Audio Glossary

Many of these definitions have been drawn from Wikipedia:

● Actuality – background sounds and music that you edit into an audio piece, for example crowd noise if you are covering a rally or birdsong if you are making a piece set in a natural environment.

● Audio – sound, in the context of broadcast and online sound recordings, production and distribution.

● Analogue recording equipment – sound recording technology that preceded digital, and continues to be used, for example reel-to-reel tape machines, these machines reproduce sounds by copying the shape of the sound waves in a medium such as magnetic tape or vinyl.

● Analogue telecommunications – include traditional telephony, radio, and TV broadcasts.

● Broadcast – the distribution of audio and/or video signals that transmit programmes to an audience; mainly thought of in terms of radio and TV transmissions.

● Computer-Mediated Communication (CMC) – any form of data exchange across two or more networked computers. More specifically, those communications that occur via computer-mediated formats (i.e., instant messages, e-mails, chat rooms) between two or more individuals. Online audio is an important kind of CMC.

● Content – refers to all the various elements in an audio piece, including the words of an interview or other speech, the linking narrative and the background sound.

● Digital audio – uses digital signals for sound reproduction, by converting sound into binary code where each number represents a frequency or an amplitude. All sound on computers is digital, including sound converted from analogue to digital format, stored audio, and transmitted audio.

● Digital audio player (DAP) – a devise that stores, organizes and plays digital music (or other audio) files. It is more commonly referred to as a MP3 player (because of the ubiquity of the MP3 format), but DAPS often play many additional file formats.

● Electronic media – media that use electronics or electromechanical energy to allow the end user (the audience or listeners) to access the content. This is in contrast to static media (mainly print media), which is most often created electronically, but doesn’t require electricity to be accessed by the end user in its printed form. The primary electronic media sources familiar to the general public are video and audio recordings, which can be distributed online, via CD-ROM, radio, television etc. Most new media are digital but electronic media may be in either analogue or digital format.

● Formats – formats can refer to the type of programme or production, for example a talk show format, an interview format, a feature format. (Audio distribution formats on the Internet include online audio, podcasting and streaming. There are also technical formats, for example analogue, digital, MP3, WAV, AIFF etc, which are different ways of capturing information.)

● Multimedia – communications that incorporate multiple forms of information content and types of processing, for example live drama with recorded sound and video.

● Minidisk (MD) – is a magneto-optical disc-based data storage device initially intended for storage of up to 80 minutes of digitalized audio. Today, it has developed into a general-purpose storage medium in addition to greatly expanding its audio roots.

● Microphone – an acoustic-to-electric transducer or sensor that converts the varied pressure of sound waves into an electrical signal. Microphones are used with tape recorders, in live and studio audio engineering, in radio and television broadcasting and with computers for recording voice and other sounds, and for Voice over Internet

● New media – a term describing media that can only be created or used with the aid of computer processing power. These media generally permit some interactivity for their audience and are in digital form. The distinction between “new media” and “old media” is difficult to identify since over the last decade many old media enterprises have started to expand into producing new media.

● Podcasting – the distribution of media files over the Internet using syndication feeds, for playback on portable media players and personal computers.

● Portable media players (PMP) – an independant electronic device that is capable of storing and playing back files in one or more media formats.

● RSS – A family of Web feed formats used to syndicate digital content, such as podcasts.

● Soundbite – a very short piece of content edited or extracted from a longer interview that is viewed as particularly relevant or revealing.

● Streaming audio – audio made available via the Internet as a continuous ‘stream.’ Often refers specifically to a “live stream” – (i.e. content that is continuously received by an end-user at the same time as it is being delivered by the provider.)

●Transmission – in general information theory, transmission is taken to mean the complete process of communication of information via a channel, such as a radio broadcast transmission; but increasingly via new technology channels such as Internet.

● Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) – also called “Internet telephony,” “Broadband Phone,” and Voice over Broadband – this is the routing of voice conversations over the Internet or through any other IP-based network.