Audio Codec

Music preservation technology

Written by Ademal

Audio Codecs are Comms chips which connect any device with a larger Æthernet connection to the larger infosphere to download music from thousands of years and millions of archives.   Audio Codecs work on a peer-to-peer network, trawling the various Æthernets in search for audio files in the public domain or which have been marked to be added. They coordinate to repair old music and bring them up to modern standards of fidelity, and when introduced to a new Æthernet, such as one on an abandoned world, they will share their newly found music with the larger network at first opportunity to keep the music alive.   They were invented by Anthem and are a must-have for music aficionados.

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Tech Info

Tech Clade
  • Anthem's Whisper
  • Muse's Kiss
  • 0.5in diameter
  • 1.5cm diameter

Tale of a Cathartic

Euologist's Journal — Teloss V

While exploring the Seed Library of Teloss V today I found many bodies, but one in particular struck a chord in my heart.   She was alone in the basement, partially pinned in by rubble, skeleton nearly dust. I only found her because my Codec briefly told me it found another Codec to sync with before instantly losing signal. The attempted sync must have used up its last reserves of power.   I reached through the rubble with one of my vectors and pulled out some of her gear, including her codec. I installed it into my Comm.   Just a thumb nail, but on it I found an archive of new songs. Some were familiar—on shuffle I heard the velvet words of Frank Sinatra,12 Gauge's roar and the shiver-inducing lilt of Anthem herself—but some were new, recorded unique to this world since the Melancholic Lacuna. Artists known and unknown were crammed shoulder to shoulder in this pocket of timelessness.   One song haunted me the moment I heard it. The quality was mediocre, but the lyrics were chilling. When she spoke I knew it to be her, the woman pinned under the rubble, and I knew her to be a Cathartic like myself. Her voice was hoarse and in pain, and in the distance I heard gunshots; she recorded this while pinned   It was crushing to hear the desolation in her song, even if it was the source of its power. This was her masterpiece, inspired by her own demise, and she couldn't appreciate it with the bones of the building pinning her down.   Even here on this dead world I have found life. This gives me hope that I may find more.   Now ten thousand strong, I walk.   And everything is going to the beat.

Eulogist Gorkam

Cover image: Audio Codec by Ademal and Photosteve


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6 Sep, 2018 11:49

Short but interesting. Gonna be a wee bit nitpicky though with some things that stood out to me.


The first sentence I think either has a typo or a rogue word in it:

Audio Codecs are Comms chips which connect any device with a larger an Æthernet connection to the larger infosphere to download music from thousands of years and millions of archives.

I'd also suggest adding a tooltip or something that defines what 'fusking' means - I had to google that one, and did a double take at first because it looks like another word.


In the Euologist's Journal, the dark blue text in the middle is very difficult to read on the dark blue background.


And now, actually on topic to the article itself.. Is music a big cultural thing in this universe? Are these codecs specific to certain cultures/groups or a more galactic-wide thing?

6 Sep, 2018 14:46

Haha, well, that's an unfortunate misread! Fixed, and thank you!   Many people who want to listen to more than what's in standard circulation will have a codex, so they're about as common as that one guy you know who listens to everything and so ends up finding a lot of weird stuff.   There's also a bit of a religion around music thanks to the death of the Virtual Intelligence "Goddess" Anthem, which I touch on in the below article, so music is pretty important to a small group of people called the Rapt Audient, which the Cathartics are from.  

Cathartic Audiograve
Building / Landmark | Dec 12, 2021

Cradle of the Neon Gods; Headstone of the Cathartic Army

Admin of the WA Codex & Discord

Ethnis | Ko-Fi | Twitter

6 Sep, 2018 14:49

That article's either private or a draft, I can't view it :P

7 Sep, 2018 00:49

Public now! Mybad.

Admin of the WA Codex & Discord

Ethnis | Ko-Fi | Twitter

6 Sep, 2018 21:44

It's a very interesting read. One thing in particular that I liked would be the middle section, because even though I don't know anything about your world (Which I will now be reading up on after this), I was able to easily understand how it worked. That being said, I'd like to know more about if one can use it to do things such as record your own music, and why people wouldn't normally use it for that reason if they can.

7 Sep, 2018 00:50

You can! I might not have implied it strongly enough in the story but the woman he found it on used it to record a song in her last minutes.   Thank you for reading and asking!

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Ethnis | Ko-Fi | Twitter

7 Sep, 2018 02:24

I really like this! Short and sweet, to the point, which I probably need to learn more of. One question about the article: what about the power? How much power does music of this kind confer? Does musical talent contribute to getting positions of power, do they help you control the meta, or are they there only for citizens' own pleasure?

9 Sep, 2018 19:45

The power over the people isn't particularly high given that nobody has much control over it, but in many circles music has come to be regarded as holy and pure and so the concept of musicians has followed suit.   Certain musicians, called Cathartics, can tie music into their control of the Meta, but this is more attributed to the methodology of music improving the cast rather than the music itself. Some swear by it, though...

Admin of the WA Codex & Discord

Ethnis | Ko-Fi | Twitter

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