The MP3 Revolution
By Bumper Morgan
bump@bumperproductions.com

Listen Now!

   Since 1994, there has been a "revolution" going on in the radio industry and it has something to do with The Beatles and Prince and alot to do with commercial production.

   Thanks to recent digital devolpments, producers can send commercials, voiceovers and workparts to any radio station around the planet using new MP3 technology. All they need is a fast Internet connection and a decent sound card.

   With the assistance of CD burners, ISDN Lines, MP3 Players, ftp servers and e-mail, downloading radio product is fast and economical. Just think, no more delays due to bad weather, customs restrictions or smashed reel to reel tapes .

   This MP3 phenononom really started in 1987, from the research of Prof. Dieter Seitzer at the University of Erlangen in Germany. Professor Seitzer invented a very powerful algorithm that is now an audio standard.

   From there, The Fraunhofer Institute in Munich licensed the MPEG codec to companies worldwide like the maker of the Telos/Zephyr. Using ISDN phone lines, users of The Zephyr can transmit an receive full bandwidth audio in "realtime" to any Zephyr recepient in the world.

   On the PC front, .wav files from Windows based computers are very large. Rougly 10 meg for a :60 commercial in stereo. With audio compression rom MP3 encoders, such as AudioCatalyst now owned by Real Networks, this 10 Meg .wav file can now be reduced to a 1 MEG .mp3 file, making it perfect for e-mail delivery to production rooms worldwide from production software like Cool Edit Pro.

   Once received as an e-mail attachment, production directors can convert the .mp3 file to a .wav file very easily by using Winamp. This software has made the transfer of audio files very easy and it is a "breakout product" for the MP3 era.

   Mac users can also get in on the encoding game since the advent of MacAmp from Nullsoft, now owned by America Online. MacAmp and Winamp were originally developed by Justin Frankel, who writes computer code in Sedona, Arizona.

   The record companies may look at MP3 as a threat as consumers skip the record stores and download Prince and The Beatles from the 'Net. But Production Directors now see it as a great tool. Just like everything else digital, technologies change real fast and newer upgrades are always in the developmental stage.

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