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January 4, 2001

Web Audio: The Next Web Frontier

Sebastopol, CA--"In 1996, my brother yelled out the studio window and said 'Hey, you gotta come check this out!' I ran up the stairs and got my first earful of RealAudio streaming over the web," says Josh Beggs, coauthor of the newest O'Reilly release, Designing Web Audio. "As artists and producers we knew it was going to be revolutionary. Here we were in start-up mode doing business on a shoestring dreaming about how we were going to pay for CD's and packaging to publish our music... and even more daunting find an audience... then kaboom... streaming audio over the Internet... It was like we had just been handed the keys to a global satellite broadcasting center. It was an epiphany moment."

Beggs' book, Designing Web Audio (O'Reilly, $34.95), explains how digital audio is encoded from microphone to hard disk; how sound is processed using compression and equalization; and how to turn audio source material into a great soundtrack using loops and ambient soundscapes. Designing Web Audio demystifies its subject with informative step-by-step techniques for encoding, compression, and streaming audio over the Web.

"I especially wanted to make sure the new techno tribe of digerati and programmer heads had the benefit of understanding the connection between sound and music and human interaction with technology and emotions," says Beggs. "Audio is such a compelling part of our lives and of how we define ourselves as humans belonging to a specific culture. Specifically, audio plays a huge role in making media more real and lifelike, especially our movie watching experience. Someday soon audio will enjoy a similar role on the web."

The easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions on using the leading audio formats will make Designing Web Audio an invaluable resource for Web developers and individuals who want to stream their own music over the Web. "Designing Web Audio looks to the future when audio becomes a more integral part of the web not just a file format to be stored on a server and downloaded," explains Beggs. "Our book is written for the next era when surfing the web becomes much more like watching a movie. Designing Web Audio is the only book written for the upcoming web golden age of rich media content."

Designing Web Audio is the most complete Internet audio guide on the market. It's loaded with informative real-world case studies and interviews with some of the world's leading audio and web producers. It using the most popular web audio formats. This book also includes a wealth of basic digital audio and sound wave theory, practical tips and techniques for recording and editing audio for the Web, and an invaluable buyer's guide to building an effective sound studio.

Online Resources:

Designing Web Audio
By Josh Beggs & Dylan Thede
January 2001
ISBN 1-56592-353-7, 398 pages, $34.95, Includes CD-ROM
order@oreilly.com
1-800-998-9938

About O'Reilly

O'Reilly Media spreads the knowledge of innovators through its books, online services, magazines, and conferences. Since 1978, O'Reilly Media has been a chronicler and catalyst of cutting-edge development, homing in on the technology trends that really matter and spurring their adoption by amplifying "faint signals" from the alpha geeks who are creating the future. An active participant in the technology community, the company has a long history of advocacy, meme-making, and evangelism.

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