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MP3...in Surround Sound

Hemos posted more than 10 years ago | from the THX-We're-Coming-For-You dept.

Music 247

A number of people sent in the latest news from the fine folks at Frauhofer that they are expecting to have surround sound working for MP3s by July. The details are pretty sketchy in the article, but supposedly it won't be much more space per MP3s, and existing players will work with it.

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this is what you hearin (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8633093)

#teens4christ touched your junk liberally

Hemos moderated your junk liberally... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8633102)

can you believe it?

Bait and switch? (-1, Flamebait)

RLiegh (247921) | more than 10 years ago | (#8633095)

OH, proprietary extentions to our audio format? what? Hey, LOOK -- shiny surround sound. ooooo surround sound.

Re:Bait and switch? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8633114)

RLiegh is a homosexual

Text by Sean.

Once there was a boy named RLiegh. He was 9 years old.

RLiegh had a dog named Patches. Patches slept in a doghouse beneath RLiegh's bedroom window.

One night, Patches couldn't sleep. He smelled a scary smell. "Bow-wow-wow!" barked Patches. "Bow-wow-wow! Bow-wow-wow! Bow-wow-wow! Bow-wow-wow!"

RLiegh threw open the window. "Oh, no!" he cried. "The house is on fire! Mother! Father!"

RLiegh felt the door as he learned at school. The door was hot, so RLiegh stayed in his room and yelled for help from his window.

A big strong fireman came up on a ladder and carried RLiegh to safety. RLiegh hid his face against the fireman's uniform until they were safe on the ground. RLiegh was very glad to see that his whole family was safe.

"That's a good dog you have," said the fireman. "He saved your family! And we got here in time, so your house is barely damaged."

The next night, RLiegh couldn't sleep. He thought about the fireman. He thought about how warm and muscular the fireman had felt through his uniform. He remembered the smell of smoke mixed with the fireman's sweat.

Remembering the fireman gave RLiegh a funny feeling. He wished he could be together with the fireman again.

The next day, RLiegh talked to his sister Sue. "I think I want to marry a fireman when I grow up," said RLiegh.

Sue gave RLiegh a strange look. "Boys don't marry boys!" she exclaimed. Then she ran off and told all the other children that her brother wanted to marry a fireman.

RLiegh went and talked to his mother. "I think I want to marry a fireman when I grow up," he said.

Mother laughed uncomfortably. "What a funny idea, RLiegh!" she said. "What will the neighbors think if they hear about this?"

RLiegh decided that maybe his father would understand how he felt. "Father," said RLiegh. "Did you ever wish that the house would catch on fire again so that a fireman can rescue you? And did you ever wish he'd take off all your clothes?"

Father gave RLiegh a strange look. "No, I can't say that I did," said Father.

The real shocker came at dinner that night. "I wish a fireman would take off all his clothes and sleep with me in my bed," said RLiegh. "And I wish he would put a dog leash on me."

Mother nearly choked on her tomato aspic. "Eat your dinner, RLiegh," said Mother. "And be quiet."

When RLiegh went to bed, his mother came to tuck him in. "Now, RLiegh, there's something I want you to remember," she said. "Don't play with yourself, or you'll go blind."

"Okay, mom," said RLiegh. He wondered if he could just do it until he needed glasses.

After RLiegh was in bed, Mother and Father talked things over.

"I think RLiegh may be a homosexual," said Father.

"It certainly seems that way," said Mother. "What ever can we do about it?"

"I think we should have a talk with him and put the fear of God in him," said Father.

The next morning, Mother and Father had a talk with RLiegh.

"No son of mine is going to be a homosexual!" said Father. "God says it's bad. If you don't give up this fireman business, we'll kick you out of the house!"

RLiegh burst into tears.

Mother talked to Mrs. Brown to see if she had any advice. "I think my little RLiegh may be a homosexual," said Mother. "I just don't know what to do."

Mrs. Brown's eyes grew wide. A homosexual! Mrs. Brown ran away shrieking. Soon, Mother learned that she had been un-invited from Mrs. Brown's Tupperware party.

When RLiegh went to school that day, all the other children ran away from him. "Ewww!" they said. "We don't want to play with a homosexual! We'll get gay germs!"

RLiegh stood behind and tried not to cry.

RLiegh was so confused that he decided to call the police to ask for help. "Officer Plotchnik speaking," said the policeman.

"Hello, my name is RLiegh White," said RLiegh. "I'm 9 years old. Everybody hates me because I want to marry a fireman, and they say I'm a homosexual. What should I do?"

"Well, RLiegh," said Officer Plotchnik. "You'd better not put your wee-wee in any other boys mouths or bottoms, or you'll go to jail. Sodomy is a crime in this state, you know."

RLiegh hung up the phone, more confused and depressed than ever. "What am I to do?" he asked himself.

After thinking it over, RLiegh decided to run away to find a place where people would understand him. "Come on, Patches," he said to his dog. "We're running away!" He packed some peanut butter sandwiches for himself and some dog food for Patches. Then he took Patches with him and ran away to a park.

In the park, RLiegh met a man. "Hello, little boy," said the man. "How would you like some ice cream?"

RLiegh knew exactly what the man was after. Maybe this was his big chance! "Have you a fireman uniform?" asked RLiegh.

"No, I'm afraid I haven't," said the man.

"Oh," said RLiegh, disappointed. Then he kicked the man in the balls to show him what he thought of child molesters.

RLiegh ran all the way home with Patches. Then he cried and cried.

"Oh, Patches," he said. "There seems to be nowhere to turn. I think I should end it all and kill myself."

He looked sadly at Patches. "But I'm too scared to die alone. Let's make a suicide pact, Patches! How does that sound?"

Patches licked RLiegh on the nose. RLiegh took that to mean yes, so he carried Patches outside.

RLiegh sadly carried Patches to the sidewalk. They waited for a car to come by. Soon, a driver came speeding around the bend.

With Patches in his arms, RLiegh jumped in front of an approaching car. The car screeched to a stop just in time. The driver jumped out of the car. "Goodness gracious, young man!" said the driver. "Why did you jump in front of my car?"

"I was trying to kill myself because I'm a homosexual, and all my family and the other kids and the police and everyone hate me," said RLiegh.

"Don't kill yourself!" said the driver. "Call the Gay Hotline! They can help you!" He gave RLiegh a card with a phone number, and then got in his car and drove away.

RLiegh nervously dialed the number. "Hello, Gay Hotline?" he said. "My name is RLiegh. I'm 9 years old. I'm a homosexual, and I want to marry a fireman. Everybody hates me because I'm a homosexual: Mother, Father, sister Sue, Officer Plotchnik, and all the kids at school. I tried to run away but a man tried to buy me ice cream, and I kicked him in the balls. I tried to kill myself but the driver stopped and gave me your number. What should I do?"

"What you need is a good family psychiatrist!" said the man on the Gay Hotline. "Here's a number for you." He gave RLiegh the number.

"Can we go to a family psych--- psych--- head shrinker, Mother?" asked RLiegh. "I have the number for a good one."

Mother thought, "Maybe this will get those perverted homosexual thoughts out of little RLiegh's head." She said, "All right, RLiegh."

"Hello, folks, I'm Dr. Goldenberg," said the psychiatrist. "What seems to be the problem?"

"We're here because our little son RLiegh seems to be a-- homosexual!" said Mother.

"Not to worry, folks. Being gay is a perfectly normal variation of human sexuality," said Dr. Goldenberg. "The best thing you can do is to accept RLiegh for who he is."

At home, Mother and Father talked it over. "Maybe we were too hasty to judge the boy," said Father.

"Maybe so," said Mother. "All right, let's talk to him."

Father told RLiegh, "RLiegh, your mother and I have decided to accept you just as you are. We're proud of our gay son."

RLiegh's face lit up. He was very glad.

"Guess what, Patches?" cried RLiegh. "Mother and Father say they're going to accept me just as I am!"

Patches jumped and barked joyfully.

RLiegh became a gay rights activist and gave consciousness raising talks to his classmates.

"And by using a condom or dental dam every time you have sex, you can greatly reduce your chances of contracting HIV!" said RLiegh.

RLiegh's parents became avid readers of the P-FLAG newsletter.

"Who needs a Tupperware party when we have all these P-FLAG meetings to go to?" remarked Mother.

RLiegh's family tried to accept his kinkier interests. "Father, will you buy me that leash for my birthday?"

"But Patches already has a leash," said Father.

"I didn't want it for Patches," said RLiegh.

Father chuckled uncomfortably.

RLiegh's family even helped set him up with a good boyfriend.

"What about this one, Father?" asked Sue. "10-year-old boy into fireman uniforms and bondage. Usually top but versatile. Is RLiegh a top or a bottom, Father?"

"I think he's a bottom," said Father. "This looks like a good match for RLiegh."

RLiegh was very glad that his family accepted him. He lived happily ever after.

THE END

meh (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8633153)

Not all conservatives are trolls, but all trolls are conservatives.

Re:meh (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8633313)

Not all conservatives are trolls

Are you certain about that?

Re:Bait and switch? (2, Informative)

REBloomfield (550182) | more than 10 years ago | (#8633151)

MP3 is already proprietary.

Re:Bait and switch? (4, Informative)

spacefight (577141) | more than 10 years ago | (#8633155)

MP3 is and was always proprietary...

Re:Bait and switch? (4, Insightful)

ahillen (45680) | more than 10 years ago | (#8633176)

Hmm, how does your audio format get any more proprietary than before when the folks who developed it in the first place extend it?

Now Available (-1, Offtopic)

BinBoy (164798) | more than 10 years ago | (#8633099)

>>>>>

Re:Now Available (-1, Offtopic)

BinBoy (164798) | more than 10 years ago | (#8633218)

Doh. That didn't post right.

How hard will it be to convert? (-1, Flamebait)

macmaniac (734596) | more than 10 years ago | (#8633101)

I wonder how hard it will be to convert entire collections once this new version of the format comes out?

I have more than 6000 MP3s, could turn out to be more trouble than it's worth...

Re:How hard will it be to convert? (5, Insightful)

Sarojin (446404) | more than 10 years ago | (#8633109)

Does your collection already have surround sound data? A bit pointless to convert, no new data to store.

Re:How hard will it be to convert? (2, Interesting)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 10 years ago | (#8633246)

With HD space getting cheap, maybe it's best to just leave the redbook audio in pure WAV format. Screw compression of any type, especially if your after high quality audio reproduction.

Re:How hard will it be to convert? (1)

welsh git (705097) | more than 10 years ago | (#8633374)

> With HD space getting cheap, maybe it's best to just leave the redbook audio in pure WAV format.
> Screw compression of any type, especially if your after high quality audio reproduction.

If you are going down that route, you should use one of the lossless audio compressions, like flac:

" FLAC stands for Free Lossless Audio Codec. Grossly oversimplified, FLAC is similar to MP3, but lossless, meaning that audio is compressed in FLAC without any loss in quality. This is similar to how Zip works, except with FLAC you will get much better compression because it is designed specifically for audio, and you can play back compressed FLAC files in your favorite player (or your car or home stereo, see links to the right for supported devices) just like you would an MP3 file."

Flac Homepage [sourceforge.net]

Re:How hard will it be to convert? (3, Insightful)

bbrazil (729534) | more than 10 years ago | (#8633122)

What would be the point of converting?

You'd just add extra headers and increase file size. If you want to dynamically alter sounds in 3d space dependant on temporal and frequency factors a plugin might be more appropriate. How often do you listen to all of your mp3 collection?

Re:How hard will it be to convert? (2, Informative)

Fulkkari (603331) | more than 10 years ago | (#8633162)

Your original mp3s are in stereo and not in surround, so you wont win anything by converting them to the new format as far as I understand it. They would still be stereo (converting from mono to stereo doesn't either make the sound stereo). This new format would just mean that you could make mp3s with surround sound in the future.

Tell me if I'm wrong.

Ipod? (3, Interesting)

Enze6997 (741393) | more than 10 years ago | (#8633106)

Whats this mean for the Ipod? Firmware upgrade? I was going to buy but if I should wait for a 4th gen Dolby 5.1 edition to come out I will.

Re:Ipod? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8633181)

You should wait for the iPod Micro Edition. So small it fits in your anus and uses a methane-powered fuel cell. Oh, and it comes with a 64GB solid state memory chip and supports 6.3 Dolby Surround Extreme.

An optional accessory allows the device so play through bone conduction so that you don't have unsightly earphone wires coming out of the back of your pants.

Re:Ipod? (2, Interesting)

millahtime (710421) | more than 10 years ago | (#8633199)

"Whats this mean for the Ipod? Firmware upgrade? I was going to buy but if I should wait for a 4th gen Dolby 5.1 edition to come out I will."

As far as ipod updates go it's fairly easy. ITunes will pull down updates when new ones are released and updated your ipod when it's connected. Not very difficult and apple is on top of their updates. Apple makes updates easy.

warning about ipod firmware updates (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8633257)

1) Make sure your generation of ipod is compatible with the update

2) If you don't want to use iTunes to manage your ipod, don't update past 2.0.1

3) If any Apple software asks you to "configure" something on your ipod, keep in mind that is Apple jargon for "format"

Re:Ipod? (2, Interesting)

Fulkkari (603331) | more than 10 years ago | (#8633203)

It would need a new connector, because you can only get stereo stereo from the iPod as far as I can tell. And how do you get surround sound from a pair of headphones with only with a left and right channel? Or am I missing something here?

Simple -- Binaural (1)

OlivierB (709839) | more than 10 years ago | (#8633302)

Have you heard of binaural sound? --> http://www.binaural.com/

Works great with headphones, even works sometimes with Speakers

Re:Ipod? (0)

baker_tony (621742) | more than 10 years ago | (#8633205)

Surround sound mp3's will work with current tech in stereo.

Need new hardware/software if you want to listen to surround sound mp3's in surround sound.

Re:Ipod? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8633262)

they have firmware upgrades fool.

yeah, wait until they offer these in surrond.

Surround sound? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8633115)

But you only have two ears!

Re:Surround sound? (1)

AllUsernamesAreGone (688381) | more than 10 years ago | (#8633188)

Maybe they're counting on the Allen Telescope Array [slashdot.org] finding many-eared aliens soon?

*puts tinfoil hat on*

unless they know something we don't....

Can someone enlighten me? (-1, Troll)

amigoro (761348) | more than 10 years ago | (#8633118)

Fraunhofer reproduces surround sound by adding to MP3 encoding extra information that describes the spatial characteristics of the main audio track.
I don't quite get this. Okay, you can give direction to the main 'channel', but how can we have 6 simultaneous channels?

Moderate this comment
Negative: Offtopic [mithuro.com] Flamebait [mithuro.com] Troll [mithuro.com] Redundant [mithuro.com]
Positive: Insightful [mithuro.com] Interesting [mithuro.com] Informative [mithuro.com] Funny [mithuro.com]

Re:Can someone enlighten me? (0, Offtopic)

spacefight (577141) | more than 10 years ago | (#8633166)

Stop spamming /. with your stupid moderation links. Thanks.

TROLL ALERT (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8633177)

grandparent isn't the poll-troll, he's a click-my-links-troll posing as a poll-troll

TROLL ALERT (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8633194)

parent is click-my-links-troll

Re:Can someone enlighten me? (2, Informative)

David_Bloom (578245) | more than 10 years ago | (#8633278)

Dolby Surround (the type found on VHS tapes) works similarly. It just contains data on what frequencies to spread out to what speakers or something. It's not true surround sound.

386, Now with 24-bit Colour! (3, Insightful)

Shinglor (714132) | more than 10 years ago | (#8633119)

MP3 is an outdated CODEC, the only reason it's still in use is because of compatibility. If you start adding extra features that break compatibility people will just move to a better quality CODEC with the same features (and possibly more).

Re:386, Now with 24-bit Colour! (4, Insightful)

AntiOrganic (650691) | more than 10 years ago | (#8633128)

Read the article, stupid.

Music encoded with the new system will work with older hardware and software MP3 players but the extras will only the surround sound when piped through a player that can do something with the extra information.

Re:386, Now with 24-bit Colour! (3, Insightful)

Lord of Ironhand (456015) | more than 10 years ago | (#8633179)

And meanwhile, the files will grow uselessly larger for other (read: most) people and slightly cracked players will finally break entirely.

There are far better options around for multi-channel audio now.

Re:386, Now with 24-bit Colour! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8633215)

Doubtless there will be utilities to strip this information down to a plain stereo track. And about slightly cracked players breaking, so what? If a player doesn't follow the original MP3 spec, it can't currenly play valid MP3 files anyway.

Previous extensions, like mp3-pro, not successful (4, Insightful)

blorg (726186) | more than 10 years ago | (#8633208)

Grandparent is essentially right. MP3 *is* an outdated codec, which is only still here because of it's universality (don't get me wrong - this is a big benefit). While these added features may not actually break the old standard, they do result in bigger files with no discernable benefit for the vast majority of people. If you want to examine the success of previous add-ons to the mp3 standard, take mp3-pro - it's not exactly all over the place. People will take standard mp3 for it's universality, and choose a superior codec (AAC, OGG, MPC, whatever - even WMA) when they aren't concerned about compatibility.

Re:Previous extensions, like mp3-pro, not successf (4, Insightful)

AntiOrganic (650691) | more than 10 years ago | (#8633237)

Not to mention how the method of adding pretend "surround sound" that they're proposing is retarded.

For what it's worth, MP3Pro also wasn't really backwards-compatible, even though it claimed to be. In a format that didn't support the extensions, it cut off the entire high end and it sounded like absolute shit. It remains to be seen if the same issue will be seen in these surround MP3s, but if it really doesn't add too much, like the article is implying, I don't imagine it will be a cataclysmic failure.

Besides, there aren't that many surround-sound audio CDs to rip yet, so something like this wouldn't gain in popularity until a more popular codec has already superseded it. I wouldn't worry about it gaining any type of dominance.

Re:Previous extensions, like mp3-pro, not successf (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8633378)

MP3 with 6 channels or more will be really good (and useful), i don't know why you think people use mp3 _only_ for CD rips.. I'm sure DVD rippers will be pleased with this news.. as most of them don't like using AC3 for its size, and won't use ogg vorbis either coz of other issues.
we'll wait and see what happens later

Re:386, Now with 24-bit Colour! (1)

niheuvel (570621) | more than 10 years ago | (#8633195)

Fraunhofer said that the system it developed would work with existing MP3 software and music players.

perhaps you should read the article?

Re:386, Now with 24-bit Colour! (1)

Shinglor (714132) | more than 10 years ago | (#8633232)

perhaps you should read the article?

Perhaps you should read the post above yours.

Re:386, Now with 24-bit Colour! (1)

Maestro4k (707634) | more than 10 years ago | (#8633239)

  • If you start adding extra features that break compatibility people will just move to a better quality CODEC with the same features (and possibly more).
But the article makes it clear that the new Mp3s will play just fine in current software/hardware, they just won't be able to take advantage of the surround sound information. This isn't breaking compatability at all, in fact it's preserving it while adding new features.

Re:386, Now with 24-bit Colour! (1)

Shinglor (714132) | more than 10 years ago | (#8633288)

Yes, yes, let's all make fun of the person who forgot to read the article before posting :S

conversion (5, Informative)

tomocoo (699236) | more than 10 years ago | (#8633121)

You couldn't convert your mp3's to surround because the source is stereo... if you want surround just run it through PL2 for pretty good on the spot surround sound.

Re:conversion (1)

Malc (1751) | more than 10 years ago | (#8633306)

What about tracks encoded with Pro Logic? Surely that could be decoded in to multiple discrete channels.

New format? Why? (4, Funny)

Gavin Rogers (301715) | more than 10 years ago | (#8633125)

I don't know why you'd need to change anything... I get surround sound right now with my ordinary stereo MP3s. It's called Dolby Pro Logic :-)

Re:New format? Why? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8633277)

I get the same thing with my 1970 stereo. I can control the positional audio with the Left/Right balance knob.

Ooh... MP3 goodness is all around (5, Funny)

Threni (635302) | more than 10 years ago | (#8633126)

So you can have over sibilant vocals in front of you, warbly underwater bass behind you, and audio artefacts moving in circles about your head... I can't wait!

Re:Ooh... MP3 goodness is all around (1)

Catan (98840) | more than 10 years ago | (#8633263)

I would be surpised if you could locate "warbly underwater bass behind you" since the average humen being is actually not able to tell where the source of low frequencies is.

Re:Ooh... MP3 goodness is all around (1)

Short Circuit (52384) | more than 10 years ago | (#8633391)

audio artifacts circling your head? Like an Ioune stone? I'm going to have to add that one to my D&D campaign.

Hmm... (0, Redundant)

MarkMcLeod (759072) | more than 10 years ago | (#8633130)

It doesn't read like you'll be able to convert existing MP3's because they would not have the information needed to create the extra audio channels. Looks like I'll need to reencode my entire cd collection...again. Fawk.

Re:Hmm... (2, Insightful)

Johan Veenstra (61679) | more than 10 years ago | (#8633236)

Well, since there are only two audio channels on your cd's, reencoding your entire cd collection won't do much good.

Re:Hmm... (1)

Blue Stone (582566) | more than 10 years ago | (#8633319)

" Well, since there are only two audio channels on your cd's, reencoding your entire cd collection won't do much good."

I imagine Frauhofer have an eye [or maybe that should be ear] on SACD and DVD-Audio ripping, for which this would be useful.

Re:Hmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8633270)

It doesn't read like you'll be able to convert existing MP3's because they would not have the information needed to create the extra audio channels.

You're not going to be able to get that 'extra information' off your CDs either, Einstein. All of your CDs only have two channels and your MP3s have both of 'em.

Dumbest post of the day!

Re:Hmm... (2, Insightful)

richy freeway (623503) | more than 10 years ago | (#8633294)

Why? Your CDs don't have the extra audio channels either. Double fawk.

OGG (1)

slavefishy (728826) | more than 10 years ago | (#8633131)

I suppose there isn't enough detail in the article to ask whether anyone knows if this could be applied to OGG?

Re:OGG (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8633346)

Ogg Vorbis already supports hundreds of simultaneous audio channels and requires no alteration. Finding source material with that many channels is a different story.

Nothing to see here. (5, Informative)

sokk (691010) | more than 10 years ago | (#8633133)

Ogg Vorbis have had support [ogghelp.com] for this for some while.

What I'm not sure of is if the support for "joint" surround is there. (Like joint stereo, only for surround)

Who wants to use a proprietary sound format, when they can use a much more appealing open format.

Re:Nothing to see here. (5, Insightful)

nacturation (646836) | more than 10 years ago | (#8633268)

Who wants to use a proprietary sound format, when they can use a much more appealing open format.

MP3: Everything supports it, which is very appealing for consumers.
OGG: Few products support it, not very appealing for consumers.

This is the old VHS/BETA debate again. Each one has various advantages over the other, but MP3 has already won mindshare and, as a result, is ubiquitous. In the end, consumers don't really care that Apple has to pay Fraunhofer $1 (or whatever) for licensing iPod's MP3 tech instead of $0 for OGG. After all, you'll never see Apple advertising a regular iPod for $299 -OR- you can get an iPod which doesn't play MP3 for $298.

Re:Nothing to see here. (1)

femto (459605) | more than 10 years ago | (#8633293)

Nope. The new MP3 format is still in the lab. Nothing supports it. For the time being, measured by number of supporting devices, ogg has the lead in the surround sound stakes against MP3 (ie. 1 > 0).

Re:Nothing to see here. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8633344)

and before ogg supported surround sound and it was "still in the lab", no devices supported that either. what are you trying to prove? do you want to believe that people will give up their mp3 collection and flock to ogg because it was the first to support surround? hardly! generally, the people who listen to mp3s do it on headphones and don't give a rat's ass about surround support

Re:Nothing to see here. (1)

SillyNickName4me (760022) | more than 10 years ago | (#8633385)

When comp[aring ogg to mp3 maybe, but virtually any consumer who ever deals with surround sound there days will get it from a DVD in aac format.

When a mp3 player with surround sound gets developed, on which peopel can also play back all their old mp3s, then that player will have an enormous advantage over ogg, regardless of how much earlier ogg had surround sound.

I wonder tho, multi channel mpeg audio is not new, it has been done on mpeg layer 2, and that is in fact in use in many European DVD players.

From the little info in the article it seems to me that they applied the same idea to mp3.. doesn't sound like somethign thats new really.

Re:Nothing to see here. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8633371)

Yes, MP3 still remains extremely popular, but it is showing its age, and it isn't doing so well in other, less high-profile areas.

One of the places Ogg Vorbis has become surprisingly popular is in soundtracks for computer games. The no licensing fees must be one useful aspect, but there's also definite technological advantages such as better compression, more channels and - very important for sound effects and looped audio - arbitrary length samples.

I was really impressed to discover that Halo for the PC uses Ogg Vorbis for all its sound, and it's published by Microsoft! It's not alone, either - if you've bought a PC game at all recently there's a good chance the audio's compressed with Ogg Vorbis.

Is Ogg Vorbis successful? I'd say it was.

I thought... (2, Informative)

Bluesman (104513) | more than 10 years ago | (#8633137)

...surround sound was encoded on the two stereo channels. At least I thought that was how it worked up until Dolby Pro-Logic wasn't the latest thing anymore and you had digital connections from the source to the AC-3 or Dolby Digital receiver or whatever. (I haven't kept up...)

I just assumed that the surround channels were basically a diff between the right and left channel and the center was a sum.

Quadrophenia (3, Funny)

AtariAmarok (451306) | more than 10 years ago | (#8633143)

Now, if only you can get MP3's to play in quad, and go KERCHUNK every few minutes, and my 8-track flashback to 1973 will be complete!

Re:Quadrophenia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8633304)

To complete the 1973 flashback, the player has to munge the tape too. Don't forget having your iPod eat your MP3 files and it's like, huh? It's a real bummer when that happens, because it was a really good track and now you're going to have to sync your iPod again and it won't be as good.

Vorbis can already do this :P (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8633146)

Vorbis is also intended for lower and higher sample rates (from 8kHz telephony to 192kHz digital masters) and a range of channel representations (monaural, polyphonic, stereo, quadraphonic, 5.1, ambisonic, or up to 255 discrete channels)

http://xiph.org/ogg/vorbis/doc/vorbis-spec-intro.h tml [xiph.org]

Re:Vorbis can already do this :P (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8633332)

save someone time from posting this twice: earlier comment why it doesn't matter [slashdot.org] .

Surround? (1, Informative)

Lord of Ironhand (456015) | more than 10 years ago | (#8633148)

Isn't Surround Sound the technique of encoding 4 channels of audio (left, right, front, rear ("surround")) in 2 discrete channels, such as used by a lot of movies on TV? Since only 2 real channels are used, this was already possible using MP3.

Maybe "multichannel" would be a more appropriate description.

Re:Surround? (1)

rokzy (687636) | more than 10 years ago | (#8633216)

no, surround sound requires surround sound speakers. anything else is just BS emulation.

Re:Surround? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8633345)

Surround sound requires nothing but 2 ears and walking outside you fucknut.

Re:Surround? (2, Informative)

Drakonite (523948) | more than 10 years ago | (#8633227)

Isn't Surround Sound the technique of encoding 4 channels of audio (left, right, front, rear ("surround")) in 2 discrete channels, such as used by a lot of movies on TV? Since only 2 real channels are used, this was already possible using MP3.

Maybe "multichannel" would be a more appropriate description.

Surround sound is the technique of placing speakers around you so sound comes from all directions.

While it is true that some encoding schemes (i.e. Dolby) work by combining the various channels into just 2 channels, it does not have to be encoded like this to be Surround Sound.

No. 1 use - piracy! Woo! (1)

Libraryman (721151) | more than 10 years ago | (#8633158)

Excellent. Now we can have Divx encoded video with mp3 encoded-full-surround-sound audio for our ripped DVDs.

Mind you full surround can be encoded as 6 channel AAC already, pairs up nicely with Xvid video encoding, and can be done in a few easy steps on OS X, (directions here [gatech.edu] ) so I've never looked into other ways of doing it. Maybe someone out there already does it in surround on windows (nah, maybe on Linux) .

Re:No. 1 use - piracy! Woo! (1)

parksie (540658) | more than 10 years ago | (#8633249)

If I really wanted the surround information, I'd probably just pass-through the AC3 straight from the DVD.

Admittedly, it could take up extra space, but minimal effort, and no quality loss.

DRM (2, Interesting)

Cackmobile (182667) | more than 10 years ago | (#8633161)

Is this the release which includes DRM. Surround sound could be cool though.

Re:DRM (1)

malus (6786) | more than 10 years ago | (#8633337)

mod parent up.

Excellent point. I read this headline, and said to self, "Well, that's it. That's the DRM they said they were going to put in."

I don't think, or at least didn't think (and without having details, there is no evidence to say this *is* the DRM release) that Froohoofer would be releasing this DRM sh*te this quickly.

Silly? (5, Interesting)

Davak (526912) | more than 10 years ago | (#8633163)

Fraunhofer reproduces surround sound by adding to MP3 encoding extra information that describes the spatial characteristics of the main audio track.

If they are just adding information to the main track, why put that information in the file to begin with? Just let the user have a "spatial" encoder plug-in that jacks into winamp or whatever. Doing it this way increases the file size for everybody... people with and without surround systems.

Surround information should not be "created." It should be ripped and converted from the original source.

Before long we'll have the mp3 mess that we currently have with all the video codecs.

Davak

DRM? (3, Insightful)

Seek_1 (639070) | more than 10 years ago | (#8633170)

Hmmm... this might be a good time for then to try to 'enhance' the MP3 standard by adding in DRM as the various **AA's (damn them to Heck!) have been urging for years.

I think I'll sit out on this one thank you very much. I like music and everything, but stereo is more than adequate for me (If I want 6 channel sound, I'll just watch a DVD...)

Re:DRM? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8633284)

I heard a rumor at HA that indeed this is the plan. They'll sneak in whatever infrastructure they need for DRM with this "upgrade" of the format.

Re:DRM? (1)

4r0g (467711) | more than 10 years ago | (#8633317)

You are absolutely right. The logic goes that you must have some additional value for people to "upgrade" their already working MP3 systems to a newer version - which then comes bundled with other nice DRM featrures. Without additional value, who'd want to cripple their players?
The question remains, if this is really something that would catch on, is it enough to make people buy into DRM... I think not.

MS ahead of the game?? (4, Interesting)

iPaqMan (230487) | more than 10 years ago | (#8633172)

Finally Frauhofer will catch up to the innovation that Microsoft made more than a year ago. (Oh the irony) Windows Media could do this since its last realease. http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/9ser ies/Gettingstarted/DemoCenter/AudioQuality.asp?pag e=6&lookup=AudioQuality

Was MS first to have this technology for the mainstream consumer???

Re:MS ahead of the game?? (0, Informative)

Zapdos (70654) | more than 10 years ago | (#8633209)

Ogg has had it longer.

Re:MS ahead of the game?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8633331)

I don't understand how the answer to the question: "Was MS first to have this technology for the mainstream consumer???" can be moderated as a troll. Ogg did, indeed, have support for it longer and is intended as a lossy format for the mainstream consumer.

Re:MS ahead of the game?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8633301)

As usually, MS copied the OSS comunity. Vorbis has had it for like ever.

Qsound... (1)

aapold (753705) | more than 10 years ago | (#8633187)

Don't suppose Qsound was ever going to catch on here...

FooBar2000 (1)

B5_geek (638928) | more than 10 years ago | (#8633204)

FooBar2000 already has plugin's available that can do this too...

www.foobar2000.com for details.

Competition (1)

NotoriousQ (457789) | more than 10 years ago | (#8633212)

Not very surprising. Considering that both AAC [matroska.org] and Ogg Vorbis [xiph.org] (and possibly flac, but I can not find the page) support 5.1.(search for 'surround')

Heck, I would not be surprised if apple will push some kind of 5.1 headphones, and thus claim superiority over mp3 for portable music format.

But then again, why do I care? I do not even listen to music, and video is already AC3 (aka dolby digital surround?) encoded.

Re:Competition (2, Interesting)

Killjoy_NL (719667) | more than 10 years ago | (#8633250)

I don't know about Apple, but Zalman already has surround sound headphones, maybe Apple can license this technology ??

http://www.zalman.co.kr/english/product/ZM-RS6F. ht m

Re:Competition (2, Informative)

ahillen (45680) | more than 10 years ago | (#8633258)

Not very surprising. Considering that both AAC and Ogg Vorbis (and possibly flac, but I can not find the page) support 5.1.(search for 'surround')

Yes and no. AAC is not really competition from the point of view of the Fraunhofer Institute, since it's developed mainly by the same group [fraunhofer.de] :

"Fraunhofer IIS has been the main developer of the most advanced audio coding schemes, like MPEG Layer-3 (MP3) and MPEG AAC (Advanced Audio Coding)."

Re:Competition (1)

tuffy (10202) | more than 10 years ago | (#8633397)

(and possibly flac, but I can not find the page) support 5.1.(search for 'surround')

FLAC [sourceforge.net] currently supports up to 8 seperate channels of audio with some room for expansion, if I'm reading the docs right. I assume one of those channels would be a .1 subwoofer channel, but that's not explicit in the spec.

Zaireeka! (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8633222)

Now you'll only need 2 computers to listen to Zaireeka [janecek.com] !

Some Additional Tech (5, Informative)

Effugas (2378) | more than 10 years ago | (#8633229)

Here's the deal.

By far, the most popular algorithm in use for surround sound encoding is Dolby's AC3 (I can say this, because it's on pretty much every DVD, and nothing comes close to its penetration even in the audio space -- not even DVD-Audio). AC3 itself is a pretty fascinating codec; one of the more interesting things about it is that each additional channel requires less and less bandwidth to tack on. This is because there tends to be massive correlation between channels -- either the same sound is coming from multiple directions, or a sound is coming from one direction and all the others are silent, or some combination therein. AC3 encodes this quite efficiently, and thus gets really high quality surround sound in surprisingly few bits.

I suspect they're engineering a similar mode for MP3 -- hopefully something a little nicer than Joint Stereo, which basically works by doing a mono mix and specifying which frequencies are louder in which channel. No, this doesn't work very well. Concievably, we could see something like VBR on a per-channel basis, but I suspect this would cause existing decoders to collapse. I do believe it's possible to place extra data between MP3 granules; I suppose they'll get their backwards compatible surround mode worked into there.

--Dan

Re:Some Additional Tech (5, Informative)

mudrat (412407) | more than 10 years ago | (#8633364)

I suspect they're engineering a similar mode for MP3 -- hopefully something a little nicer than Joint Stereo, which basically works by doing a mono mix and specifying which frequencies are louder in which channel. No, this doesn't work very well. Concievably, we could see something like VBR on a per-channel basis, but I suspect this would cause existing decoders to collapse. I do believe it's possible to place extra data between MP3 granules; I suppose they'll get their backwards compatible surround mode worked into there.

That is precisely how MP3 mid side stereo mode works. It takes the sum of the channels (the common sounds) and encodes with a higher bitrate than the sounds that differ. Joint stereo is a mode where the encoder decides whether to use Mid-Side or true stereo for each frame depending on the stereo seperation. Joint stereo gives better results than true stereo at the same bitrate.

The mode you describe (mono with frequency info) is Intensity Stereo which few encoders even support.

What about dolby surround sound? (1)

AgentSmit (764269) | more than 10 years ago | (#8633300)

Already have surround sound from (well encoded) mp3's for years using matrix decoders like dolby prologic. Sounds great and no need for bigger mp3's.

WOW. Awesome. (0)

brian6string (469449) | more than 10 years ago | (#8633308)

This is great. Now I can listen to all those surround sound albums from my favorite groups like, um, er, well, and there's uh...

Is there anyone recording music in surround sound? Certainly there's no CD spec for this yet...and when there is you can bet it'll be equipped with DRM shackles...

How discrete are the channels? (2, Interesting)

StateOfTheUnion (762194) | more than 10 years ago | (#8633339)

Anyone know how discrete the channels are? "Surround Sound" Codecs often do not support fully discrete channels. If I remember correctly, Dolby ProLogic is four channels encoded in two audio channels and doesn't support fully discrete surround channels. I think to a lessor extent this is also true of Dolby Digital (AC3) (Combines channels at frequencies above 15kHz), but DTS does support fully discrete surround channels (This is part of the reason why DTS uses more bandwidth than AC3). Anyone know if the surround implementation for MP3's will support fully discrete surround channels?

SPEELING ! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8633342)

They are still called Frau n hofer Society.

This might be a smooth way to sneak in DRM (2, Insightful)

Lord Kano (13027) | more than 10 years ago | (#8633350)

No one will give a flying fuck about MP3+DRM, but if they add it at the same time as multi channel surround sound support they might be able to get people to use it.

LK

Who Cares!!!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8633417)

Surrond sound in an mp3? WTF cares!!!!! What would you use it for, watching movies? Listening to surround sound through your car radio? Portable player? At work in you headphones?

People wake up, pop in a DVD or a CD encoded with real surround sound and play it through your home system and get off of the PC once in a while!
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