Bialik has done his usual fine job of assembling sessions at AES to
catch the eye of the audio technologist or radio guru.
Vice President of Technology Planning Jim Servies, in yellow vest and
seen through rows of waiting racks, conducts a construction tour of
facilities in Bristol, Conn. He will speak about audio considerations
of the project at the AES show in New York.
convention takes place this month in New York; we told you last issue
about some of the show’s themes, and we noted some promising
products. Here, let’s focus on broadcast and streaming media
sessions, which Bialik organizes.
the highlights is a Thursday discussion about “Listener Fatigue
and Retention,” moderated by Dick Burden and including
panelists Frank Foti of the Telos Alliance, Greg Ogonowski of Orban,
Sean Olive of Harman International, Robert Reams of Psyx Research and
Grammy-winning producer/engineer Elliot Scheiner.
I asked Bialik what’s new in the area of listener fatigue, he
replied, “What isn’t new? It’s the never-ending battle
to have our audience last longer, and to keep them.” He joked that
even “Star Trek” was only supposed to be a five-year mission.
listener fatigue, he said, “is a never-ending battle,” not just
for broadcasters but for consumer electronics manufacturers, music
producers and even cellphone carriers.
himself will chair the session “Loudness Control for
Radio and Internet Streaming,” featuring Frank Foti of Telos,
John Kean of NPR, Thomas Lund of TC Electronic, Jan Nordmann of
Fraunhofer and Bob Orban of Orban. Isn’t the loudness war over?
Well, the answer isn’t as simple as you might think, given that
Internet streaming has brought a new playing field into the
is no longer spinning a dial,” Bialik said. “You’re typing in
digital numbers. … It’s going to be a major issue, because now
you have stations that have their audio content injected from various
sources, as well as Internet streaming coming into the car. Do you
have to standardize on loudness? Do you want commercials that are 3
or 6 dB louder than the content, and shakes you up while you’re
driving? Will there be a new loudness war?”
Then the track turns
to the provocative question “Is it Time to Retire the MP3
Protocol for Streaming?” Ray Archie of CBS chairs a group that
includes MP3 innovator Karlheinz Brandenburg of Fraunhofer along with
John Kean of NPR, Jan Nordmann of Fraunhofer, Greg Ogonowski of Orban
and Greg Shay of the Telos Alliance.
According to the
abstract, “It has been over 25 years since the MP3 codec was
introduced to the audio community. With lossy audio encoding, such as
an MP3, there is a not so fine balance between audio quality and file
size. With the ever-increasing availability of bandwidth, file size
has diminished as a consideration for audio streaming and codec
related loss in audio quality is much more apparent.”
of interest is a Friday session chaired by Glynn Walden of CBS about
“Broadcasting During a Disaster.” We’ve seen a number of
panels over recent years about how stations can best prepare for, and
get through, emergencies. The discussion becomes even more important
now that the radio industry is leaning so hard on the idea of being
“first informers” (yes, radio always has delivered that service;
but politically this aspect of radio is a big point right now). The
specific subject of the panel is Hurricane Sandy, which spun up
almost exactly a year ago. Panelists include Rob Bertrand of CBS,
Howard Price of ABC/Disney, Tom Ray of Tom Ray Broadcasting
Consulting and Richard Ross of WADO/Univision.
Delivery and the Mobile Initiative” is the subject of a session
chaired by Neil Glassman of WhizBandPowWow. With consumer use of
mobile on a dramatic up-curve, content providers face big challenges;
what does it mean to your business that smartphones and tablets have
become critical consumption tools, and that legacy radio receivers
are no longer the only consumer option in the car?
are Stephen Baker of Ramp, Karlheinz Brandenburg and Jan Nordmann of
Fraunhofer, John Kean of NPR, Damon Love of SiriusXM, Leigh Newsome
of Targetspot and Greg Ogonowski of Orban.
“Modern Audio Transportation Techniques for Remote
Broadcasts” are Chris Crump of Comrex, John Kean of NPR, Greg
Shay of the Telos Alliance and Chris Tobin of Musicam USA. That
session is chaired by Herb Squire. Radio World explored this topic in
our eBook “Fall Remote Season Planner” last year; see
radioworld.com/ebooks for all of our eBook titles.
subject well familiar to our readers is “Maintenance, Repair and
Troubleshooting.” Chairing an AES session on that topic is ace
troubleshooter John Bisset of the Telos Alliance, who for years has
collected and shared your engineering tips in our Workbench
column at Radio World. Helping him in the discussion will be Michael
Azzarello of CBS and Bill and Kimberly Sacks of Orban/Optimod
Tyler of the College of San Mateo will moderate “HTML5
and Streaming.” This is the fifth revision of the Hypertext
Markup Language standard.
feature is the media player and how it handles media being downloaded
or streamed,” according to the summary. “This session will look
into the technical considerations for media to be played back as well
as the user interfaces.” Speakers are Jan Linden of Google, Greg
Ogonowski of Orban and Charles Van Winkle of Adobe.
a Saturday session on “Facility Design”will look at the audio
planning aspects within two notable recent projects: ESPN’s new
production complex in Bridgeport, Conn., and QTV in Doha, Qatar.
Sergio Molho of Walters Storyk Design Group chairs the discussion,
which includes his colleague John Storyk as well as Jim Servies, vice
president, technology planning at ESPN.
— whose day job is streaming project manager at CBS — likes to
emphasize that AES broadcast and streaming tracks are intended to be
educational, not sales pitches. And New York is a good market for
this content; so many media are centered there, so many commercials
are created there.
says attendees have gotten more sophisticated in recent years,
whether they work as radio engineers, DJs or voiceover talent. “It’s
interesting how many more come in, some with garage studios, some
with big studios — but they all have studios. It’s an audience
that’s much more educated than ever.”
the list of broadcast and streaming sessions see
More topics of interest on that page cross over from AES tracks in
Live Sound, Network Audio and other topics. And the convention agenda
has many more sessions that you might find interesting. (Photos from
the “Sgt. Pepper” sessions? A glimpse of the studio of the
future, circa 2050? A tour of WNYC and the show “Soundcheck”? An
evening of live audio/radio drama? Check, times four.)