Google is working on a new 3D audio format

The buzziest tech in audio right now is Dolby ATMOS, a spatial audio format that gives listeners an immersive 3D listening experience. If you’ve got Apple Music or Amazon Music, you’ve had a chance to try it out. Two-thirds of the artists in the Billboard Hot 100 released their songs in Dolby ATMOS.

It’s not alone, however. Sony has its 360 Reality Audio. And now Google is said to be developing yet another competitor.

Rumours are that Google is working on two new “open media” formats for both 3D audio and HDR video with the code name “Project Caviar.” Google needs something like this for its music and video offerings. But it seems that it wants to make the technology available to everyone “without the licensing fees hardware manufacturers currently have to pay Dolby.”

Interesting. But can the marketplace handle yet another codec? Then again, Spotify still hasn’t committed to any kind of spatial audio or high-res delivery of music, so you can bet that Google has reached out.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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