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Engineers: Is Your Digital Audio Choppy?

John Kean has a quality of service question for radio pros

WASHINGTON — Radio World’s good friend John Kean recently asked if he could use our radio industry bullhorn to ask readers about the quality of service they see in the digital audio programming they receive.

Here’s how he put it to us: “One aspect of audio that seems to be neglected is the effect of ‘cascaded’ compressed digital audio services; that is, when one generation of lossy compression is followed by another before reaching the listener.”

Specifically, he added, “Different bitrate compression methods are used on each generation, called ‘transcoding.’ Practically all satellite feeds, storage systems and remote links rely on bitrate compression, and eventually are delivered to listeners with a lossy compression in an internet stream or HD Radio.”

Therefore, he explains, “While any single link might sound fine on its own, a combination of the same or different codecs can introduce noticeable artifacts. Have you noticed these artifacts appear in yours or other audio you have heard?”

And the reason he asks? He’s been asked to spec an AES session being considered for next month’s show on the topic. So now here’s your chance to provide your two cents on any stuttering, thin, broken audio you’ve received from service providers.

If you have information or want to know more, contact John

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