history of audio

Digital audio? More than just sounds

live. In bars, concert halls, churches and other suitable locations. This was the case until the 19th century.
But with the invention of the microphone and the loudspeaker it was then possible to send out sounds from a technical device or to capture them with the microphone. The radio quickly followed and so many people in the 20th century listened to the radio, where music was played in addition to news. But this was mostly still written on analogue media and they were quite big. Another solution was needed.

The step to digital music

In some households there are still old gramophones that make records sound. This very early form of music player was in use for a long time, until the inventors of the time made the devices more compact and better. Record players soon replaced the large gramophones and hi-fi systems quickly found their way into many German households. An important step in the development of digital music was taken with the CD. This storage medium developed by Sony and Philips with a playing time of 74 minutes could also be played by very small players such as the walkman. But the development was not to stop there.

With the introduction of MP3 in 1982, a format developed by the Fraunhofer Institute, the exchange of audio files was to become much easier. With a PC and the right software, considerable amounts of files could be stored and played back. However, the data volume of the files, which is small from today’s point of view, was still quite high at that time. With ISDN connections at that time, two to four times the playback time was required for transmission. Thanks to today’s high-speed Internet, pieces of music can be transferred in less than a second. With the MP3 players that appeared from 1998 onwards, the MP3 format and thus listening to music on the move became firmly established.

Everything easy today

Digital audio

Today’s songs can be downloaded online without the need for a computer. Any Internet-capable device is capable of this. But with the possibilities for song downloads, the formats have multiplied. MP3 is not the only format with which music can be stored and played. With an audio converter, users can convert songs and other audios into different formats. Another example of a common audio format would be the WAV format, which was developed by Microsoft and IBM. There are also specific audio formats for some specific devices. For example, many older devices and consoles can only work with the AAC format. Today, however, such problems usually do not exist anymore.
When asked which format would be the most suitable, no clear answer can be given. However, the MP3 format is probably the most flexible format available today. In addition to the good audio quality, the MP3 format also saves a lot of space. This means that many audio files can be stored in a small space. On MP3 players or smartphones this is often a good thing. Depending on the codec, the formats can also compress even more information. With many converters and downloaders this can be adjusted in the settings.

High audio quality

If you are looking for high quality and don’t care about storage space, you should go for FLAC. Free Lossless Audio Codec indicates that this format is a lossless audio format. However, the files are also correspondingly large, making them rather unwieldy for normal, everyday use. Furthermore, not all media players can play this format. A good choice for Hi-Fi systems, but not so good for smartphones. For mobile devices the MP3 with the setting “2320 Mbps” is more suitable. With this setting, you still get a very good sound quality, despite compression.


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