BBC surround sound experiment
December 23, 2011 11:14 AM   Subscribe

The Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols in surround sound Always a bit of a lottery getting into Kings College for this carol service though you can easily get in for other services during the rest of the year. Here for a limited time are two different recordings of the complete carol service which may offer surround sound to some. Only tried from the UK, don't know if it works abroad.
posted by epo (11 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
Works great here in the US. This will be a wonderful way to finish the work day. Thank you so much for passing along.
posted by SpiffyRob at 11:17 AM on December 23, 2011

Windows only!
Gotta see if "MPEG Surround" is playable by mplayer.
posted by madajb at 11:47 AM on December 23, 2011

The Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols has been part of my family's Christmas for years. The lessons, to me, aren't the attraction; for me it's the incredible singing. This year I'm going to run Audio Hijack over the BBC iPlayer stream then edit out the lessons.
posted by TheDonF at 12:22 PM on December 23, 2011

The downloadable player which will work with speakers is Windows only, the headphone links (I preferred #5 BTW) play through the browser. Details of this years broadcasts.
posted by epo at 12:29 PM on December 23, 2011

Thanks for the post!

(I didn't download the recommended player, but it works on my current set-up (Windows XP SP3, audio player I-need-to-check). Options 2 and 5 for the 2007 performance seem the cleanest -- the most obvious difference is in the presence of an echo in the announcement of the BBC test at the very beginning. )

@TheDonF: When you strip out the lessons, will you post the result?

Merry Christmas all!
posted by cool breeze at 1:35 PM on December 23, 2011

Wonderful!! Thanks so much.
posted by SLC Mom at 1:38 PM on December 23, 2011

it's not a lottery to get in: all you have to do is line up at about 7-8am and stay in line until 2-3 pm. When I went (2006), everyone who had lined up before about 8:30 got in.

That said, visitors are in the nave of the chapel, on the far side of the massive Tudor rood screens from the reader, who also faces the far end of the chancel. The choir sounds great, but you can't hear a word of the lessons. The people at home hear more of the service than those in attendance. (can't find a good diagram, but the chapel is divided by the rood screen like a traditional cathedral and like English churches were before the reformation. The Rood screen at King's, in fact, was paid for by H8 and even has Anne Bolyn's initials I it's design. Slightly ironic.)
posted by jb at 1:44 PM on December 23, 2011

Thanks for this! The Festival of Nine Carols and Lessons is one of my favorite holiday traditions. When I lived in England, I used to go Ripon cathedral -- but now that I'm in the states, my local classical radio station which I make sure I'm up in time to listen to. But instead of bundled up in a warm coat in a cold cathedral, I'm wrapped in my jammies with my morning cup of tea. It's also a little sentimental moment because I know that around the same time my parents will be listening to Nine Carols and Lessons in Ripon.

Oh, and the player works for me -- in the US, Mac OS, laptop/earbuds. #5 seems to sound the best for my setup.
posted by paisley sheep at 2:51 PM on December 23, 2011

Just to clarify, the Windows-only app is required only to hear the version that was recorded in the '50s - the later version (best heard through headphones) plays through any Flash-enabled browser, no matter where you are.
posted by DandyRandy at 6:18 PM on December 23, 2011

"The 1958 recording is not available as part of the binaural headphone experiment; to listen to it you need to download the Fraunhofer player and install it on your computer. It will play both the 1958 and 2007 recordings in either stereo or surround sound versions for speakers. The stereo version will give a normal stereo listening experience on headphones too."

As noted above, you need the special player to listen to the _Quadraphonic_ version of both recordings or the 1958 recording in stereo.

The embedded flash player is only playing a binaural version of the 2007 recording.
I've not been able to find anything that will decode "MPEG Surround" on Linux, so looks like I am out of luck.

Has anyone listened to the "4.0" version with speakers?
posted by madajb at 1:08 AM on December 24, 2011

Love this.

American Public Media apparently also has a stream of this year's performance .
posted by weston at 8:13 AM on December 24, 2011

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