Audio Ages Well

My MacBook alerted me today to clear up some space on my hard drive. In looking at the larger files, I played an old video of my son when he was a baby and it brought a tear to the eye. In the end, I didn’t delete these large clunky videos as they are very important to me. iCloud and Google photographs are growing whilst we are rapidly building up a digital archive of our friends, families and close ones. Cloud storage is a buoyant market because we take so many photographs and videos we run out of space on our mobile phones. This explosion hasn’t happened with audio. We tend to take lots of videos and photographs but very little audio footage.

Why is it, then, that we take less audio recordings compared to photographs and videos? Admittedly, if you’ve got a quality video you don’t need the audio footage. However, lots of video opportunities are missed because people don’t feel comfortable on camera. It might be the lighting is not appropriate, or the dress attire of a person is unsuitable. We all want to look our best on camera and there are certain moments in time which are completely missed because we don’t want to be photographed and we most certainly don’t want to be filmed. These moments in time are not captured and are forgotten.

This is where audio comes in. Audio offers some of the benefits of video without the video editing headaches. It’s actually very cheap to create high quality sound recordings and audio ages much better. Think back to all the films you’ve watched in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, there’s a distinct style to these films and you can probably guess the decade based on the fashions of the times and the video technology available. Overtime video technology has got better and better with animated masterpieces such as Toy Story and virtual reality video production. All of this, however, is very expensive to capture and produce!

Now, I’m not saying that you can’t tell a 1950s wireless radio audio quality from that of the Dolby Digital surround sound. But generally, it is more difficult to guess when audio was recorded than when videos were filmed.

In the instances where you could choose either audio or video, you should always choose audio. It is quicker to produce and will last longer. Unless you are archiving history videos, need to reproduce videos every three years or more dependent on the pace of change in your industry.

You can also multitask when you consume audio which you can’t do once glued to a flat screen! Although most people don’t record audio notes and share these, I see this as an area for growth. Just as the mobile phone camera has led to the explosion of cloud storage for photos and videos. Smart speakers will bring about massive growth in our audio digital footprint.

The extreme case will be once we pass away, our loved ones, friends and families, with the permissions to do so, will be able to listen to some of our thoughts.

Whilst that might be uncomfortable for some people the ability to listen to what my great great great grandparents thought and their shared history it’s something I think many families would appreciate. In a business context listening to the life of Henry Ford, Andrew Carnegie and other greats would give us all some extra wisdom!