Why Do Instagram, Facebook and Vine Not Support Stereo Audio?
Let’s figure out why:
First, let’s define stereo and mono audio.
Stereo audio: two channel audio, meaning it designates two independent sources to playback sound. Ever heard a piece of music where you can tell the drums are in the right speaker and guitar in the left? That’s stereo.
Mono audio: the drums and the guitar are in both speakers. Everything is even.
Hooke records stereo audio wirelessly, which means it records two channels.
The 3D effect Hooke produces is because of the specific placement of the two microphones inside the earbuds. Hear for yourself:
Today I was capturing video via Instagram on my smartphone and pairing it with Hooke in order to get 3D audio.
Before you upload a video to Instagram or Vine, you’re able to preview your video right before hitting the “next” button which in turn publishes the video.
I noticed when previewing the post that the audio of the video was playing back in stereo. In this case, 3D. Awesome, perfect. 3D Audio on Instagram.
However, when I went to playback my video after publis this was not the case.
For some reason, both Instagram and Vine are compressing the 3D audio (or stereo audio) captured with Hooke into mono (1 channel) audio. So when you listen back to your video the audio is flat, as if you had captured it via your phone.
Why would Instagram and Vine want to do this?
Because of size and data limitations? No way. Video is unbelievably more data intensive than audio. Changing the audio codec upload standards from mono to stereo would be changing the file size of every video by a minuscule amount. Nothing to sound any alarms.
Because it’s not possible? Nope. If the smartphone is able to recognize a stereo mic and capture 2 channels of audio, all apps working on the phone should do the same.
I’ve been scouring the internet trying to find some one else that’s having this issue. To my surprise, no one seems to be noticing that all audio on vine and instagram videos are mono. More importantly, no one seems to care.
WE’VE NEVER HEARD AN INSTAGRAM OR VINE VIDEO IN STEREO SOUND.
This goes back to the original Hooke mission: get people to care about sound.
No one cares about it.
Because we don’t have any control.
And apps like instagram and vine aren’t helping the situation.
Let’s talk about the technical things consumers DO care about:
Color, lighting and scenery are just a few.
Because we’ve had the ability to control these parameters in our lives. We all have dimmers in our homes, auto stabilization on our cameras and filters on our instagrams. It’s made us feel like pros, which has allowed us to talk like pros (for better or for worse). Regardless, the important thing is that we’re talking about them and have opinions on them, even though most consumers opinions on lighting and color are ill informed.
HERE’S A GOOD EXAMPLE:
In 2015 the Tony Committee for Broadway Theater removed the Tony awards for sound design because they felt no one on the committee knew enough about sound to be able to accurately judge one design over the other.
People know nothing about sound. They have no control.
With Hooke, we’re giving you some control so that you can be informed. With the control comes attention and inspiration. When we’re inspired we’ll form opinions.
Everytime I have some one hear 3D audio with Hooke, they say “Wow! Why aren’t we capturing all sound on our smartphones like that?”
Because apps like Instagram and Vine aren’t letting you.
It’s time to change that. It’s time to start caring about sound and giving everyone some control.
Founder and CEO, Hooke Audio