It’s Q4-2014 and HDVoice is now largely passé. On that basis one might think that it’s use should become evident, especially amongst the telecom cognoscenti. So I was surprised to hear the most recent UC Strategies podcast entitled, “Connecting the Circuit.” This podcast, a discussion of a new UC service called “Circuit”, was derived from a conference call of leading telecom experts.
Sadly, with the exception of a little music at the beginning, the recording exemplifies the finest narrowband audio traditions of the last century. This is, to my mind, a disappointment. It boggles the mind to think that some of the leading thinkers about UC, are not themselves taking advantage of one of its core features…HDVoice.
The image below is a screenshot of the podcast as displayed in Adobe Audition 3.0, with the display set to show energy vs frequency. The application window indicates that the file is 16 bit, mono, sampled at 22,050 Hz.
The file is in fact stereo, likely the result of adding the music in post-production. I have made this image mono to make it easier to see the frequency scale on the right side of the image.
That frequency scale shows a maximum of 11 kHz, which corresponds to half the sample rate. The image documents the fact that none of the participants present any voice energy above 3.5 kHz.
There would seem to be a natural synergy between HDVoice and podcasting. However, many people don’t seem to make that connection. I’ve read podcasters sharing their experience with ways to edit multiple recordings, each made locally, so that they end up with a full fidelity recording…but only long after the original discussion occurred, with hours spent in editing.
I believe that the current crop of tools, hardware, software and services, readily facilitate production of high-quality podcasts. Leverage a wideband conference bridge like ZipDX, but in doing so make the effort to connect via SIP. Steal the audio stream from a Google+ Hangout, or any corporate UC or video conference system. Heck, get the gang together using a WebRTC-based tool like Talky.IO. As long as you avoid dialing a plain vanilla phone number the result will be vastly superior to the PSTN of old. Since the recording will live on forever, it’s well worth the effort.
The situation with this podcast simply illustrates the reality that convenience trumps all else. In this case, I’d characterize the result as something of a disconnect. Given the topic, perhaps it’s better described as a short circuit.