The Internet of Sound (And No, This Just Isn’t About Music)

I found this at TechCrunch. The whole Internet-As-Sound thing is being pursued by a lot of big businesses.

The history of sound-as-signal is deep. In the beginning, horns, drums and bells rang the alarm, roused the congregation and directed military troops and urban workers: city-sized ringtones guided our lives. These sounds were primarily communicative, musicality was a secondary concern.

Analog sonic codes can be found in unlikely places: composers from Mozart to Schumann hid private audio-numerological jokes in their music, underwater modems guided naval vessels, telephone networks babbled dial-tone enharmonics.

For many (including me), the first experience of the Internet was the grackle squawk of a modem, of PCM-encoded games on cassette — sound not as data per se but as a by-product of data transmission, designed neither for the air nor the ear, but for the wire.

We arrive at the digital age in modern systems encoding URLs as sequences of notes for over-the-air transmission as tiny audio clips that can now be decoded in real-time on mobile devices. In the weightless world of digital, it’s easy to forget that information is a thing, it’sstuff — so why not sound? Now in the modern era, the machines can sing. And they can sing anything, from pictures to payments.

Singing machine? Read on.

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.

Alan Cross has 38293 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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