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Streaming Audio; the best format to use

Hello,

I am currently uploading business marketing sessions in audio to the web, the avg. file size is about 900mb as a wav file. To get the best compression I have been saving the files in wma 9. Unfortunately this is causing problems with people having to upgrade their Windows Media Player. Does anyone have a better solution for a more popular player? i.e. real player, quicktime? I will need to know which version to use also.

Thanks
coma12
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coma12
Asked:
coma12
1 Solution
 
vdhantCommented:
Personally
I think you will find that the vast majority of people will have Windows Media Player over any other similar products (ie real player, quicktime).

Also if they have to update to a newer version of WMP it is much easier for a user with no experience in this sort of things to simply up date WMP than installing a new product. As for Mac users you could have ACC files that are creating in itunes and have the user click on link to access these particular files.
Ant
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jcrumbleCommented:
Something else you might consider is compressing your audio format into an MP3.  With a 900MG file I woudl think you could get it down to around 90MG.  With your audio formatted as an MP3 you should be pushing more information to the users faster so what ever player you use this should help your bandwidth.  There are a ton of tools out there to do wav to MP3 conversion, I might recommend that you use MusicMatch Jukebox as it allows you to choose your compression ratio.  

Something else to consider is the possibility of giving the users a choice of what play to use.  You could set this up as a simple pop-up window based on their choice and then you don't have to decide.  If you using some server-side script you could actually control this in a single page that forms your objetc tags based on the user's choice in players.  If your forced to choose I might lean towards quicktime.  The reaons being that it would also allow you to use an .aiff format which also has a decent compression and it is native to Macintosh so your not cutting anyone out.

Hope that helps and Good Luck,
Jeff

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arantiusCommented:
jcrumble is correct, mp3 is a good solution.
Ten to one compression is common with mp3, twenty to one easy if it is just speech (not music).  mp3 players are very common.
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poeticlykistCommented:
i suggest mp3. i would stay away from real and quicktime since they are less flexible.
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vdhantCommented:
Ya as i said in the above. The end format is really up to you the reason why i suggested (and i think the reason you have used WMA in the past) is because it is so easy to create WMA and it has really good compression as well, slightly better than MP3, i think.

If you are looking for a truely universal format MP3 is the way to go. Just remember that you will have to download and install, a converter/decoder, rater than simply using WMP. The other thing you could do if you turned them into MP3 is put them into a flash presentation (depending on your needs) and then the user wouldn't ever need a player. See what you think in the end its up to you.
ant
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jcrumbleCommented:
If you go the flash route here's some example code you might apply to stream your audio in MP3: http://www.flashkit.com/movies/Sound/Players/Flash_MP-Victor_V-561/index.php

Good Luck,
Jeff
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vdhantCommented:
Hi coma12
We have not heard from you in awhile. How did you go? If all was successful can you please assign the points accordingly. If you don't respond i will ask for the question to be mediated. Other wise we can try and answer your question a bit better.
Ant
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coma12Author Commented:
Hello,

I know it has been a long while since I accepted an answer and closed this question but for anyone else looking for a solution to a simular question.

Here is the solution we used.

We did go via the flash route by using the Wimpy MP3 player http://www.wimpyplayer.com/
This is an absolute amazing product. I do not want to sound like I am getting paid to say this, because I am not. It is just a great player for a scandalously low price.

I hope this helps someone, if so let me know.

coma12

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