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Re: Action item. definition and use of Clean audio in European television

From: Silvia Pfeiffer <silviapfeiffer1@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 27 May 2011 14:00:50 +1000
Message-ID: <BANLkTinr2vT4UBEULWzk5KrdqG8mWV6bCQ@mail.gmail.com>
To: Geoff Freed <geoff_freed@wgbh.org>
Cc: "public-html-a11y@w3.org" <public-html-a11y@w3.org>, David Singer <singer@apple.com>
Hi Geoff,

Thanks a lot - that's great input.

Did the BBC propose a better term that they would prefer?

Cheers,
Silvia.

On Thu, May 26, 2011 at 7:32 PM, Geoff Freed <geoff_freed@wgbh.org> wrote:
>
> Hi, everyone:
>
> I’ve been following this discussion from the sidelines, and at the risk of
> confusing things I offer the following bit of informal research.  I’ve
> spoken with broadcast colleagues here at WGBH and also at the BBC to see
> what “clean audio” is understood to mean in the US and in Europe:
>
> -- In the US, “clean audio” means, from a technical perspective,
> high-quality audio that is free of artifacts or other sonic garbage.
> -- In Europe, “clean audio” refers to soundtracks with enhanced speech
> intelligibility.  It seems that confusion arises over whether it refers to
> soundtracks with *all* music and sound effects removed, soundtracks on which
> non-speech elements have been merely reduced or just the center channel of a
> 5.1 mix.  I also received the following comment:  “We [the BBC] don't like
> clean audio as a term, because it presumes the solution to
> improved-intelligibility audio is to lower/remove music and [effects],
> whereas we've found it to be much more complex than that.”
>
> Geoff
> WGBH/NCAM
>
>
> On 5/24/11 11:26 PM, "David Singer" <singer@apple.com> wrote:
>
> As I say, I don't mind if it says "foreground speech" or something, and the
> documentation says it's the foreground sound that can be isolated for those
> who need it, and it's typically speech
>
> On May 24, 2011, at 15:31 , Silvia Pfeiffer wrote:
>
>>
>> On 25/05/2011, at 5:35 AM, David Singer <singer@apple.com> wrote:
>>
>>>
>>> On May 23, 2011, at 21:39 , Silvia Pfeiffer wrote:
>>>
>>>>
>>>> Not quite when you look at those that talk about "clean audio" in the
>>>> way that we do. There, only "foreground dialogue and speech" is
>>>> explicitly mentioned, e.g. http://www.guidogybels.eu/cap3.html. Note
>>>> that the overall effect of the presentation may be to receive "clean
>>>> audio" in the way that you describe, but the track's content is not
>>>> clean audio, but only "foreground dialogue and speech".
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>> ETSI actually call a channel that contains speech-only for "clean
>>>>>> audio" purposes a "hearing impaired" channel. At least this describes
>>>>>> what the channel is being used for. "speech" would describe what it
>>>>>> contains. "clean audio" give a false indication of better sound
>>>>>> quality. I would be ok with "foreground sound", too, but I would be
>>>>>> very unhappy about the term "clean audio".
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> How do you feel about 'contrast enhanced' or 'high contrast' or 'low
>>>>> distraction'?
>>>>>
>>>>> But...as you say...I'd like to use industry terms even if, to our ear,
>>>>> they are not ... very clean. :-)
>>>>
>>>> I think you believe that other sounds than speech and dialogue are
>>>> also enhanced/extracted for "clean audio". That is explicitly not the
>>>> case IIUC.
>>>
>>>
>>> I think we can use an industry term, such as 'clean audio' or 'clean
>>> speech', and make it clear in the documentation that this is the 'primary
>>> program material, without extraneous or aesthetic background sounds'.
>>>
>>> I imagine that in a program about whale-song, with schlocky new-age
>>> poetry being read in the background for 'effect', the 'clean' audio would be
>>> the whale-song without the poetry, for example.
>>
>> I doubt that actually. What users want is to manipulate the loudness of
>> the speech separately from the rest because it's in human mature to care
>> about speech most. The thing is: it also allows you to fade out the speech
>> giving cleaner access to the rest of the sound scene. So, the effect is
>> "clean audio".
>>
>>
>>> But given decent documentation, the author could work that out, even if
>>> the label says 'speech'.
>>
>> If you prefer, we can call it "foreground sound" - that's more semantic
>> and less confusing than "clean". I was going for "speech" since that is 99%
>> of the content and people intuitively understand the idea of turning up the
>> "speech" track (in contrast to turning up the "clean" track).
>>
>> Silvia.
>>>
>
> David Singer
> Multimedia and Software Standards, Apple Inc.
>
>
>
>
Received on Friday, 27 May 2011 04:01:38 GMT

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