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BBC begins research on the future of audio

by Hugo Jobling on 8 July 2011, 18:05

Tags: BBC

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Sound ideas

The BBC's research and development arm has launched an investigation in to the 'future of sound' at the BBC. The five-year project will be looking at a number of possible areas of advance, with a view to keeping the BBC up-to-date with modern technology, and listening habits.

As well as looking into new ways to record audio and deliver it to its listeners (and viewers), the BBC will be looking at ways to improve its efficiency and reduce costs - no doubt part of the justification for the financial outlay on this research project. Some of the areas the BBC will be looking into include spatial audio, and whether that technology could be used to deliver 3D sound to listeners; whether 3D sound can be delivered using headphones; development of ways to upscale old mono recordings to multi-channel audio and improving the quality of compressed audio.

The research into 3D sound via spatial audio is particularly interesting, ad the BBC is currently in the process of testing its 3D broadcasting for television. No doubt there's some thought that with 3D sound also in its repertoire the BBC would have a much compelling 'surround' product that the it currently provides.

Primarily, the BBC will be partnering with Surrey University for audio-visual research and Salford University for acoustics research, but other universities are involved, and it's possible that additional parties will join the project while it is in progress.  The only black cloud hovering over this announcement is that with the five-year timeline, its unlikely that much new technology will be filtering through to the day-to-day operations of the BBC any time soon.



HEXUS Forums :: 14 Comments

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I don't know…. how about …. allowing iplayer desktop to download radio programs, it produces some things as “pod casts” which are non time limited mp3s of radio shows, however provides none of them to download via iplayer desktop (which is time limited!). This would be so nice with the “series link” button that is now available.
I think the title is wrong

BBC begins research on the future on audio
has launched an investigation in to the ‘future of sound’ at the BBC.

mm.. no

ad the BBC

no
oolon
I don't know…. how about …. allowing iplayer desktop to download radio programs, it produces some things as “pod casts” which are non time limited mp3s of radio shows, however provides none of them to download via iplayer desktop (which is time limited!). This would be so nice with the “series link” button that is now available.
Probably because they would have to negotiate for every song they played during a show to be allowed to be downloadable.

Obviously this doesn't apply for all shows, but I suspect that's why it isn't done right now.
Five year research, so by the time they are due to publish their findings it will be the future. They may as well wait 4 years, 364 days and then quickly throw together a report on what's current at that time… Job done.