Object-based audio effectively disassociates the production and consumption parts of the (broadcast and packaged) audio chain. It ends the numbers ‘arms race’ of speaker layouts - 5.1, 7.1, 10.1 and 22.2 (at the last count), as OBA is produced once and is pretty much consumable on any sort of OBA-literate replay system, no matter whether it is mono, stereo (especially headphone stereo!) or the most exotic and full blown multichannel home theatre or cinema audio system.
Hugely important benefits may be obtained through this end-to-end disassociation. For instance:
- Content needs to be produced once only for multi-platform distribution and consumption.
- Personalization for taste and to facilitate access to content is almost a by-product of presenting the users with content and metadata that allows them to effectively ‘do the programme mix’ at the receiving end.
- Immersive audio soundscapes are created by means of positional metadata steering the elements in the scene; headphone users will be particularly well served as the positional metadata in OBA facilitates the creation of immersive binaural stereophony on the fly.
Key words: OBA, object, audio, mobility, interactivity, AC4, MPEG-H, 3D, binaural