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BBC Radio Goes FLAC: Lossless service trial may herald new audio standards - The Audiophile Man
BBC Radio 3 and BBC R&D has launched audio delivered directly to your web browser with completely lossless compression. It has brought together various technologies including MPEG DASH, FLAC compression, HTML5 and the Media Source Extensions to offer you a, “…bit-perfect representation of Radio 3’s live output, exactly as it left the studio,” said the BBC. “This pilot enables the most transparent listening experience possible.” Lossless audio is something the BBC has been talking about with other parts of the company for some time including exploratory work around possible formats, but it was unable to find a format totally suitable for delivery to the wide range of target devices the BBC serves. Open, royalty-free and well supported in both software and hardware, FLAC was an obvious choice for compression. “MPEG-DASH requires media to be encapsulated using either the ISO Base Media File Format (ISOBMFF), the format that underlies MP4, or MPEG2 Transport Stream,” said the company. “In reality only ISOBMFF has seen wide adoption, and that is the file format we use to distribute our existing video and audio streams. Unfortunately, until recently, there was no way to carry FLAC in a DASH-compliant manner. Additionally, without ISOBMFF encapsulation, we’d have …