Recordings: Everyone knows what a recording is, and on computers
these are stored as e.g. WAV or MP3 files. People also know that recorded
audio, even in compressed MP3 format, can be very large indeed (a
4 second loop can be 40Kb, too big for a fast web-page). The advantage
of using a recording is of course that everyone hears exactly the
same thing. Audio recordings can, of course, be streamed, but this
eats up your bandwidth. Macromedia Flash can incorporate recordings,
but this make Flash files big - so you do not hear much audio in Flash.
Beatnik is not a vector audio solution : it does not generate sounds,
the sounds it uses instead come from an audio sample sets. A different
audio sample has to be downloaded for any special sound required.
Beatnik's RMF file sizes are typically 10Kb to 400Kb, large compared
to those of Koan (0.01Kb to 5Kb) - XMF files are even larger!
MIDI: Some people know what a music score is: it is how music
is written down. It lets musicians know what to play and when. When
used on a computer it is called MIDI. You can sometimes hear MIDI
tracks being played in web-pages, and these drive the computers' inbuilt
soundcard or synthesiser. Even though they are very small, they are
not used very often because they generally sound different on every
XMF and DLS: XMF is
a new standard that encapsulates MIDI and DLS
sample files within one "master" file. Because Koan's synthesized
sound descriptions are so tiny, XMF files are typically hundreds of
times larger than the equivalent Koan Vector Audio representation.
Note that Koan of course includes a full-featured DLS-compatible
software synthesizer for those customers who require a DLS implementation.
Koan Vector Audio: A powerful new ultra-compact approach
matched to minimum bandwidth utilisation, and generating an infinite
variety of sounds, non-looping music and total interactivity, as required.
A Koan audio vector contains note information like MIDI, but also
information on how to create the sounds, which drives Koan's powerful
inbuilt software synthesiser. No audio samples or audio sample set
is required. As "open" text, it is easily added to a webpage,
Flash movie or email and starts playing immediately. Koan audio vectors
can be as small as 10 bytes.