Yes, Google+ still exists, and no, it hasn’t overtaken Facebook as the world’s most popular time-waster. That might change in the very near future though! I mean, it probably won’t, but assuming you aren’t one of those freaks (yes, freaks) who doesn’t enjoy music, you may find yourself perusing the “Plus” region of Google sooner rather than later. You won’t know how. You won’t know when. And then you’ll be all, “Ewww! What is this? How did I get here?”
Perhaps not though…
Google+ has just unveiled, as a part of Google+ Hangouts, a new “Studio Mode” feature directed at artists who want to broadcast performances live over the web. Hangouts On Air had already facilitated the performances themselves, but Studio Mode reportedly “optimizes your individual audio for music instead of conversation.” Wait, not “reportedly;” it actually does. Check out the demo that the band Suite 709 did here.
As you should undoubtedly hear, everything sounds quite horrible with Studio Mode off; they may as well be broadcasting from Eastern Europe (apologies to those actually living in Eastern Europe). Studio Mode seems to improve the audio quality considerably, which is something that shouldn’t be undervalued when it comes to streaming music online. The folks over at TechCrunch confirm that the audio in Studio Mode streams “in stereo at a higher bitrate through a different codec.”
These performances aren’t, of course, a replacement for the real thing, but they do present some worthwhile advantages to artists who may not have the money to tour, but want to reach audiences regardless. And now, fortunately, they can do so without a ruinous sacrifice in fidelity.
• Google+ Hangouts On Air: http://www.google.com/+/learnmore/hangouts/onair.html
[Photo: The Verge]