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Advantage of CELP over MP3
The digital audio Bible uses a speech compression technology called CELP. CELP was designed for speech compression whereas MP3 was designed for general sound compression to include speech and music. MP3 is thus good for speech and music, whereas CELP is not very good at compressing music, but it is much more efficient at compressing speech. This means that CELP will use less memory that MP3 for an equivalent quality of speech, or produce better quality speech for an equivalent amount of memory. Since memory is the most expensive component in a digital audio Bible, CELP helps to provide better quality speech and lowers the cost of manufacture.
Advantages of Digital Audio technology
Here follows a comparison between audio tape and digital audio technologies, showing the overall advantage of going digital:
Audio Tape Technology:
- It used to be that audio tapes provided the most cost-effective way of distributing the Holy Bible in audio. But, as of now (2008), it is cheaper to provide a fully portable audio Bible (OT and NT) using solid-state digital electronics that it is using audio tape technology.
- Due to their mechanical nature, audio tapes are subject to a fair degree of wear and tear and the tape players require relatively high maintenance.
- Tape player heads get dirty and need cleaning.
- Tape players are quite bulky and power hungry.
- Audio tapes are fairly limited in the duration of speech that can be stored on one tape.
- Tapes are sensitive to heat and humidity. This affects their reliability in areas of the world with extreme weather conditions. Many of the unreached live in such parts of the world.
Digital Audio Technology:
- Digital audio Bibles are currently more expensive to produce than their tape playing counterparts. However, the cost of the electronic components is continually decreasing. In the near future, digital audio Bibles will be cheaper to produce than tape-based systems.
This statement is no longer true as of 2008. We have now reached the stage where it is cheaper to produce a completely self-sufficient portable audio Bible with the entire Old and New Testaments (actually, up to 3 entire Bibles on one device) using digital audio technology than it is using audio tape technology.
- Solid-state digital audio Bibles have very few moving parts and are not subject to the same degree of wear and tear as tape-based systems.
- No cleaning of heads needed.
- Digital audio Bibles can be made very compact and power efficient.
- Digital audio Bibles can play a narration of the entire Holy Bible, Old Testament and New Testament, without the need to change any discs or tapes. That is over 80 hours of uninterrupted speech.
- Digital audio Bibles can be made to withstand adverse weather conditions and are thus more suitable than tape-based systems for taking God's word to people living in such areas.