Audio Delivery: The changing home experience
The traditional market for recorded music is being overtaken by new ways to deliver audio to the home, both alone and accompanied by other media: pictures, text, hyperlinks. The rapid increase in data bandwidth has stimulated a range of new services and technologies to provide audio in a variety of forms. Broadband internet connections and home networks vie with expanding broadcast media to distribute and deliver audio: the choices seem endless.
No longer can audio in the home be quantified by counting records, cassettes or CDs; the days of physical distribution may be numbered. Perhaps buying a disk tomorrow will be like buying sheet-music today - a specialist niche for high-end enthusiasts.
What does this mean for the audio professional? Recording and mastering engineers will need to understand the new possibilities for the music they create; infrastructure engineers will need to understand the implications of decisions they take; a new and growing breed of engineer will specialise in home installations to provide new levels of experience in the home.
Cosy hi-fi assumptions bred in the '70s and '80s will no longer be a reliable guide to the delivery of consumer audio in this decade.
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