Digital recording and transmission is presently inhibited by high bit rates (0.5 mega bits or better) required of ordinary PCX on master music channels of modest quality. Based on auditory critical bandwidth and Weber's Law at least an order of magnitude reduction in bit rate may ultimately be possible, with acceptable distortion. Rate/Distortion theory, under a meaningful distortion criterion, provides a rigorous bound on what may be achieved. A class of encoder/decoders will be described which go beyond familiar studio companding methods. They employ (1) buffer preview, (2) adaptive linear prediction, (3) symbol entropy coding, and (4) time-frequency plane distortion criterion.
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