Evaluating the use of adaptive transform acoustic coding (ATRAC) data compression in acoustic phonetics
Nash, Carlos Marcelo
Master of Arts
In linguistic research, current practices of recording audio data involves a mixture of analogue and digital technologies giving little forethought to methodological issues and insight into the consequences of using one technology over the other. Analogue recorders are inherently flawed and are not ideal for acoustic analysis. With the introduction of digital recorders into the consumer market, it is difficult to decide which recorder is best suited for linguistic and acoustic analysis. The MiniDisc, introduced by Sony in 1992, is a magneto-optical recorder that offers 'CD-like' quality, in a compact and shock-resistant system, thus making it a potential tool for linguistic field research. However it is not known how the psycho-acoustically based compression system, ATRAC, affects the spectrum of speech sounds. This thesis compares the MiniDisc with a DAT recorder and analyses the differences using spectral and spectrographic analyses. In addition, this thesis tries to establish sound practices for using the MiniDisc in linguistic research.