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This has been a bit of a nuisance always, but lately, the whole thing seems to go wrong - most everything downloadable from the BBC radio 4 podcast page (and Newsjack on 7, too) is now only at 64 /44 mono!
While this is okay for most news, for continuity, and for readings, it is a waste of the production and a shame with anything containing interviews, and most documentaries - but whit the newly-introduced Afternoon Play (thanks, btw., for all the new downloads!) and the comedy and other drama, it is bordering on the criminal, and quite out of the question!
All those features shouldn't be podded in mono unless they were produced in mono, and I for one do hear the difference!
I've never quite understood according to which criteria what stuff was offered in 128/44 stereo, but
use that stereo quality (minimum) for all the plays, comedy, and docus with interviews and soundscapes in them!
The quality is notably better!
The file size may be double, ok, but storage is cheap today, and download times or page traffic should'nt be an issue really, with radio?
Not really an iPlayer issue, there is a BBC FAQ here faq.external.bbc.co.... that says
Can the sound quality of podcasts be improved?
All speech-based podcasts are offered as 64kbps mono mp3 files. Enhanced podcasts, such as Best of Chris Moyles Enhanced, are available as AAC files (.M4A). All podcast series music are offered as 128kbps stereo MP3 files.
The sound quality of our mp3 files conform to the BBC standards. We feel that this is more than sufficient, and, given that higher quality audio on the web would be expensive, we have to find a balance between audio quality and cost. Podcasts and mp3 downloads are very popular and we believe we've got the balance right.
The BBC continually monitors and reviews the sound standards to ensure the best possible service and value for the licence fee payer.
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