Google wants Hangouts On Air to become the way musicians stream concerts from their garage or the stadium, so today it launches Studio Mode, an option that lets broadcasters optimize sound quality for real-time music instead of voice. Studio Mode makes a big difference, turning the noisy digital gargle into something closer to CD-quality. I’ve confirmed with Google that Studio Mode streams in stereo at a higher bitrate through a different codec. The feature is rolling out of the course of the day.
Right now, Ustream is a popular choice for artists to share their concerts with people at home, but Google could get everyone rocking Hangouts if Studio Mode makes listeners feel as if they’ve traded their crappy old MP3 for vinyl. You can hear the difference in the video below.