Computer sound

Martin McBride, 2016-12-09
Categories data representation sound

When you think of computer sound, you maybe think of MP3 songs. But there are many uses of digital sound, here are a few.


We stream or download music, TV, movies which include sound. And of course, sound effects are an important component of most games.



We use services like Google Hangouts, Skype, or in-game chat to talk to friends and relatives, often using video as well as sound.


Businesses use webinars is a similar way, sometimes to speak to hundreds of people at the same time. Voice or IP (VoIP) allows land line numbers or operate over the internet including services such as voice-mail, automatic menus and multiple extension numbers to be run at very low cost.

And, of course, an ordinary mobile phone call uses digital communications to send and receive sound.


You might want to record sound for many reasons - for example, creating music, pod-casts or video commentary.


There are many ways to obtain digitised sounds - recording voice or instruments with a microphone, downloading samples and sound effects from various websites, or using software synthesisers to create music. There are plenty of software editors to combine sounds and add effects. The completed sound can be written out to MP3 file, attached to a video as a soundtrack, or even burnt to CD.

User interface

Screen reader software uses text to speech (TTS) to read documents or web pages out loud. Speech to text systems allow you to dictate text which is added to a document without needing to type. These systems have been available for quite a few years, and benefit people with visual impairment or other conditions, or anyone who finds it more convenient to use voice rather than a screen and keyboard.


Increasingly, voice is being used as a general user interface, for example to query information via the internet.

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