.vox

An extension given to many types of voice processing telephony files. This file extension covers a variety of encoding and sampling rate formats. For example, Dialogic “.vox” files are stand-alone files and lack a header identifying the coding format and sample rate, but NMS “.vox” files actually are indexed files that contain many voice prompts and do have a header.

Category: Audio Production

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ACD (Automatic Call Distributor)

A telephone call processing system designed for use in call centers, an ACD allows for the systematic, automated delivery of inbound phone calls to a department or group of people expected to answer the calls. This system automatically routes incoming calls to the next available or longest idle agent or attendant in a line hunt group, facilitating the distribution, monitoring and control of inbound telephone “traffic.”

Category: Telecommunications

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Aliasing

A form of distortion that can occur during the conversion of analog signals into digital signals. If the input signal is more than one half the sampling rate, only portions of the signal will be present when the system samples the waveform. A false image of the waveform based on the components that were actually sampled, is created.

Category: Audio Production

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Applet

An applet, a diminutive form of app (application), refers to a small, simple, single-function software application, typically in the Java programming language. Applets are ideally suited for Internet use, and have been used for streaming audio and video, along with many other applications.

Category: Technology/Internet

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ASCII

ASCII is an acronym for American Standard Code for Information Interchange, a 7-bit code that represents the most basic letters of the Roman alphabet, numbers, and other characters used in computing. ASCII characters allow us to communicate with computers, which use their own language called “binary” made up of 0s and 1s. When we type ASCII characters from the keyboard (which looks like words to us), the computer interprets them as binary so they can be read, manipulated, stored and retrieved. ASCII files are called text files.

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Auto-Download

A type of digital announcer (see Digital Announcer) that automatically digitizes and loads the audio content of an analog cassette tape into its onboard microchip memory. Inserting the cassette tape into the Digital Announcer’s built-in cassette deck mechanism is all that is required to initiate the process. Digital, solid state (see Solid State), continuous playback automatically follows the loading process.

Category: Telecommunications

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Bandwidth

Bandwidth is the maximum amount of data that can travel a communications path in a given time, usually measured in seconds. If you think of the communications path as a pipe, then bandwidth represents the width of the pipe that determines how much data can flow through it all at once.

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Binary File

A binary file, unlike an ASCII file, contains more than plain text. It may contain additional code information for photos, sounds, a spreadsheet, or formatted word-processing text. Like an ASCII file, a binary file is made up of machine-readable symbols that represent 1s and 0s. Binary files include sound files, graphics files, and software, and are frequently called binaries.

 

If you want to transmit a file over the Internet, such as downloading a piece of software, a sound or picture file, or a formatted word-processing document, choose the “binary” option. If the file is simply unformatted text, choose the “ASCII” or “text” option.

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Byte

A byte is a series of bits of a particular length, usually 8. Computer storage space is measured in bytes. A Kilobyte (or 1 K) represents 1024 bytes and a Megabyte (1 Mb) represents one thousand “K” bytes, or one million bytes.

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Centrex

A type of “umbrella” business telephone service in which call processing (see Call Processing) occurs at the phone service provider’s central office, rather than on-site. Customers lease a portion of the Central Office switch to create a centralized point of control and routing. In some cases, Music On Hold capability will not be possible with this type of technology.

Category: Telecommunications

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Continuous Loop Cassette

Refers to a type of analog tape cassette that allows for the continuous repetition of its audio content, usually three or six minutes in length. This “loop” format is unreliable due to the mechanical nature of the medium and its inability to endure the stress effects from continuous play, usually resulting in stretched or broken tape.

Category: Telecommunications

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CTI

Computer-Telephony Integration. A fashionable term for what, not so long ago, used to be called simply “voice processing.” CTI has become a generic term for computer-controlled or computer-assisted telephony applications.

Category: Audio Production

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DSL (digital subscriber line)

A technology that exploits unused frequencies on copper telephone lines to transmit traffic typically at multi-megabit speeds. DSL can allow voice and high-speed data to be sent simultaneously over the same line. Because the service is “always available,” end-users don’t need to dial in or wait for call set-up. With DSL you are wired for speed.

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DTMF

Dual Tone Multi-Frequency (Touch Tone)

Audible dual tone multi-frequency which conform to North American Telephone Standards, also called “Touch-tone” by AT and T. 16 combinations of voice-band tones are used to generate dialing signals. These are generated by push-button telephones to dial telephone numbers, as well as to provide control or data input to voice processing systems.

Category: Telecommunications

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File Compression

File compression is a way of reducing the size of one or more files, so that they don’t take up a lot of space on a server or hard drive and can travel faster over a network. File compression is accomplished with software that uses mathematical equations (algorithms) to condense repeated data into smaller codes. You need another separate software program to decompress (expand) the data, and restore it to its original form.

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Firewall

A firewall is a combination hardware and software buffer that many companies or organizations have in place between their internal networks and the Internet. A firewall allows only specific kinds of messages from the Internet to flow in and out of the internal network. This protects the internal network from being compromised or disrupted by unwanted files or intruders (hackers).

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Flash Memory

A type of constantly powered nonvolatile memory that can be erased and reprogrammed in units of memory called “blocks.” Flash memory is often used to hold control code such as the basic input/output system (BIOS) in a PC. Flash memory gets its name because the microchip is organized so that a section of memory cells are erased in a single action or “flash.”

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Forms

Forms are Web pages comprised of text and “fields” for a user to fill in with information. They are an excellent way of collecting and processing information from website visitors, as well as allowing them to interact with Web pages. Forms are written in HTML and processed by CGI programs. The output can be sent as an e-mail form, stored online, printed, and/or returned to the user as an HTML page. When you enter a keyword in the search field of an Internet directory, you are filling in a form. It is then processed by a CGI program, returning a list of possible matches with your keyword. Forms are also used for online catalogs, surveys, requests for information, and conferencing.

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Frequency

The rate of vibration or oscillation of a signal as measured in hertz (Hz), or cycles per second. The normal human ear can detect sounds ranging from 20 Hz to 18,000 Hz. The telephone network only carries signals with frequencies between about 300 and 3400 Hz.

HOLDCOM defines frequency as the number of program changes, or updates included in a message on hold plan.

Category: Audio Production

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FTP

This is an acronym for File Transfer Protocol — a very common method of transferring one or more files from one computer to another. FTP is a specific way to connect to another Internet site to retrieve and send files. FTP was developed in the early days of the Internet to copy files from computer to computer. In your browser, you can use FTP by typing the URL into the location box at the top of your screen. For example, typing ftp://name.of.site/directory/filename.zip transfers the file filename.zip to your computer’s hard disk. Typing ftp://name.of.site/directory/ gives you a listing of all the files available in that directory.

If your Web browser doesn’t have built-in FTP capability, or if you want to upload files to a remote computer, you will need to use an FTP client program to transfer files. To use FTP, you need to know the name of the file, the computer where it resides, and the directory it’s in. Most files are available via “anonymous FTP,” which means you can log into the machine with the user name “anonymous” and use your e-mail address as your password.

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HTML

An acronym for Hypertext Markup Language, HTML is the computer language used to create hypertext documents. HTML uses a finite list of tags that describe the general structure of various kinds of documents linked together on the World Wide Web.

Category: Technology/Internet

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Internet Telephony

Internet telephony is the conversion of analog speech signals used on current telephone systems into digital data, allowing calls to be sent over the Internet, bypassing long distance charges. While the Internet was first devised as a way of transmitting data, it is now being used to make voice calls. Internet telephony is projected to explode as the costs plummet.

Category: Telecommunications

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ISDN

An acronym for Integrated Services Digital Network, ISDN lines are connections that use ordinary phone lines to transmit digital instead of analog signals. This allows data to be transmitted at a much faster rate than with a traditional modem.

Category: Telecommunications

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IVR (Interactive Voice Response)

A telephony technology in which someone uses a touch-tone telephone to interact with a database to acquire information from or enter data into the database. IVR technology does not require human interaction over the telephone as the user’s interaction with the database is predetermined by what the IVR system will allow the user access to. For example, banks and credit card companies use IVR systems so that their customers can receive up-to-date account information instantly and easily without having to speak directly to a person. IVR technology is also used to gather information, as in the case of telephone surveys in which the user is prompted to answer questions by pushing the numbers on a touch-tone telephone.

Category: Telecommunications

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Java

Java is an object-oriented programming language developed by Sun Microsystems, Inc. to create executable content (i.e., self-running applications) that can be easily distributed through networks like the Internet. Developers use Java to create special programs called applets that can be incorporated in Web pages to make them interactive. A Java-enabled Web browser is required to interpret and run the Java applets.

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Kbps

In the U.S., Kbps stands for kilobits per second (thousands of bits per second) and is a measure of bandwidth on a data transmission medium. Higher bandwidths are more conveniently expressed in megabits per second (Mbps, or millions of bits per second) and in gigabits per second (Gbps, or billions of bits per second).

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MP3

MP3 is a digital encoding format which uses a lossy data compression. It is a common audio format for consumer audio storage, as well as a de facto standard of digital audio compression for the transfer and playback of music on digital audio players.

Category: Audio Production

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PDF

An acronym for Portable Document Format, PDF is a file type created by Adobe Systems, Inc. that allows fully formatted, high-resolution, PostScript documents to be easily transmitted across the Internet and viewed on any computer that has Adobe Acrobat Reader software (a proprietary viewer is available for free at the Adobe site).

Corporations that have invested in brand name identification use PDF to display the original look of their logos and advertising. Publishers can create a high-quality brochure and then “publish” it as is, without converting it to HTML. Anyone interested in presenting documents with the highest possible resolution or a complex layout might choose to use PDF.

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RAM

Random Access Memory — a temporary memory storage area to load program instructions and store files while in use. Information stored in RAM will be lost once the computer is turned off unless a file is saved to disk or hard drive.

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Resolution

The resolution of a recording is indicated by the number of bits used to represent sample values. A 16-bit resolution gives a precision of about 0.003 percent of full scale. An 8-bit resolution gives a precision of only about 0.8 percent of full-scale value. Use 16 bits if file size and conversion time is not a problem.

Category: Audio Production

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Router

A router is a piece of hardware or software that connects two or more networks. A router functions as a sorter and interpreter as it looks at, addresses, and passes bits of information to their proper destinations. Software routers are sometimes referred to as gateways.

Category: Technology/Internet

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Streaming Media

Streaming data refers to multimedia files, such as video clips and audio, that begin playing seconds after they are received by your computer from the World Wide Web. The media is delivered in a “stream” from the server so that you don’t have to wait several minutes or longer to download multimedia files.

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T1 Line

A T1 line is a high-speed digital connection capable of transmitting data at a rate of approximately 1.5 million bps (bits per second). Small and medium-sized companies with heavy network traffic typically use a T1 line. It is large enough to send and receive very large text files, graphics, sounds, and databases instantaneously, and is the fastest speed commonly used to connect networks to the Internet. Sometimes referred to as a leased line, a T1 is basically too large and too expensive for individual home use.

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T3 Line

A T3 line is a super high-speed connection capable of transmitting data at a rate of 45 million bps (bits per second). A T3 line represents a bandwidth equal to about 672 regular voice-grade telephone lines, which is wide enough to transmit full-motion, real-time video, and very large databases over a busy network. A T3 line is typically installed as a major networking artery for large corporations and universities with high-volume network traffic. For example, the backbones of the major Internet service providers are comprised of T3 lines.

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Voice Prompt

Refers to a recorded verbal announcement, consisting of either a combination of sentences, an individual sentence, a phrase, or an individual word that is designed to be used by automated telephonic systems such as: IVR, ACD, Automated Attendant, Voice Mail, etc. A voice prompt can exist as an independent announcement or an individual word or phrase that may be concatenated with other prompts.

Category: Telecommunications

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Wave

The usual type name given to multimedia sound files recorded in Microsoft’s standard waveform file format. This covers a variety of encoding and sampling rate formats. Wave files contain a header identifying the coding format, resolution and sample rate. Wave files usually have a “.wav” extension.

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Zip

Zip is a popular standard for file compression on the PC. You can recognize it by the .zip file extension. The process of compression is called “zipping” and decompression is called “unzipping.”  Two popular versions include WINZIP and PKZIP.

Category: Audio Production

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