Opticodec-PC 1010: Overview
Opticodec-PC is the first MPEG-4 AAC/HE-AACv1/HE-AACv2 aka aacPlus™ encoding software for high quality streaming audio. Opticodec-PC offers the most important feature that the basic netcaster is looking for in an encoding product — entertainment-quality sound at economical bit-rates.
AAC/HE-AACv1/HE-AACv2 aka aacPlus™ is changing the way streaming audio and netcasting is perceived. For a given bitrate, it sonically outperforms any other codec currently available. It is perfect for crowded Intenet infrastructures and mobile streaming.
The software lets streaming providers supply content encoded with the Coding Technologies® AAC / HE-AACv1 / HE-AAC v2 / aacPlus codec, widely acknowledged as offering the highest available audio quality at the lowest possible bit rate. Streams encoded with Opticodec-PC can be experienced through several players, including Adobe Flash, RealPlayer®, Winamp, Apple QuickTime and iTunes, and many iPhone Players such as Tuner2 HiFi. Streams can be listed on Tuner2, a Directory service for AAC / HE-AACv1 / HE-AAC v2 streams. This allows Opticodec-PC Streaming Encoder to deliver and reach the largest high-fidelity audio audience available.
For the last 30 years, Orban’s patented Optimod technology has helped radio and television broadcasters everywhere shape their sound to grab and hold their listening audiences. Orban’s Optimod-PC 1101, a professional PCI sound card designed for streaming media, provides “genuine radio”™ audio processing for Internet broadcasters for professional smooth consistent level controlled audio. With three on-board DSP’s providing equalization, AGC, multi-band compression, and look-ahead limiting, Optimod-PC 1101, especially when combined with HE-AAC/aacPlus encoding technology, delivers a polished and produced stream that has the same loudness, consistency, and punch as major-market FM radio.
Opticodec-PC is available for Microsoft Windows® XP / Vista / 7 and Server 2003/2008 32/64-bit. It supplies streams compatible with the open standard RTSP/RTP free Darwin Streaming Server, available for multiple platforms including Linux®, FreeBSD®, Sun Solaris®, Microsoft Windows®, and Apple Macintosh®, the popular standard HTTP/ICY free Nullsoft SHOUTcast™ and Icecast2 servers, available for Microsoft Windows®, Linux®, FreeBSD®, and Sun Solaris®, and Adobe Flash servers, Adobe Flash Media Server and Wowza Media Server Pro.
Opticodec-PC also supports the injection of realtime PAD (Program Associated Data) and PAG (Program Associated Graphics). This can include such information as program name, description, song artist and title, as well as logos and cover art using several standards-based protocols. Your audience gets superb sonics with useful live program information.
In addition to sound card and audio processing functionality, Optimod-PC 1101 is two separate sound devices, and also a capable mixer, having one stereo analog input, two AES3 / SPDIF digital inputs, and two wave inputs, all of which can be mixed or switched. Thanks to onboard sample rate converters, the two digital inputs can accept and mix asynchronous sources. In practice, the five inputs might be used for a local feed, a network feed, a voice channel, and two wave players, making Optimod-PC the heart of a “desktop netcasting studio.” Thanks to separate “processed” and two “unprocessed” mixers, any of the inputs in any combination can be processed or passed directly to the input of Opticodec-PC without processing – the user can always choose how much processing (if any) to apply to the audio. Since 1101 is two separate Sound Devices, content insertion systems, such as commercial replacement no longer require two separate sound cards. It can all be done with Optimod-PC 1101.
Compared to MP3, Opticodec-PC’s aacPlus codec provides a better than 60% improvement in audio quality versus bit rate, reducing network streaming bandwidth requirements and costs accordingly. At 32 kbps, Opticodec-PC streams offer close to FM quality, without the phasey, watery character of other popular codecs operating at this bit rate. Many listeners prefer the audio quality of 48 kbps HE-AACv2 streams to FM and other codecs.
The marketplace has been screaming for broadcast quality from low bit-rate Internet streaming and audio file serving. For the first time in this young industry, combining Optimod audio processing with Opticodec-PC makes it possible to offer the sonic texture of major-market FM broadcasting via the Internet. Streaming is red hot, and Opticodec-PC is the fuel that puts you ahead of the pack.
“Streaming has just become profitable,” said Rusty Hodge of netcaster SomaFM after first hearing the aacPlus codec at 32 kbps. Netcaster and respected broadcast engineer Gary Blau described it as “the quality breakthrough we’ve been waiting for.”