London, UK (February 7, 2012)—The BBC is offering a radio play for download encoded using Fraunhofer's 5.1 MPEG Surround codec.
The podcast is a follow-up to the broadcaster's experiment streaming Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols during Christmas, 2011 using the codec. Listeners may download the radio drama, Private Peaceful, from the BBC Radio 4 Play of the Week website through February 12. For the best surround listening experience, consumers need to download the Fraunhofer Surround 'Peaceful Player' application, available on Fraunhofer's website.
"The BBC is committed to finding new ways to present high-quality audio content to our audiences," said Rupert Brun, head of technology for BBC Audio & Music. "The presentation of Private Peaceful in MPEG Surround is the latest of a successful series of public experiments in which we have explored ways to deliver a compelling immersive audio experience. We hope this experiment will reach a new audience as it is the first experiment of the series to focus on drama rather than music."
The podcast tells the story of more than 300 World War One British and Commonwealth soldiers that were executed by firing squad. Ninety years later these men received posthumous pardons from the British Government, after a campaign helped in part by the publication of Michael Morpurgo's novel Private Peaceful. The radio dramatization will bring this story of injustice to an even wider audience.