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AES Publishes Loudness Guidelines for Online Audio

AES77 is now a standard

The Audio Engineering Society has published recommendations about loudness for streaming and on-demand audio.

“Implementing these guidelines will provide consistent loudness and appropriate playback loudness range, will reduce audio quality degradation from excessive limiting, will preserve the original artistic intent and will improve the listening experience,” the organization stated.

The name of the document is AES77-2023 AES Recommended Practice Loudness Guidelines for Internet Audio Streaming and On-Demand Distribution.” It is free to AES members and $100 for others. 

David Bialik, co-chair of the AES Technical Committee for Broadcast and Online Delivery that produced the document, told Radio World, “This is a guideline to set loudness for online audio-only content, including streams of radio stations. There was no standard, so when various elements were inserted into a stream, the loudness levels were all over the place. I like to say if the audience is encouraged to touch the level control, they may be encouraged to turn off the stream.”

“These recommendations provide a necessary step in an evolutionary process to accommodate the inadequate maximum gain and limited metadata capability of some current and older playback devices,” Bialik said. 

“Establishing this process addresses current needs while anticipating increased dynamic range capability and lower distribution loudness.”

The guideline is based on AES Technical Document TD1008. The document does not recommend Loudness Range (LRA), device target playback loudness or device dynamic range.

[Read the free Radio World ebook “The Ecosystem of Streaming.”]