I’m going to keep this short, because my last rant was a bit extra and I’m sure people would prefer a good list (ooooh lists) over more spatial audio tantrums. Maybe the next blog will be a list.
Vimeo is a platform that any creative will know. Vimeo to YouTube is kind of what Bandcamp is to Soundcloud, sure Soundcloud is so much bigger and more people know it but the amount of clutter (and just plain bad stuff) is unrivalled and unwanted if you just want to listen to your mate’s new mixtape. Bandcamp meanwhile is a little bit edgy in its indie ways, theres more experimental stuff but it is much more organised and easier to navigate. It’s niche. Over to Vimeo, it’s very much a short-film and creative haven with no make-up tutorials or constant Fortnite let’s plays. Vimeo is just simple, and it’s content is mostly really nice. A binge of YouTube in your lunch break brings the feeling of shame, while a Vimeo binge makes you a real cultured fellow.
Not a new feature especially, but Vimeo supports 360 video! Youtube also supports 360 video, and based on the previous paragraph we should expect beautiful animations and shorts on V contrasted by YT’s best 360 meme compilations (or something like that). For the most part this is true, short creative pieces are popping up on V and 360 cameras being fired on the end of an arrow are commonplace on good old YT.
There’s one small problem though. Youtube is actually (arguably… don’t @ me!) the more creatively catered-for platform for the 360 video creator. I’m not talking visually, but audibly! Who would have guessed that the audio blog claims audio to be the game-changer here!
One of the key things that sets the platform apart is that YouTube (and Facebook video too, Facebook!!) uses 360-degree audio to compliment it’s 360-degree video. Vimeo on the other hand says “We plan on supporting spatial audio in the near future.” While no one can really say how far away the near-future is, I would argue nearly 3 years is not most people’s understanding of the term.
But why is this important, surely if Vimeo haven’t sorted their 360-audio yet then there just isn’t a reason for it? Well imagine this situation. You are sat at a table with four people sat around you, one in-front, one to the left, one to the right and one behind and slightly to the right. These people are constantly in dialogue with each other and you. If all the sound is coming from in-front of you, how do you know who has what voice besides constantly spinning around to see who’s mouth is moving? I’m actually roughly describing a short-film on Vimeo called ‘The Invisible Man‘, and I groan every time I think about the film. It would have been so, so , so much better if vocal sources could be localised to each person. The immersion would literally go from ok to perfect (and this film already won a number of editor’s pick’s and short film awards).
Now this short was made for YouTube initially, so the creators have no excuses and really ought to have made use of the spatial audio options available, but if you were to make any creative 360 content and had a following as a filmmaker on Vimeo you literally can’t take your video to the next level in immersion because the world’s best (arguable, again) platform for creative and thought-provoking video just won’t let you.
That’s all I’ll say, you can go back to watching your spatial audio memes on YouTube now.