[ProAudio] Lossless audio on YouTube

cheater cheater cheater00social at gmail.com
Fri Apr 23 14:59:45 PDT 2021

There used to be a time when people didn't care about washing their
hands or about lead in paint.

I think they still wouldn't care if it wasn't a default, and highly
popularized thing. You get soap at every sink nowadays. You don't get
leaded paint. Not getting soap, or getting leaded paint, would be
unthinkable nowadays.

It's a subtle thing, but once you get used to the better option
something just doesn't sit right with you when you're back to the
worse thing.

There was never a popular request for soap or unleaded paint. Soap
manufacture didn't spring up overnight because people requested soap
so much. They were told to use it, and in many places forced to use

Similarly lossless audio online is one of those things that can only
happen via edict, rather than by popular request. So how does one
popularize enough or lobby so that this comes from the top?

Download speed is not an issue. If you're having issues with download
speed, you just get the mp3 or aac track, and you're fine. That's how
quality auto-negotiation works on YouTube.

We've been in a situation for 15 years where mp3 was necessary for
getting good quality audio through the needle hole of the internet.
It's not been necessary for a while for many listeners; it is
completely irrelevant for most listeners now; it will be fully
irrelevant within the decade; it's already irrelevant for whether
YouTube should be serving lossless audio or not. Should we be stuck
with decades of mp3 content? A century of it maybe? Imagine if for
several decades all music was only released on 180 minute cassette; if
the masters for all movies were on VHS. This is a big problem and
quite honestly a catastrophe to the history of music.

Video is in a different position - the bandwidth for high quality
video still is staggering; available framerates, resolutions, and
color spaces double every few years. It's easy to see why this data
gets compressed so hard. There are very significant practical reasons
for video being compressed. There are no reasons at all not to serve
lossless audio in addition to already existing compressed audio
formats. As a programmer I can tell you that the development time to
allow this sort of thing is minimal even at Google's scale.

The file size of high quality audio has been the same since the
inception of digital audio recording and it's never going to go up. At
what point does the point come across that, yes, this is audio, it's
as good as it's going to get, it's already minuscule compared to all
other data, so you might just as well allow it?

On Fri, Apr 23, 2021 at 11:32 PM Corey Bailey Audio Engineering via
ProAudio <proaudio at bach.pgm.com> wrote:
> In 1987, I attended the unveiling of Dolby Digital for 35mm film. The demonstration was very impressive although one could tell when the sound was switched, back & forth, between DD and the analog sound track which was Dolby SR encoded. Afterwards, I pointed out (at the time) to David Gray & Tom Scott, that there were less than a dozen theaters equipped to play an SR encoded track....world wide. This meant that the vast majority of theaters that installed DD, would be playing an SR encoded soundtrack through a system designed to play Dolby A.........UGH!
> David pointed out that Dolby had done several focus groups &, much to his surprise, the listeners couldn't tell the difference or, didn't care.
> My $0.02
> CB
> Corey Bailey Audio Engineering
> www.baileyzone.net
> On 4/23/2021 1:02 PM, Scott Dorsey via ProAudio wrote:
> Are there any other issues I am missing?
> 1. The average viewer really doesn't care about sound quality.
> 2. Video people on the whole care and know less about sound quality
>    even than the average listener.
> These things are unfortunate.
> --scott
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