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helpWebsite editingAudio/video clip options

Website editing: Audio and Video clips

There are several different ways to include audio and/or video clips on your website.

Please see About Browser plugins (below) for details about some of the limitations of embedding audio/video content. 

Naturally,  in order to hear audio files, the website visitor also needs to have speakers on their computer with the sound enabled and volume turned up.

About MP3 files

MP3 files are a common, standardized format for delivering audio content. 

A common way to create your own MP3 files is with the freeware program, Audacity

In order to ensure that your file will play correctly in a Flash MP3 player, it is important that you create the MP3 file with the following settings:

  • Sample rate: 11 KHz, 22KHz, or 44KHz
  • Bit rate: Generally, the higher the bit rate, the better the quality -- and the larger the file size.  128 kbps is a common, good quality setting for music audio. Spoken word audio can suffice with good quality at 64 kbps.

If you do not use these settings, the audio may sound like "chipmunks." This is a limitation of the Flash plugin itself.

It is ideal to record your audio at the same sample rate that you will use to distribute the audio, rather than adjusting the sample rate later.

In addition to the actual audio, MP3 files also include description information called tags (format is called ID3).  Standard tags are Artist, Album, Song Title, Track number, Copyright Year, Genre.  Some MP3 players (including our Flash Single MP3 Player) read the ID3 tag information and display parts of it when the audio is presented.  So it is useful to set the ID3 tags when you create the MP3 file.  Please refer to MP3 information changer for how to adjust MP3 ID3 tag information from the TYPO3 backend.

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File link element on a web page
MP3 file playing in QuickTime plugin in new window
MP3 file being saved from the file link

File link content element

The simplest way to offer audio/video content is to use a file link to link to the file directly. 

The visitor will be able to click on the link or download the file to their own computer through the link.  If the visitor clicks on the link, the browser will open a new, blank page and attempt to play the clip.  However, the browsers ability to play the link will depend on what browser plugins are installed.

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MP3 file, embedded in the web page, playing through QuickTime plugin

Multimedia content element

The audio/video clip can be embedded directly in the page through the multimedia content element.

Depending on what browser plugins are installed, the visitor will see some sort of media player embedded in the page.  Please refer to browser plugins section (below) for details on the limitations of this approach.

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MP3 playing in Flash Single MP3 player
MP3 playing in Flash Multiple MP3 player

Flash media players

The most sophisticated way to present the content is to present the audio/video clip through a Flash media player of some sort.  This approach is still dependent on the visitor having the Flash plugin installed.  However, Flash is reportedly installed on over 98% of web browsers.

There are two options for Flash media players available on Ready-Set-Go! websites (additional fees may apply -- please inquire about the audio bonus pack):

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Podcasting/XML/RSS/iTunes

There is a new way of presenting content on the internet in general.  This is a format called RSS or XML.  Instead of using a web browser to manually find the content you want, you can "subscribe" to an RSS or XML "feed."  Then you will automatically receive new content from the feeds you have subscribed to.

Podcasting is a specialized kind of RSS/XML feed that includes an MP3 enclosure.  That means that there is audio information available as a part of the RSS/XML feed.

iTunes is simply a very popular podcasting directory.  It does have some some proprietary tags, but is just a way of subscribing to a RSS/XML feed at its core.

There are two ways to create a podcast on Ready-Set-Go! websites (additional fees may apply -- please inquire about the audio bonus pack).

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Windows Media plugin control
QuickTime plugin control
RealPlayer plugin control

About browser plugins

When multimedia objects, such as MP3 files or video clips, are embedded in a page, their rendering for the website visitor will depend on whether or not that visitor has appropriate software installed in their web browser.  

The most common browser plug-ins include QuickTime, Windows Media, RealPlayer, and Flash.  The problem is that audio/video plugins are proprietary tools that have not been standardized.  So your same website audio or video presentation may look different to a website visitor, depending on how their browser is setup. 

Beyond that, the website visitor may or may not have a relevant plugin installed successfully at all.  If the browser does not have any relevant plugin installed, the website visitor may not be able to view your audio or video content at all.

The Flash plugin has been installed on over 98% of internet browsers and presents perhaps the most reliable method of media delivery.  Ready-Set-Go! offers various Flash media players so that you can make your content available to the widest possible audience.

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Other audio/video types

If you need to present audio or video files of another type than listed here, please inquire with your website developer for other options that may not be documented here.

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Chris Paige
Consultant


267-507-5507
efax 206-350-3758
chris@ready-set-go.biz
www.ready-set-go.biz
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Ready Set Go!
Business development and project management solutions
for your small business or non-profit organization