Streaming Audio

Microphone, sound card and speakers.

In order to create a sound file you need a recording device, most likely a microphone and a sound card in your computer. If you already have a sound file saved to a disk, you are ready to proceed with turning this file into something you can use on the web.

I personally use a headset I bought from Tandy, which cost $25. This equipment does not have to be top of the line. Most computers these days come with a sound card, which is more than sufficient.

Obviously if you can get a quiet area and your mic is directional then this would be perfect. Lots of schools and colleges also have sound studios, which will produce the best audio file.

Sound is like any data. The better you can make the original file the better your output will be. If you can find a studio in your local school, church or community centre use that if possible. All my audios are done in my garage as it has quite good acoustics.

You will also need some speakers or headphones to be able to listen to the audio you produce.

Streaming media consumers represent an increasingly important segment of the Internet audience. They are also a highly desirable advertising target.

Streamies, those users who watch or listen to webcasts online, represent 44% of all Internet users and 27% of Americans overall. By far, streamies are the most valuable consumer group on the Internet. Streaming media consumers are far more interactive, are more oriented to e-commerce and spend more time online compared with Internet users who don’t stream.” (EdisonMedia Study, Jan. 2001)

Recording Software

Audacity Recording software

Audacity is a free audio editor. You can record sounds, play sounds, import and export WAV, AIFF, and MP3 files, and more.

Use it to edit your sounds using Cut, Copy and Paste (with unlimited Undo), mix tracks together, or apply effects to your recordings.

It also has a built-in amplitude envelope editor, a customizable spectrogram mode and a frequency analysis window for audio analysis applications. Built-in effects include Bass Boost, Wahwah, and Noise Removal, and it also supports VST plug-in effects.

Audacity is free and the source code is available under the GNU General Public License.

No limits on the number of tracks or the length of any track, except the size of your hard disk.

Import almost anything: WAV, AIFF, Next/AU, IRCAM, MP3, and MIDI files are supported natively, but Audacity will also open just about any uncompressed sound file and automatically deduce the format.

Audacity not only includes many high-quality effects built-in, but also lets you use plug-in effects in the industry-standard VST format. There are dozens of free, shareware, and commercial VST plug-ins online that do everything from Reverb to Noise Reduction.

Audacity acts like a non-destructive editor , providing multiple levels of undo, but it also writes changes made to the audio to disk, eliminating the need for complicated real-time processing.

Label tracks allow you to annotate waveforms (for example, transcribing speech) and later export the waveforms to a text file.

Powerful spectral features allow you to view waveforms as spectrograms or plot the power spectrum of any region of audio, and even export this data to a spreadsheet.

Download your free copy of Audacity

Streaming Audio Software

This is the only software that you will need to buy and is a powerful software program to convert your audio files.

MP3 Sound Stream 1.27 (mp3ss) is a software package that creates high quality 56K streaming audio from MP3 or WAV files. Select a file and it will create a web page and Flash animations that stream the audio even over a 56K modem just like the ones you see on this page.

It uses industry standard LAME compression to produce very high quality output. The program uses flash 4 technology which is estimated to be on 98% of computers. It will reduce a standard MP3 file by over 50% with almost no loss of quality.

Streaming Audio Stats

Some added features For Mp3 Sound Stream

Provides a vast array of buttons which vary in style, colour and complexity. Some offer positioning in the audio stream, volume control, fast forward, rewind, pause etc. Some show elapsed and total playing times. There is one called “Control Freak” that controls all of these things. See the “Buttons” page for more details.

You can also give the streaming “instructions”. These are “start-off playing” or “initially stopped”, and to “play the audio though once” or “loop the audio”.

Audio length can be up to 4 hours 26 minutes. This is great for training or seminar reproduction.

Your visitors only need Flash 5 or above and Internet Explorer 4 or Netscape 4 or above. The vast majority of people have this. They do not require any special pluggins or Java etc!

You do not require any special type of webspace or webserver. Even the free webspace providers we have tried can stream Flash!

Cable connections

The last thing to consider is the various cables etc you will need to get sound onto your computer from a different device.Audio Connections

You can pick these up from most music or computer outlets.

From bottom to top is a joystick port, line-in jack, mic jack, and two line-out jacks (speakers/headphones). Your sound card may have only one line-in/mic jack and one line-out jack.

To record from videotapes, television broadcast, or anything with RCA jacks, you need a cable with a plug that plugs into the microphone/line-in jack of your computer on one end, and RCA plugs on the other end to plug into a VCR or television.

Match up the red (right channel) and white (left channel) plugs with the appropriate jacks on the back of your VCR or TV–make sure to plug them into the ones labelled “out”. If you have a mono audio VCR or television like I do, then just plug in the white plug and leave the red plug unplugged. Alternatively, you can also get a cable that only has one RCA plug on one end, for recording from mono VCRS and TV’s

The red plug is for right audio, the white plug for left audio, and the 1/4″ plug goes into the line-in or mic jack of a sound card.

Audio Cords

A naive method would be to record through the air by holding up the speaker of the source to the microphone of the recording device, but outside background noises invariably creep in. Sometimes this may be the only choice, especially for low-end or older electronics.

Phone Recording – Telephone Recording Adapter

Connect your telephone or headset to a recording device such as tape recorder or your PC to record telephone conversations.

Note: There is National and State legislation relating to the recording of, and listening to, communications in your country. Compliance with these standards should not be taken to mean that any subsequent use of this equipment complies with the relevant legislation. For further information on Privacy Guidelines refer to government website.

Telephone Recording Hardware

Tip: To record a phone interview use the same method as for a normal recording however make sure you have any call waiting or distraction completely removed so the call will not be interrupted. Unlike producing your personal audio file you usually only get one chance at a phone interview.

As well as the preparation suggested for interviews in general, you can prepare for and deal with telephone interviews by:

Making notes of those things you want to get across, your strengths, relevant experience and qualifications, skills you have and your evidence for them, reasons why you are interested in this job, etc, and put them by the telephone so that you can refer to them.

Having a copy of your CV and application form to hand so that you can refer to it if necessary.

Jotting down the questions as they are asked so that you can look at them as you answer.

Making sure you are using a telephone which is situated where you have some privacy.

To avoid relaxing too much, stand up and smile whilst you are talking to the interviewer!

The good thing about telephone interviews is:

You don’t have to dress up for them.

You can refer to notes whilst you talk.

They can’t see you grimacing, blushing, twitching, etc, so no need to worry about body language.

There is also another easy way to record telephone conversations if you have an old voice modem called Modem Spy.

In the next lesson we will look at Recording Techniques. Watch out for it in your email.

See you later.

Best Of Success,

Quentin Brown

CEO MP3 Sound Stream

 

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