AV1 Developers Present IAMF Format for Volumetric Sound

The Open Media Alliance (AMEDIA) has recently introduced the innovative sound format called iamf (immersive audio model and format). IAMF aims to recreate sound in a three-dimensional space, making it as close to natural as possible. The format includes additional information necessary for algorithms to recreate the sound scene and sound mixing. IAMF is publicly accessible and does not require any payment of royalties. Major companies such as Amazon, Apple, Cisco, Google, Intel, Meta, Microsoft, Mozilla, Netflix, Nvidia, Samsung Electronics, and Tencent have provided a license for the free use of patents related to IAMF.

IAMF is designed to deliver immersive audio content, providing a high-quality sound experience on various devices, ranging from smartphones and headphones to surround sound systems and televisions. It can be used for streaming broadcasts as well as playback of saved sound data. IAMF supports representations based on channels or sound scenes, offering the flexibility of mixing various representations. Its applications include spatial sound in music players, streaming services, games, communication apps, virtual or augmented reality systems, multimedia systems, and the web.

The IAMF format is compatible with codecs that require or do not require royalty payments. For lossy sound coding, the specification suggests using OPUS or AAC (MP4), while for lossless quality coding, FLAC or LPCM are recommended. The decoder’s reference implementation is available under the BSD license and is written in C. It can be compiled with the Opus, fdk-aac, and FLAC libraries. To enable volumetric sound, the assembly should include the bear and Resonance-Audio libraries.

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