Make Instagram support stereo audio in their videos

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Instagram is an amazing social network that allows everyone to connect by sharing photos and videos of pretty much anything you can imagine; and it's also an incredible platform for artists to share their artwork with likeminded people; paintings, animations, performances, music. You name it! Unfortunately, Instagram only supports audio in mono.

What does that mean? Mono is short for monophonic which means one (mono) and sound (phonic), or in this case, one track of audio. Stereo, on the other hand, consists of two mono tracks: one for each ear. Most of the music you listen to on your music playing device is in stereo. By having certain instruments or vocal takes of the song louder, or softer on either one of those tracks creates what is called a "stereo image": the illusion that whatever instrument is farther left, or farther right . It makes the experience of that song much richer and more interactive, as if you were actually seeing a band live. Stereo also allows videos to be more interactive as well. For instance, if you were to record skateboarders at the skatepark with two microphones simultaneously, you'd have two tracks, and it'll make it seem like you're actually there. You'll hear that one skateboard's wheels hissing on the right, while hearing the footsteps of the guy leaving the park to the left, etc. 

All artists who post anything with music or stereo audio to Instagram have their music summed to mono. Both tracks are merged together to form one, which degrades the audio significantly. The stereo image is completely eliminated, sounds can cancel each other out so you don't hear them at all.

Why is Instagram doing this? Who knows. It's not for data reasons, because the size of the audio is very small compared to that of the video. Maybe when Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger started Instagram, they didn't imagine it would become such a platform for sharing art. 

Let's let the founders of Instagram, Mike Krieger and Kevin Systrom, know that we want to hear Instagram videos in stereo!



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