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  1. #1
    SitePoint Zealot lightwithoutheat's Avatar
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    offering song on website, how to...

    I have a theme song that I want to offer on a nonprofit website. My host does not support streaming media. I want my visitors to be able to listen to the theme song. What are my options for offering this?


    Thanks for any help,

  2. #2
    SitePoint Wizard trampt's Avatar
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    downloadable mp3 would work if you were not able to use streaming media. If you have to worry about download size you could try zipping it ... although I have never tried that and don't know if you can compress an already compressed audio format.

    ** edit - I was correct, zipping an MP3 does not shrinnk it enough to both trying. I zipped a 3.18 MB MP3 down to 3.12 MB.

    You could also try loading it into a flash movie I guess, but always remember to give an option to turn it off.

  3. #3
    SitePoint Addict Eternal Designs's Avatar
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    You could also use RealMedia. You can stream RealMedia files via HTTP without needing special server support. Just encode the file and then create a simple text file with the absolute link to your real file and name it with a .ram extension. Then link to the .ram file to have it stream when the user clicks it.

  4. #4
    SitePoint Guru MG315's Avatar
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    i always embed them in a flash file. but before doing it, import the song as a wav file, then use flash's compression. if you want it to be smaller, you can decide the quality

  5. #5
    SitePoint Zealot lightwithoutheat's Avatar
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    The RealMedia option sounds good, but I don't want to corner my users into something they may not want to use. I'd almost rather offer it as both RealMedia and as Windows Media Player, or even Quicktime as well. I have heard of many people using Flash, but I am totally unfamiliar with this method. Can anyone expand on this?

    BTW, Eternal Designs, I'm from Roseville.

  6. #6
    SitePoint Guru kish's Avatar
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    embedding an mp3 in a flash movie is one of the tutorials (i think) in flash. At the very least it's in the help file and is very simple.
    You can also get some very cool pre-made (and free!) flash mp3 players from www.flashkit.com
    They are quite simple to use and require very little customisation to get your own songs in it!

    good luck!
    Fast Fwd Multimedia
    Web, IT & Cloud Computing Consultancy
    Currently looking for web freelancers. Get in touch!

  7. #7
    SitePoint Addict Eternal Designs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lightwithoutheat
    The RealMedia option sounds good, but I don't want to corner my users into something they may not want to use. I'd almost rather offer it as both RealMedia and as Windows Media Player, or even Quicktime as well. I have heard of many people using Flash, but I am totally unfamiliar with this method. Can anyone expand on this?

    BTW, Eternal Designs, I'm from Roseville.
    When a site I'm deisigning requires streaming audio I'll usually links to RealMedia and Windows Media up and depending on the customer MP3 or MP4 downloads. But if you want to offer the most transparent experience to your user then embed it in a SWF.

    BTW, Lightwithoutheat I'm in the Arden area.

  8. #8
    SitePoint Guru MG315's Avatar
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    embedding a song in flash is simple (well you can make it complex, but it can be simple).

    ~make one with just a stop button~
    import the song into the library, click on the first frame (the file can be only one frame long or you can do it in the same fla as the rest of your site) and then under sound, select the sound and set it to loop 999 times. then make a stop button in your document and put this code on it:

    on(release){
    stopAllSounds();
    }



    ~make one with stop and play button~
    import the song into the library. make 2 keyframes (i'm using frame 1 and frame 2) and put a stop(); in the actions for each frame. on the first one use the properties panel to select the song and set it to loop 999. put a stop button on the stage with:

    on(release){
    play();
    }

    in the second keyframe, go into properties panel and select the sound again, but this time under event select stop. put a play button in this frame with this action:

    on(release){
    play();
    }

    they can get a lot more complex, but thats a pretty simple way of doing it.

  9. #9
    SitePoint Addict Eternal Designs's Avatar
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    I'm currently trying to do something similar but instead of one song I want to embed three loops which the user choose which one they want to hear. What's the easiest way to do this?

  10. #10
    SitePoint Zealot lightwithoutheat's Avatar
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    I successfully created the Windows Media file by running the song through Windows Media Encoder 9 and doing the same with Real Producer Basic. Now I'm having some difficulty with the files online. The RealPlayer version (.rm) is supposed to stream as it downloads according to Real Producer Basic. It doesn't. Instead, it starts downloading as if it were a regular file. For a dial-up user, this is going to take 18 minutes (over 3MB)! Yikes.

    The Windows Media file (only 1.3MB .wma) does absolutely fine and starts playing almost instantly (after the buffer). I'm not quite sure why the RealMedia song version came out so large compared to the WM file.

    Anyway, I got the file up and running, just not in tip-top shape as I expected. Any help or tips from you guys would be greatly appreciated.

  11. #11
    SitePoint Addict Eternal Designs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lightwithoutheat
    The RealPlayer version (.rm) is supposed to stream as it downloads according to Real Producer Basic. It doesn't. Instead, it starts downloading as if it were a regular file. For a dial-up user, this is going to take 18 minutes (over 3MB)! Yikes.
    .
    Your RealMedia song isn't streaming because you aren't using a .ram file.
    It's a common mistake beginers make.

    The .ram file is what tells the plugin to stream the file instead of downloading it. To create a .ram file couldn't be simplier. Just create a simple text file with the absolute link (http://www.yourdomain.com/path/to/your/file.rm) to your realmedia file and name it with a .ram extension. Then link to the .ram file to have it stream when the user clicks it.

    And if you have Netscpae 6/7 visitors, they might have problems getting the Windows Media version to display correct. The only way to remidy this is to either: a) embed the plugin into the page or b) right click on the link select "save link target as...", press cancel, then click on the link again.

    If you have a few Windows Media files you wish your visitors to hear go for option a. If embeding the is too complicated for you you can just but disclaimer text with instructions for method b. Be warned that method be may or may not work for everyone. I just happened to stumble on it the other day, and am able to reproduce the results on my computer fairly consistantly. I thought installing Netscape 7.1 which comes with a Windows Media active-x control would solve the problem but it hasn't. I haven't found any official reason for this behavior.

    Hope this helps.
    Kevin

  12. #12
    SitePoint Zealot lightwithoutheat's Avatar
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    Thanks for the help, Kevin. I'll give it a shot.

  13. #13
    SitePoint Zealot lightwithoutheat's Avatar
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    BTW, how do I embed a plug-in into the webpage? I've never had to do this before.


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