Sounding Future: The path to a 3D audio streaming platform

In this article, I outline how the Sounding Future content platform will be expanded in a further project phase to include a 3D audio area with a head-tracking function.

Fränk Zimmer Profilfoto Fränk Zimmer
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Sounding Future was successfully launched in January 2024 after a six-month conception and development phase. The platform is gradually establishing itself in the fields of innovative music and audio technology. It promotes the cohesion of a community of creative minds and enthusiasts.

From January to June 2024, we were able to publish almost 50 multimedia contributions in German and English. And as a bonus, we integrated a read-aloud function for the articles in audiobook quality. We also published numerous practical tutorials and book recommendations. With our News Collector, we collect announcements of festivals, congresses, open calls, or competitions on innovative audio topics.

In addition to young artists, established composers, developers, and electronic musicians have also contributed articles. Audiotech start-ups and institutions have also presented their developments and visions. The articles cover a wide range of topics. They range from music and AI, 3D audio composition, DIY electronics, quantum computing, and music to sound art and much more. We have also expanded our content offering to include practical tutorials, book recommendations, and news.

From content platform to streaming platform

Sounding Future sees itself as a unique online platform for technical and artistic innovations in music.

In addition to the opportunity for reflection/presentation of ideas, the platform should also offer one thing: Space for what Sounding Future is always about - music and sound. In a further project phase, we want to expand the existing platform to include an innovative 3D audio room - the "3Daudiospace".

In the following, I outline what this new area could look like in terms of content and technology. Unfortunately, during the preparatory phase in recent months, it became apparent that there are hardly any funding opportunities from public donors, as the project does not produce music, but makes music available and promotes it in 3D audio format.

This article is therefore also an appeal to potential financial supporters. Please contact us if you would like to help us realize the 3Daudiospace.


3D audio is the music format of the future. Unlike conventional systems, it allows sounds to be perceived from all directions, creating an immersive, enveloping listening experience. At, we will intensify this experience by integrating head tracking with a webcam into our innovative 3D audio player. This dynamically adapts the sound to the user's head movements, creating a realistic listening experience.

Sounding Future 3Daudiospace, Smartphone Design

Sounding Future 3Daudiospace, Smartphone Design

Our online 3D audio player with a head-tracking solution is characterized by:

  • best possible usability
  • Compatible with common browsers
  • No special hardware required
  • runs on smartphones, tablets,s and PCs with a webcam
  • free of charge for music consumers
  • provides information about the music and the artists
  • offers users tagging, liking, and commenting
  • Bookmark functions
  • constant further development of the functions

We are open in terms of content. However, the focus is on artists who want to utilize the new possibilities of 3D audio. In terms of genre, the focus is on electronic, contemporary, and experimental music. Innovative radio plays, games, media art, and sound art are also welcome.

The 3Daudiospace concentrates on the compositions, not the albums. Each audio track is supplemented by information on the composers and works. The creation process or initial content ideas can be explained here.

Target group & community

Our platform attracts an audience that is particularly interested in innovative sound art and music. With the 3D audio section, we make state-of-the-art web audio technology accessible to non-professionals at a low threshold.

Music producers and music consumers with similar interests come together. Thanks to our community features (sharing and commenting on content, following other users, etc.), both groups can communicate directly with each other, which is rarely the case on large streaming platforms.

Musicians find a stage here to present their artistic content in combination with the possibilities of 3D audio.

Innovative technology: Formats

The Sounding Future 3D audio player uses advanced Ambisonics technology, which enables a differentiated 3D sound experience.

Unlike conventional stereo, where sound is only reproduced from the left and right, Ambisonics provides a complete 360-degree sound environment. This technology uses a complex series of mathematical algorithms to capture and reproduce sound in such a way that the direction, height, and depth of the sound sources are represented in a three-dimensional space.

Ambisonics audio files are dynamically reproduced binaurally. This gives the user the feeling of being in the center of the sound source, with a clear and precise reproduction of the sound direction.

Innovative technology: head tracking

In addition to spatial sound quality, head tracking is also integrated into the audio player. Head tracking is a technology for recognizing and tracking head movements.

Technologies that were co-developed in Austria in the experimental environment of the IEM (Institute for Electronic Music and Acoustics at the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz) are being utilized for music and sound producers in Sounding Future.

The system can use a webcam, such as those used in video conferences, or a smartphone camera to recognize where users are looking. On this basis, the audio can be adapted so that it changes depending on how the listener moves their head.

3D audio with head tracking mimics natural hearing by reproducing spatial sound in 360 degrees and taking the position of the head into account. It therefore works in a similar way to the human perception of direction, distance, and ambient noise.

In addition, special functions are implemented that allow users to influence the room size (small, medium, large) and Degrees of Freedom (0,3,6 DOF) of the audio playback. DOF stands for Degrees of Freedom. This refers to rotation tracking, which allows users to look around a virtual environment and change their point of view. In a 3-DOF system, users can turn their head up/down, left/right, and tilt to the side. With 6-DOF systems, users can turn their heads in any direction.

Availability and open access

The Sounding Future 3D audio player is compatible with common browsers such as Firefox, Chrome, and Edge.

Users only need a PC, a webcam, headphones, and an internet connection to use it. So no special headset or other expensive hardware. Smartphones or tablets can also be used as playback devices. No special prior knowledge is required to use it.

The audio player is seamlessly integrated into the website of the platform. There are no costs for music consumers for the published audio tracks.

Rights of use

Since the advent of the major streaming platforms, music has been available anytime and anywhere. This offers many advantages for music consumers, but also disadvantages in terms of rights management for music producers.

A major disadvantage of platforms such as Spotify & Co is that these music producers only pay minimal sums for streaming their works. Artists who do not have hundreds of thousands or millions of hits cannot make a living from this. In this respect, Sounding Future would like to pay musicians a standardized usage fee for audio content.

Of course, this money has to be earned first. In the longer term, new partners will be found to help make new music available in 3D audio format. These could be adverts or donations from institutions, festivals, labels, or other individual projects.


For artists, the 3D audio player offers the opportunity to optimize the spatial representation of physical instruments. Above all, however, sounds can be distributed as sound objects in the virtual listening space, which opens up new compositional possibilities. We want to cooperate with organizations, festivals, and individual artists.

We also want to make the areas of cooperation visible in the layer setup. The partners can curate their shortlist of outstanding 3D audio compositions. The reference to the partner will always be visible as a reference in the respective track. 


In a world where large streaming platforms dominate the market, Sounding Future offers an alternative that focuses on quality, depth, and experimentation rather than quantity.

As mentioned at the beginning, this is a sketch of a future 3D audio space on Sounding Future. I hope it arouses curiosity and shows where the journey is heading. New developments take time and financial resources. In this respect, we would be delighted if we could inspire supporters to make our project a reality.

Fränk Zimmer

Fränk Zimmer is a media artist, curator, and festival organizer. After training as a communications engineer in Luxembourg, he studied musicology in Graz and Vienna. He uses open-source software and hardware in sound and media installations in both public and art-specific spaces. Zimmer also works as a producer and co-curator for ORF musikprotokoll, a festival for contemporary and experimental music. In the last five years, he has focused on 3D audio and the development of interactive, web-based listening environments. In 2023, he founded "Sounding Future", an online platform dedicated to current technical and artistic developments in music and art.

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Original language: Deutsch
Article translations are machine translated and proofread.