A research program was designed to ascertain the audibility and annoyance factors caused by dropouts in magnetic recordings of instrumental music, singing, and speech. The nature of dropouts was analyzed and their frequency dependence was noted. A dropout generator was designed for producing dropouts artificially, with frequency dependence similar to that of real dropouts, and used in listening tests. It was found that perceptibility of dropouts increases generally with the duration, extent, and repetition rate, and that annoyance is experienced when dropouts are approximately 15% to 20% greater than those which can barely be perceived.
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