This doesn't have much new compared to my posts from this weekend, but here they are ordered and coherent.
I also posted some audio samples: http://ajroach42.com/floppycast-examples/
Keep in mind that both samples will sound pretty much horrific, but also that each sample is around 100kb for more than a minute of audio.
I prefer the Opus file to the mp3 file, as it's a little less muddy during speech (but ruins music.)
If that sounds like a ridiculous thing to care about, consider that the easiest way to increase the distance over which you can transmit a signal is to decrease the transmission speed.
So, if you were hypothetically trying to build a new network that transferred media over long range radio connections, phone lines, and sneakernets, very small file sizes would be very beneficial.
@ajroach42 I’ll take a listen!
@bhtooefr good point
@ajroach42 Not enough thought gets put into the fact that we'll someday be wanting to have conversations with Mars.
@emsenn @ajroach42 There was a Sci Fi story on that score. To improve communications, talk like women can. Both sides talk continuously and answer questions as they arrive as well. It removes the limitation of waiting a few minutes delay to answer a question by keeping the information flowing continuously.
Yeah, isn't that how FT8 call works? That can work below the noise floor by averaging across a repeated signal.
@endomain I don't know, but I'll find out!
@ajroach42 I really liked your floppycast post. I do pico-podcasts which are deliberately under 2 minutes. Still trying to get the bit rate down though 😊
I'll be happy to offer some tips that don't absolutely ruin your sound quality if you'd like.
@ajroach42 I'm assuming that iPhone won't play back opus files? Or have they gained that ability since I last had one?
@Edent I don't have any first hand experience, as I don't have an iPhone anymore, but according to the internet: "Opus is now included in iOS 11."
@ajroach42 Sweet! Thanks! Also, can I interview you for my podcast? Will literally take less than 5 minutes 😊
Maybe! When, and via what platform?
Where can I hear your podcast?
@Edent Either is fine with me. I use Zencaster, if that would be easier.
I'll have to find time, though. 6-7 hours of meetings today. :-D
@ajroach42 I'm abroad for the next few days! I'm sure we can figure out a mutually inconvenient timezone 😂
@ajroach42 POTS audio is only 64Kbps, uncompressed. I'm surprised modern compression can't get way better than that.
@tek Oh, we can. If you want to devote some serious power to playback, stuff like Codec 2 can apparently deliver pretty stunning results.
And VoIP codecs can do some pretty interesting stuff, too, but none of those play back on vintage hardware.
@ajroach42 Ah, yeah. That’s a pretty tough constraint.
@tek Thankfully, it's one I'm free to ignore now that I know what the bottom of the barrel sounds like for MP3 and Opus.
My next attempt will be codec2.
@ajroach42 feels kinda weird that I missed this post when you posted it, and only knew to go back and look for it because of the HN link.
I've been podcasting for over 11 years now, and I keep threatening to do a talk #shotcast - so I might see if I can combine it with this concept to keep the length down.
@thelovebug I definitely looked in to that as an option as well.
Combined with some of the other techniques one would normally use to decrease size without ruining quality, it's possible to get decent sounding audio of up to 10 minutes in length on a floppy disk.
When I first looked in to this, my plan was to scrip five minutes, record, and then encode to fit. That way you encourage concision without feeling trapped by two minutes of available recording time.
But I talk a lot.
@jsilence I'm looking in to codec2 this week. From what I've gathered, there's no software that would play it back on my target machines (486 and Pentium era computers running DOS), but beyond that it seems like the perfect fit for this project (and for encouraging more broad adaption of the concepts.)
Contemplating on starting a blogcast about climate change. German media is really neglecting the topic and I'd like to translate, contextualize and comment on english spoken media coverage. Doing this in a #floppycast format would really fit well with the topic of low ressource usage. #formfollowsfunction
@jsilence I like the way you think!
I'm still not 100% sold on dat because the only implementation is node.js, but distributing the thing peer-to-peere seems like a good call.
Maybe even over SSB?
Focusing on very small file size has a huge impact on penetration when you're distributing peer-to-peer.
(I really wish there was a podcast client or an RSS reader with torrent based distribution built in. I'd already have a (fairly low bitrate) video podcast in distribution.)
@jsilence Dat is the furthest along, and I use it pretty regularly, I just don't like the bloat of a JS application being used in this respect.
I also have some issues with SSB, on several fronts, but it seems like a great avenue for distributing tiny files.
To me, though, it seems like this is a perfect usecase for torrents + atom/RSS feeds.
Ok, will look into SSB. So far I only have read the name in context with p2p a couple of times. Need to investigate. Will be back when I watched all SSB videos on YT. ALL OF THEM!
@jsilence I love that idea!
I don't speak German, but @Ethancdavenport does a bit, maybe he wants to help?
floppydisks are a powerful symbol of progress, waste, recycling, and resource maximization. Even though it's unwieldy and impractical to try to condense down to that size, it also send a message.
Codec2 + WaveNet decoding... I am not sure whether I totally get how a production pipeline would look like. Wav to C2 via command line encoder, ok. But then how to train and deploy the decoder component? Would one have to deploy the decoder together with the C2 file? Wouldn't that defeat the purpose of having really small file sizes?
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