W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-xg-audio@w3.org > February 2011

Re: Apple to push for 24 bit audio distribution?

From: Noah Mendelsohn <nrm@arcanedomain.com>
Date: Mon, 28 Feb 2011 10:14:26 -0500
Message-ID: <4D6BBBD2.1010707@arcanedomain.com>
To: Ian Ni-Lewis <ilewis@google.com>
CC: public-xg-audio@w3.org
There's always been a long tail of audiophile consumers, and of people who 
do appreciate the difference between a 128 bit .mp3 and something with more 
space and musicality. Whether that requires a particular sample size or bit 
rate for a particular purpose is something we can debate, but the fact that 
Apple is investing in this at all suggests that they see a market for 
people who do care.

There was a time when ordinary consumers prided themselves on getting good 
"hi fi" and "stereo" sound. To some degree, over the past two decades the 
focus and money has been channeled into investments in ever larger and more 
expensive "home theater" setups that, interestingly, coexist with or act as 
audio systems for playing highly compressed 128 bit or worse .mp3s. Maybe 
or maybe not Apple sees rising consumer interest in high quality audio, and 
perhaps if Apple promotes it, they will spur that interest.

Anyway, I think it's an intersesting development. I hope that the APIs 
being developed by this group (I haven't read the specs) will scale as 
necessary when people do want wider samples or higher bit rates.  Yes, 64 
bit is the way to go when you can afford it.  Thanks!


On 2/22/2011 11:10 AM, Ian Ni-Lewis wrote:
> Interesting, and probably a good development if it moves the industry
> toward higher bitrate masters overall. But sample width seems like a
> relatively low impact parameter for the end user. Sure, high bit width is
> vital during recording, mixing, and mastering (where even 24 bits is too
> small, give me 64 bit float please!) But for the end consumer, who's
> listening to Lady Gaga tunes that have all been compressed up into the top
> 4 bits of the range anyway? Not sure if there's going to be much of a
> measurable difference, much less an audible one.
> Ian
> On Tue, Feb 22, 2011 at 7:49 AM, Noah Mendelsohn <nrm@arcanedomain.com
> <mailto:nrm@arcanedomain.com>> wrote:
>     I thought this article might be of interest to this community:
>     http://www.cnn.com/2011/TECH/web/02/22/24.bit.music/index.html?hpt=T2
>     Apparently they're working with Jimmy Iovine, among others.
>     Noah
> --
> Ian Ni-Lewis
> Developer Advocate
> Google Game Developer Relations
Received on Monday, 28 February 2011 15:15:00 UTC

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