Is it a bad sign that I’m worried about copyright violations when watching this DVD that promises to explain analog audio and issues around its transformation into digital? The Family Guy‘s evil pointing closet monkey and R. Crumb’s “Keep on Trucking” dude show up in a few slides of this poorly produced Powerpoint presentation. Yes, Audio: the Movie is a Powerpoint presentation. It makes every Powerpoint mistake in the book: literally illustrating whatever the narrator is talking about with Microsoft’s included stock art and photos (many don’t even make sense like a picture of a sleeping baby whenever the disc warns of math), blue and purple gradients on text slides with dithered, drop shadowed triangles and circles framing bullet point after bullet point, all full motion screen grabs of the company’s audio editing application, DC Six, are pixelated and unreadable. Worst of all, the narrator’s voice track isn’t well recorded.
Audio: The Movie starts out with the most basic explanations of audio physics and ends with a promise of a sequel (don’t do me any favors). In between, the DVD details: sine waves, frequency, amplitude, spectrum analyzers, FFT, digital sampling, sample rates, quantization, dithering and a sales pitch for Enhanced Audio’s noise reduction software.
This DVD is not worth $40. It will teach you some basic concepts about digital audio like looking at sine and sampled waves in the producer’s digital recording software, DC Six. For the amount of effort put into the production it should have been a series of free vlogs. I certainly didn’t learn anything about the measurements they publish in Stereophile as Music Direct promised in their promo copy (subscribe to the Audio Perfectionist Journal if you need to know how to translate a step response trace into the value of a loudspeaker).
If you want to learn the same info this DVD promises just read Bob Katz’s articles. Audio: The Movie even uses the same metaphor as Mr. Katz of shopping with only dollar bills and no change to describe quantization.
I can’t recommend Audio: The Movie due to its poor production quality and the availability of the same information elsewhere.