The December 2022 issue of IEEE Spectrum is here!

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PSPgo's Trouble Going Digital

Trading discs for digital games isn't easy.

1 min read

Sony's new PSPgo handheld gaming device doesn't have the UMD disc drive found in the original PSP.  That means gamers can't boot up all their old titles.   Someone at Sony had the bright idea to let buyers swap their old UMDs for digital versions - but no go.  

Citing "technical and legal reason," a Cony Computer Entertainment of America spokesperson says the plan has stalled. Doh!  This seems so crazy to me.  How do you introduce a UMD-less gadget without a way for gamers to access their existing catalogs?  

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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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