With the advent of devices that unite a multitude of functionalities, the industry has an increased demand for an audio codec that can deal equally well with all types of audio content. In early 2012 the ISO/IEC JTC1/SC29/WG11 (MPEG) finalized the new MPEG-D Unified Speech and Audio Coding standard, bringing together the previously separated worlds of general audio and speech coding. It does so by integrating elements from audio coding and speech coding into a unified system over a wide range of bit rates. The present publication outlines all aspects of this standardization effort, starting with the history and motivation of the MPEG work. Technical features of the final system are described. Listening test results and performance numbers show the advantages of the new system over current state-of-the-art codecs.
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