What is audio? - Definition from WhatIs.com
Part of the Personal computing glossary:

Audio is sound within the acoustic range available to humans. An audio frequency (AF) is an electrical alternating current within the 20 to 20,000 hertz (cycles per second) range that can be used to produce acoustic sound. In computers, audio is the sound system that comes with or can be added to a computer. An audio card contains a special built-in processor and memory for processing audio files and sending them to speakers in the computer. An audio file is a record of captured sound that can be played back. Sound is a sequence of naturally analog signals that are converted to digital signals by the audio card, using a microchip called an analog-to-digital converter (ADC). When sound is played, the digital signals are sent to the speakers where they are converted back to analog signals that generate varied sound.

Audio files are usually compressed for storage or faster transmission. Audio files can be sent in short stand-alone segments - for example, as files in the Wave file format. In order for users to receive sound in real-time for a multimedia effect, listening to music, or in order to take part in an audio or video conference, sound must be delivered as streaming sound. More advanced audio cards support wavetable, or precaptured tables of sound. The most popular audio file format today is MP3 (MPEG-1 Audio Layer-3).

This was last updated in April 2005
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

Related Terms

Definitions

  • Platform as a Service (PaaS)

    - Platform as a service is a cloud model in which providers deliver apps over the Internet and host users' hardware and software on their infrastructure. (searchCloudComputing.com)

  • vision-correcting display

    - A vision-correcting display distorts the images on users' screens according to algorithms based on their prescriptions for eyeglasses. The distortion makes it possible for users to view the display... (WhatIs.com)

  • Intel Curie

    - Intel’s Curie module is a tiny system-on a-chip (SoC) based on the Intel Quark SE. The SoC is the size of a shirt button but includes everything required to provide compute power for wearable devi... (WhatIs.com)

Glossaries

  • Personal computing

    - Terms related to personal computers, including definitions about computers sold as consumer products and words and phrases about laptops, tablets and smartphones.

  • Internet applications

    - This WhatIs.com glossary contains terms related to Internet applications, including definitions about Software as a Service (SaaS) delivery models and words and phrases about web sites, e-commerce ...

Tech TalkComment

Share
Comments

    Results

    Contribute to the conversation

    All fields are required. Comments will appear at the bottom of the article.