Report On

DIGITAL AUDIO
Submitted To
Curious Design Consultants Pty Ltd 98 Bourke Street Woolloomooloo NSW 2011 Australia Tel (61 2) 9358 5333 · Fax (61 2) 9357 7078 Email design@curious.com.au

By
Daniel Darabi CEO Pillar Of Autumn Tuesday, 24 July 2007

Executive Summary
This report examines digital audio, in the digital media industry, as a possible alternative format of audio as opposed to analogue audio. Forms of digital audio are described, and an explanation of how they may benefit is presented. Delivery mediums and future services conclude the main discussion of the report.

Digital Audio
I. i. II. i. ii. iii. iv. III. i. ii. iii. iv. v. vi. vii. IV. V.

Examples
File Types

1 2

Tools
Players Recorders Editing Production

Delivery
Digital Audio Tape (DAT) MiniDisc Optical Disk Internet Broadcast Flash Memory / Hard Drive Various Audio File Formats

3

Benefits 3

3

Future

Examples
• File Types o It is important to distinguish between a file format and a codec. A codec performs the encoding and decoding of the raw audio data while the data itself is stored in a file with a specific audio file format. Though most audio file formats support only one audio codec, a file format may support multiple codecs, as AVI does. o There are three major groups of audio file formats:  Uncompressed audio formats, such as WAV, AIFF and AU;  Formats with lossless compression, such as FLAC, Monkey's Audio (filename extension APE), WavPack (filename extension WV), Shorten, TTA, Apple Lossless and lossless Windows Media Audio (WMA); and  Formats with lossy compression, such as MP3, Vorbis, lossy Windows Media Audio (WMA) and AAC. [1]

Fig. [i] This chart shows the relative file sizes of the same three-minute song saved in different formats, starting with the original CD track on the left. The smaller the file, the more sonic information is lost.

Tools
• Players o CD / DVD Player o Flash / HDD Player o Media Player Recorders o Microphone o Digital Recorder o Headset Editing o Audio Manipulation Software Production o Sound Studio o Podcasting o Mastering Software

• •

Fig. [ii] 44% of the consumers, under 24 years of age, that we interviewed consider the Internet to be the primary way to listen to music. That number falls to 39% of those over 24 and only 18% of those over 35. The greatest potential for growth in this area comes from this over 35 group where 22% believe that the Internet will become their primary way to listen to music in the future.

Delivery
• • • Digital Audio Tape (DAT) MiniDisc Optical Disk o Compact Disc (CD) o DVD o Super Audio CD Internet Broadcast Flash Memory / Hard Drive Various Audio File Formats

• • • •

Benefits
• For audio distribution, there are benefits in the simplicity of making very accurate copies of an original. For electronic instruments and music, the benefits lie in the capacity and flexibility for manipulation and synthesis that it offers. For example, digital recording avoids the analog distortions of tape hiss and so on (analog recording may also have advantages over digital too). This also allows non destructive editing of the sound in a digital audio work-station (DAW), a massive improvement over analog editing. Digital audio also opens a world of Digital Signal Processing (DSP), either by standard computers or by dedicated hardware. [2]

Future
• New digital audio services like satellite radio, online radio, HD radio, and podcasting with new subscription and data service business models are changing the way consumers listen to radio. All four digital audio markets will grow steadily — by 2010, 20.1 million households will listen to satellite radio and 12.3 million households will synchronize podcasts to their MP3 players. Broadcasters and music labels must learn to deal with this new, fragmented audience. The keys to success will be subscriptions, ad targeting, and monetizing the many ways that digital audio will be consumed. [3]

Source [1] - Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Audio_file_format Source [2] - Digital Instruments http://digitalinstruments.ci.qut.edu.au/Audio/audio.htm Source [3] - Forrester http://www.forrester.com/Research/Document/Excerpt/0,7211,36428,00.html Figure [i] - Crutchfield http://www.crutchfield.com/ISEOrgbtcspd/learningcenter/home/safety/mp3_headphones.html Figure [ii] - Choque http://osegundochoque.blogia.com/temas/3.0.1-a-gerac-o-ipod-.php