There is a Twitter fellow you should be following: @SomeAudioGuy. He is an audio engineer that works heavily in the voiceover field, and his daily observations about what actually goes on in some pretty high profile sessions are invaluable to the beginner in pointing out what kind of preparation you should have going into a session and the etiquette you should follow if you ever want to come back. He also blogs at his site.
Back in March of last year, he wrote “An Open Letter to Skype on Behalf of Audio Engineers,” in which he asks Skype to do something that doesn’t seem that far fetched anymore:
“See, if you’re capable of linking our computers to engage in real time 720p video calling at 30 frames per second, SURELY you’d be capable of granting us a 256kbps or higher audio only connection.”
He proposes this as a way to get past the cost and technical difficulties of ISDN, and even as a competitor to the growing Source:Connect platform. I have used Skype in place of a phone patch in the past, and will likely do so again. but if Skype were to offer such a thing, this would be revolutionary.
On Monday, the Redmond software giant entered into an agreement to purchase Skype for over $8 billion dollars. Considering the company was valued at $2.7 billion during the worst of times at the end of it’s ill fated time as part of eBay, this is a huge jump.
Skype as a company has bounced around over the last few yearrs. They started as an independent company, were inexplicably purchased by eBay in 2005, spun off again in 2010, and now this. Over this time, they have introduced and discontinued many features, but the core functionality has remained and been improved. Now Microsoft steps in with its $55 billion dollar warchest and takes on a company currently provides about 13% of the international call market share.
Microsoft has the money and incentive to make Skype a viable rival to any number of telephony solutions. Skype on its own probably did not have the funding to go this route. This opens the door for Skype to provide exactly the level of quality that SomeAudioGuy asked for back in March of 2010. He said:
“You would become the hero of studios nation and world wide. You could single-handedly lift the entire recording industry out of the data dark ages. And We would gladly pay for a stable service.”
I think more than just the audio engineers would rejoice. Love them or hate them, Microsoft has this power. I say keep your fingers crossed for developments in this area to end the “tyranny” of ISDN.