaker before launching into a large recording project. FCBH does this routinely when they record, and they are willing to hear sample test takes from others recording scripture to offer advice. Upload a sample to this link** and reach out to Katelynn Zuiderveen at for an audio consultation.

Thanks for your suggestion of posting our apps on Scripture Earth for download. We have posted our apps on Scripture Earth and custom websites for several years but seen few installs by this method. Downloading and manual installs are too difficult for our audience. We have tried training and screenshots to do this, but users still find it too difficult due to poor bandwidth, and the warning messages that must be navigated for a manual install. The majority of our users do not know how to install an app from the playstore, and usually ask for help from a phone vendor or friend. This is how many installs from playstore do happen. For all these reasons making an app as easy to install as possible is a priority.