Into the Zone: The Ghost in the Codec
November 2, 2020 4:21 PM - Subscribe

At the dawn of the digital era, a group of engineers tasked with audio compression had to decide what information to keep, and what to leave behind. What was signal, and what was noise?
posted by latkes (1 comment total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Really enjoying this podcast. This one largely about the history of MP3s. One thing I like about this series is, it's not an attempt to give a thorough treatment to each subject it visits. If it was, I would have liked to have heard what alternative compression techniques might sound like if designed for mass use, more details on whether the human ear can perceive different compression formats, the fetishization of analog. But the particular pool he dipped in here was quite fascinating. Did I sense a little sneer at Suzanne Vega? As usual, his slight sneer seems to melt into acceptance, and then a gentle warmth. I like that Hari Kunzru created an opinionated podcast that still leaves some ambiguity. That's a tough balance. Makes me want to catch up on his novels.
posted by latkes at 4:26 PM on November 2, 2020

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