MP3s and Your Lost Sound

in Events
November 13th, 2011

Part of the Synapse Speaker Series

Friday, October 22, 2010
6:00pm until 8:30pm
Audio Concepts, 870 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, MA

Do you ever wonder why MP3s sound great on your iPod headphones, but not on your speakers at home? Join Synapse for their Fall 2010 Speaker Series, featuring Ross Maddox (ENG ‘11), a biomedical engineering Ph.D. student and auditory researcher. Ross will explain how speakers produce sound, how we as humans process that sound, and how MP3s and other lossy compression techniques affect the quality of your music.

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What You Missed!

This fall, students and their families kicked off Parents Weekend on October 22nd, 2010 with Synapse’s second Speaker Series event, “MP3s and Your Lost Sound,” featuring an interactive presentation by Ross Maddox. Ross is a Ph.D. student in biomedical engineering and an auditory researcher here at Boston University. He demonstrated how large audio files are compressed into MP3s to reduce the size of the data, which degrades the fidelity of the music. Ross further explained the variations present in different forms of digital music, and then encouraged people to hear it for themselves by listening to various genres on sounds stations scattered throughout the store. All the files were at different compression levels, or different bit rates, to show listeners a recognizable difference in sound quality. The attendants were left with the ability to detect different levels of compression in their digital music.

You can watch Ross’ presentation on YouTube and see pictures from the event on Facebook.

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