Zoom has updated its eponymous videoconferencing app to version 5.2.2, adding a high-fidelity audio mode and custom gallery view organization. Available in the Advanced Audio preferences, the high-fidelity audio mode enables you to disable echo cancellation and post-processing while raising audio codec quality to 48 kHz, 96 Kbps mono/192 Kbps stereo, although it requires a professional audio interface, microphone, and headphones. The release also enables hosts and co-hosts to rearrange people in the gallery view (as well as allow participants to create their own custom views), adds support for custom languages (must be configured on the Web portal and requires version 5.2.1 or later), adds support for users to pin and spotlight up to nine participants with host permission, and enables webinar attendees to access Phone Call and Call Me options for audio. Zoom is free to download and use for up to 40 minutes and up to 100 participants in a meeting but includes paid tiers that provide unlimited meeting times and up to 500 participants. (Free, 21.5 MB, release notes, macOS 10.9+)
One wrinkle I’ve already noted (with great glee) is that the new audio feature also allows music to be transmitted without Zoom massaging and background-filtering it.
We do a live gathering every week that includes sharing two or three video segments presenting music that was live-recorded, mixed, and produced for this purpose. Sharing it works okay, but hearing the quality has been cringe-inducing.
What this feature seems to promise is that it will pass through music without treating it like noise to be suppressed (i.e. like it’s trying to suppress a user’s radio playing in the background).
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