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From: Mike Richter <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Mike Richter <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Thu, 1 Apr 2004 12:24:48 -0800

text/plain (46 lines)

At 02:16 PM 4/1/2004 -0500, Comcast Mail wrote:
>I am a fairly new to Opera-L so I hope this question has not been asked
>I am writing to find out what, if anything, I am doing wrong when  I link
>onto the internet to listen to or record an operatic performance.  On
>various occasions, such as when I link onto BBC 3, the sound comes through
>perfectly.  On other occasions, such as when I linked onto KUAC in Alaska
>last Sunday to hear the Met rebroadcast of Salome and with the Deborah
>Voigt concert broadcast a day or two ago, I get a hollow or "tinney"
>sound".  It's as if I am listening to the music from the end of a narrow
>metal tunnel with the addition of distortion  at higher decibel levels and
>applause sounding like rain falling on a roof.
>If anyone can help me to solve this problem, I would appreciate it.  I am
>using an HP computer with Windows XP and an exterior Creative Sound Card,
>the latter reviewed in a number of publications as  supposedly designed to
>give me the best  possible sound from a computer.
>Many thanks in advance for your assistance.
>Ray Gouin
>Melrose, MA

What you are doing 'wrong' is listening to different qualities of webcast.
All streaming audio over the WWW uses lossy compression - degraded sound so
it will be practical for Internet connections. Good stereo transmission
requires a fast connection and a server delivering 100 Kbps or more. (The
numbers are approximate, but not significantly dependent on the format:
RealAudio, MP3, WMA, QuickTime, ...) To provide CD-quality sound without
compression would need a connection of more than a megabit per second and a
very costly connection for the sender. It is particularly unfortunate that
many sites provide poor stereo instead of acceptable monaural sound when
they can afford no more than, say, 32 Kbps.

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