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A New Low-Delay Codec for Two-Way High-Quality Audio Communication

High-quality audio bit-rate reduction systems are widely used in many application areas involving audio broadcast, streaming and download services. With the advent of 3G mobile and wireless communication networks, there is a clear opportunity for new multimedia services, notably those relying on two-way high-quality audio communication. In this paper we describe a new perceptual audio coder that features low-delay, intrinsic error robustness and high subjective audio quality at competitive compression ratios. The structure of the audio coder is described and an emphasis is given on its innovative approaches to semantic signal segmentation and decomposition, independent coding of sinusoidal and noise components, and bandwidth extension using Accurate Spectral Replacement. A few test results are presented that illustrate the operation and performance of the new coder. Audio demos are available at http://www.atc-labs.com/acc/

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