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Report On


Submitted To
Curious Design Consultants Pty Ltd
98 Bourke Street
Woolloomooloo NSW 2011
Tel (61 2) 9358 5333 · Fax (61 2) 9357 7078
Email design@curious.com.au

Daniel Darabi
CEO Pillar Of Autumn
Tuesday, 24 July 2007

Executive Summary
This report examines digital audio, in the digital media industry, as a possible
alternative format of audio as opposed to analogue audio. Forms of digital audio are
described, and an explanation of how they may benefit is presented. Delivery mediums
and future services conclude the main discussion of the report.
Digital Audio
I. Examples 1
i. File Types

II. Tools 2
i. Players
ii. Recorders
iii. Editing
iv. Production

III. Delivery 3
i. Digital Audio Tape (DAT)
ii. MiniDisc
iii. Optical Disk
iv. Internet
v. Broadcast
vi. Flash Memory / Hard Drive
vii. Various Audio File Formats

IV. Benefits 3
V. Future 3
• File Types
o It is important to distinguish between a file format and a codec. A codec
performs the encoding and decoding of the raw audio data while the
data itself is stored in a file with a specific audio file format. Though
most audio file formats support only one audio codec, a file format may
support multiple codecs, as AVI does.

o There are three major groups of audio file formats:

 Uncompressed audio formats, such as WAV, AIFF and AU;
 Formats with lossless compression, such as FLAC, Monkey's
Audio (filename extension APE), WavPack (filename extension
WV), Shorten, TTA, Apple Lossless and lossless Windows
Media Audio (WMA); and
 Formats with lossy compression, such as MP3, Vorbis, lossy
Windows Media Audio (WMA) and AAC. [1]

Fig. [i]
This chart shows the relative file sizes of the same three-minute song saved in different formats, starting
with the original CD track on the left. The smaller the file, the more sonic information is lost.
• Players
o CD / DVD Player
o Flash / HDD Player
o Media Player
• Recorders
o Microphone
o Digital Recorder
o Headset
• Editing
o Audio Manipulation Software
• Production
o Sound Studio
o Podcasting
o Mastering Software

Fig. [ii]
44% of the consumers, under 24 years of age, that we interviewed consider the Internet to be the
primary way to listen to music. That number falls to 39% of those over 24 and only 18% of those over
35. The greatest potential for growth in this area comes from this over 35 group where 22% believe that
the Internet will become their primary way to listen to music in the future.
• Digital Audio Tape (DAT)
• MiniDisc
• Optical Disk
o Compact Disc (CD)
o Super Audio CD
• Internet
• Broadcast
• Flash Memory / Hard Drive
• Various Audio File Formats

• For audio distribution, there are benefits in the simplicity of making very
accurate copies of an original. For electronic instruments and music, the
benefits lie in the capacity and flexibility for manipulation and synthesis that it
offers. For example, digital recording avoids the analog distortions of tape hiss
and so on (analog recording may also have advantages over digital too). This
also allows non destructive editing of the sound in a digital audio work-station
(DAW), a massive improvement over analog editing. Digital audio also opens a
world of Digital Signal Processing (DSP), either by standard computers or by
dedicated hardware. [2]

• New digital audio services like satellite radio, online radio, HD radio, and
podcasting with new subscription and data service business models are
changing the way consumers listen to radio. All four digital audio markets will
grow steadily — by 2010, 20.1 million households will listen to satellite radio
and 12.3 million households will synchronize podcasts to their MP3 players.
Broadcasters and music labels must learn to deal with this new, fragmented
audience. The keys to success will be subscriptions, ad targeting, and
monetizing the many ways that digital audio will be consumed. [3]
Source [1] - Wikipedia

Source [2] - Digital Instruments


Source [3] - Forrester


Figure [i] - Crutchfield


Figure [ii] - Choque