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Principles of Digital Audio 4th Edition

29 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0071348195
ISBN-10: 0071348190
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover


This definitive text provides comprehensive coverage of today’s leading digital audio technologies as well as a thorough survey of fundamentals and theory. Written by well-known audio engineering expert and best-selling author Ken Pohlmann, four previous editions have been valued for their clear explanations and have been widely used as college texts and professional references. The fifth edition of Principles of Digital Audio has been extensively updated and revised to reflect ongoing widespread changes in the audio industry.

Beginning with an in-depth discussion of digital audio recording and reproduction, the text then details perceptual low bit-rate coding, CD and DVD disc formats, digital audio broadcasting, internet and network audio, and DSP. From the basic theory to the latest technological advancements, Principles of Digital Audio completely covers this multifaceted field, including topics such as:

  • MP3, AAC, and Dolby Digital audio coding
  • DVD playback and recording formats
  • PC-based desktop audio systems
  • 5.1-channel surround-sound coding
  • HD Radio and satellite radio
  • Music downloading and streaming
  • Digital signal processing

* Sound and Numbers * Fundamental Theory * Digital Audio Recording * Digital Audio Reproduction * Error Correction * Digital Audio Tape * Optical Disc Storage * Compact Disc and SACD * Recordable CD * Interconnection * Perceptual Coding: Theory and Applications * MPEG-1 and MPEG-2 * MP3 Codec * MPEG-4 and AAC * Psychoacoustic Models * Surround Sound Coding * Lossless Coding * DVD-Video and DVD-Audio * Recordable DVD * HD-DVD and Blu-ray * Minidisc * Desktop Audio * Network Audio * Downloadable and Streaming Internet Audio * File Formats * Digital Rights Management * Watermarking and Encryption * MPEG-7 * Digital Radio and TV Broadcasting * HD Radio * Satellite Radio * Digital Audio Workstations * Digital Signal Processing: Theory and Applications * Sigma Delta Conversion and Noise Shaping --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Ken C. Pohlmann is a professor at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, and the director of the Music Engineering program in the university’s School of Music. He has initiated new undergraduate and graduate courses in acoustics and psychoacoustics, digital audio, advanced digital audio, Internet audio and studio production and in 1986 founded the first Masters degree program in Music Engineering in the United States.
Mr. Pohlmann is also president of Hammer Laboratories, a company devoted to the research, development and testing of new audio technology. He serves as a consultant in the design of digital audio systems, the development of sound systems for automobile manufacturers, and as an expert witness in technology and patent litigation. Some of his consulting clients include: Alpine Electronics, Bertlesmann Music Group, Blockbuster Entertainment, Baker & McKenzie, BMW, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, DaimlerChrysler, Fish & Neave, Ford Motor Company, Fujitsu Ten, Harman International, Hughes Electronics, Hyundai, IBM, Lexus, Microsoft, Motorola, Nippon Columbia, Onkyo America, Philips, RealNetworks, Recording Industry Association of America, Sensormatic, Sonopress, Sony, TDK, Time Warner, Toyota, United Technologies and the U.S. Justice Department. Mr. Pohlmann holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign.
Mr. Pohlmann co-founded Microcomputer Arts, Inc. (1980), International Business Information Systems Inc. (1982), and U.S. Digital Disc Corporation (1985). He chaired the Audio Engineering Society’s International Conference on Digital Audio in Toronto in 1989 and co-chaired the Society’s International Conference on Internet Audio in Seattle in 1997. He was presented two AES Board of Governor’s Awards (1989 and 1998) and an AES Fellowship Award (1990) by the Audio Engineering Society for his work as an educator and author. In 1991 he was elected to the AES Board of Governors, and in 1993 elected as the AES Vice President of the Eastern U.S. and Canada Region. In 1992 he was presented the Philip Frost Award for Excellence in Teaching and Scholarship.
Mr. Pohlmann is the author of Principles of Digital Audio and The Compact Disc Handbook, co-author of Writing for New Media, and editor and co-author of Advanced Digital Audio. Since 1982 he has written over 1,400 articles for audio magazines including Audio, dB, Car Stereo Review, CD Review, Electronics Australia, Guitar Player Magazine, IEEE Spectrum, Journal of the Audio Engineering Society, Laserdisk Professional, Mix Magazine, PC Magazine, Sound & Vision, Scientific American, Stereo Review, and Video Magazine. He is a columnist for Car Stereo Review, and contributing editor and columnist for Sound & Vision Magazine.

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Product Details

  • Series: McGraw-Hill Video/Audio Engineering
  • Paperback: 736 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Professional; 4 edition (February 15, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071348190
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071348195
  • Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 1.9 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,933,640 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

47 of 47 people found the following review helpful By calvinnme HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 11, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
First off, this book is in its fifth edition, and Amazon has lumped together reviews of all editions of this book. So the oldest review shown, written in 1998, is speaking of the 3rd edition, and reviews written prior to 2005 are talking about the 4th edition.

This book is more about the principles of digital audio hardware design than anything. The author, also a college professor, starts with the absolute beginning and the binary number system, sampling, quantization, aliasing, and dither and then moves into all of the topics that you need to design and analyze modern digital audio systems. However, if the information in the first two chapters is news to you, chances are the rest of the book will be over your head. The book is full of flow charts, frequency response diagrams, and detailed block diagrams of actual systems. What it is lacking in is any kind of signal processing mathematics to explain the detailed theory behind what is being covered. There is a chapter entitled "Digital Signal Processing", but it barely introduces and defines the terms. It does show some assembly code for performing some simple filtering tasks, though, but that's the extent of the coverage. If you didn't know DSP before you read this chapter, you certainly won't know it after you read this chapter. The book does a pretty good job of discussing some of the more popular audio standards including MP3. I think this book is best suited for someone with an electronics/electrical engineering background that already knows the theory of digital signal processing and wants to apply that knowledge to the actual design and analysis of digital audio processing systems.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 4, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book is an excellent primer for current technology in digital audio systems. He keeps the obscure mathematics to a minimum, and introduces you to the great amount of technique available in the field today. I found this book, 1st edition, in the library -- and soon after bought the latest edition. An excellent value for the money, and useful to anyone trying to keep up with the digital techniques.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Armando E. Pattroni on May 5, 2000
Format: Paperback
Professor Pohlmann tried to frighten us in the 1995 edition, he said: I promise I will never write a fourth edition of this title. After laping up the third edition in two woderful weeks, I had to wait for the decision. In 1999 I was hopelessly desperate, but Mr. Pohlmann left a "loophole in (his) vow", as he claims. So, a new gift came to us. Thanks to him, his dedication, and his talent, audio and electronics engineers have a text that covers the totality of the current science of digital audio. For those who read the previous editions, some obvious changes will come up. Some technologies are dead, because it is impossible to resurrect technnologies that the market or the customers have killed (imagine a book about vinile LPs or Betamax VCRs), and other technologies are very alive. Some new features you will find in this edition: DVD (finally an understandable treaty is in our hands), Internet Audio (very topical), new developments in DSP, and some changes made inside previously written chapters (i.e.: the Hoffmann Coding now is in the DVD chapter). For those who have not read the previous editions, this is a very good start in the science of digital audio. If you read the first four chapters very carefully, you are ready to read every single book on the subject that might fall in your hands. I used to recommend the third edition in my college course at Universidad Nacional de Ingenieria. Now my students are encouraged to acquire this new edition, which is indeed the main textbook for my course. I still think that we need a spanish translation of this book.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Ikaro Silva on August 26, 2005
Format: Paperback
The author does a great job in covering all broad aspects of digital audio. The perceptual coding chapter is specially useful in that the author gives mathematical models that you can implement for your work (equations related to masking, bark conversion, spreading functions, thresholds, etc). My only concer with this book is that too often the information is just simply thrown at you, the reading does not flow well and sometimes its seems like the topics are out of place, or at least, they could have been transitioned more smoothly.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 23, 1998
Format: Paperback
An excellent intermediate survey of the digital audio landscape. This text covers conversion, signal processing, channel coding and storage as well as current implementations of the technology. Good illustrations are included for visual reinforcement. Pohlmann's breezy writing style guides the reader from basic physics through dense theoretical discussion to practical examples. A freshman college background in physics and mathematics is useful though not essential.
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12 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 16, 2002
Format: Paperback
I was really disappointed with this book. I am an EE and have some background in a few of the topics, and have always hoped to become a proffessional audio engineer. I was hoping this book would get me revved up. It did not. I don't know about previous editions, but I get the feeling the chapters have been through too much cut and paste - there is little consistency between subsections. Subjects are either glossed over superficially, or driven into the ground with over-emphasis on details. On another note, I got a (mint condition) used paperback. It was bound very poorly and started to fall apart by chapter 2.
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