Audio News

Audio News for August 17, 2012

Problems Reselling Old Digital Audio Files; Linkwitz Transform Aids DIY Speaker Builders; More Efficient Video-Compression Standard

Published on August 17, 2012

Problems Reselling Old Digital Audio Files – ReDigi, an online marketplace while people resell music files they have purchased, has tracks for half the price they originally cost at iTunes. This has generated a legal debate over the whole nature of ownership in this digital age. One side says “You buy it, you own it. You should be able to sell it. If you stole it, you shouldn’t be able to sell it.”  The other side (the RIAA) says “ReDigi is a clearinghouse for copyright infringement.” So a suit is now going on about whether legally-purchased digital audio files can be resold at all, and it “strikes at the heart of the future business models of creative industries,” according to a digital-copyright expert at UC Berkeley. A major concern is whether ReDigi is actually making a copy of the file when it is being moved to its cloud servers, in which case it would be violating the letter of a 1970s copyright law. They use software similar to that used by banks to transfer money, which supposedly doesn’t allow a file to exist in two different places at the same time.

Linkwitz Transform Aids DIY Speaker Builders – The Linkwitz Transform filter was initially invented by Siegfried Linkwitz (Orion speakers) and has become a low cost DSP platform using miniDSP Advanced biquad plug-ins. It is available free or for sale and has aided many DIY speaker designers in improving the low end reproduction of their speakers. It is now widely used in many subwoofer configurations to increase low end response and remove the typical bump before the natural driver rolloff.

More Efficient Video-Compression Standard – MPEG (Motion Picture Experts Group) has drafted a new international standard for video-compression called H.265, which is twice as efficient at using available video bandwidth as the current H.264 standard. A spokesman reported that the industry is interested because they will be able to halve the bit rate and still achieve the same visual quality, or double the number of TV channels with the same bandwidth. MPEG said by 2015 the new High Efficiency Video Coding could account for 90% of all network traffic. (Too bad, we were hoping for higher video quality and freedom from freezing, pixelization, and interrupted downloads, even with very high speed connection.)  The MPEG team is also working on a new sort of 3D video compression format to enable a new 3D standard that would do away with 3D glasses. The system could be standardized by 2014.

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