A few months ago, during a Computex 2022 to speak, Microsoft’s Panos Panay, executive vice president and chief product officer, reminded everyone that the main determining factor during the Windows 11 development process was ensuring the quality of the operating system.
Contrary to this, however, it seems that Microsoft has reduced the Windows 11 startup sound bitrate in the upcoming 22H2 (Sun Valley 2) build. The reduction was spotted by Twitter user and prolific leaker Xeno, who saw that the audio file for the startup sound had a reduced bitrate of 1536 Kbps, down from 2304 Kbps last year. build 22463. This change was noticed on beta channel build 22621 which has been confirmed as an RTM release candidate for Windows 11 22H2.
The 33% bitrate reduction may or may not result in a noticeable difference in Windows 11 startup sound fidelity. It depends on the compression algorithm used, which could be Huffman or Arithmetic or something else. Nevertheless, it is still a considerable part removed.
Additionally, the image below suggests that Microsoft has also made changes to the music and the silence at the beginning has been lengthened slightly in build 22621.
Here is the original Windows 11 21H2 startup sound for reference:
While the potential reduction in quality here is probably not within the scope of what Panos Panay meant, a noticeable reduction in startup sound could still annoy users, especially those who prefer crisp, high-fidelity audio to the extent possible.
Source and images: Xeno (Twitter)
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