Open-Source Media

RealNetworks' gambit to bring video to your cellphone

4 min read

Multimedia is opening up a vast new frontier for software companies, thanks to the rapid growth of broadband connections to desktop computers and ever more capable cellphones and wireless PDAs. Instat/MDR, a technology research firm in Scottsdale, Ariz., estimates that the demand for rich media content is going to rise dramatically: the U.S. mobile video services market is expected to leap from today's US $53 million to $5.4 billion in 2009, primarily for video messaging and streaming content. Along with content, the demand for the software to bring that multimedia to users will skyrocket.

Not surprisingly, there's a lot of jostling for position among software vendors: content providers are going to use the software with the biggest user bases to give them the largest possible audience for their content-creation dollar.

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Deep Learning Could Bring the Concert Experience Home

The century-old quest for truly realistic sound production is finally paying off

12 min read
Image containing multiple aspects such as instruments and left and right open hands.
Stuart Bradford

Now that recorded sound has become ubiquitous, we hardly think about it. From our smartphones, smart speakers, TVs, radios, disc players, and car sound systems, it’s an enduring and enjoyable presence in our lives. In 2017, a survey by the polling firm Nielsen suggested that some 90 percent of the U.S. population listens to music regularly and that, on average, they do so 32 hours per week.

Behind this free-flowing pleasure are enormous industries applying technology to the long-standing goal of reproducing sound with the greatest possible realism. From Edison’s phonograph and the horn speakers of the 1880s, successive generations of engineers in pursuit of this ideal invented and exploited countless technologies: triode vacuum tubes, dynamic loudspeakers, magnetic phonograph cartridges, solid-state amplifier circuits in scores of different topologies, electrostatic speakers, optical discs, stereo, and surround sound. And over the past five decades, digital technologies, like audio compression and streaming, have transformed the music industry.

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