Pulse code modulation

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Pulse code modulation (PCM) refers to audio that is digitally recorded in discrete samples as opposed to being synthesized on the fly through a programmable sound generator, FM synthesis, or subtractive synthesis. PCM data can be stored in many different formats at different levels of quality, but, unlike synthesized music, the playback is essentially identical on all devices, the only difference can come from the quality of the speaker. However, the benefit of identical output on all devices comes at a cost of much larger files.