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Boffins come up with new audio compression


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1,000 times smaller than MP3


A bunch
of smart people at the University of Rochester, New York claim they have come up with a new way of encoding audio which promises file sizes 1,000 smaller than the MP3 format.

However, the technology doesn't involve audio recording. They used a 20-second clarinet solo for the experiment and managed to squeeze it into less than a kilobyte. Such a small file size was achieved by recreating real-world physics of a clarinet and the physics of a clarinet player on the computer.

"This is essentially a human-scale system of reproducing music," said Mark Bocko, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and co-creator of the technology. "Humans can manipulate their tongue, breath, and fingers only so fast, so in theory we shouldn't really have to measure the music many thousands of times a second like we do on a CD. As a result, I think we may have found the absolute least amount of data needed to reproduce a piece of music."

Sounds exciting, but we wouldn't hold our collective breaths. Don't expect to encode your (legally) downloaded music into the new format any time soon.

More here.

Last modified on 03 April 2008
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