One of the most often asked questions I get is how do I get my audio file to play on the Internet without stopping and stuttering. There is a fine line when you are dealing with streaming audio. You have to balance file size with quality. The higher the quality of your audio file the larger the file size is.
Here are some general guidelines on what quality settings to use for different situations. The following settings are a good starting point for most situations.
Frequency 22,050 Hz
Bit rate 16 kps –32kps
Mono for voice and stereo for music
You have two choices to make when converting your wav audio file to mp3. The first choice is frequency and the second is called bit-rate. Most of the time music quality will have the Frequency set at 128 Hz but for voice recordings you can go much lower.
If you want to please the dial up users I would start at the lowest setting listed above and see what it sounds like. If you are not happy with the sound bump it up to 24kps. If you are still not happy go up to 32 kps. Remember the higher you go with your settings the bigger the file will be therefore the harder it will be to stream over a dialup connection. With more people using broadband this will become less of a problem.
You may need to play with your settings for a little while but you will find once you know what the best setting is for your audio files you will not have to vary those settings very often.
Convert Your Mp3 to A Streaming Format
The last step you need to take in getting your audio ready to put on the Internet is to convert it into the flash format called swf. Swf stands for shock wave file and is the very best format we have now for streaming your audio. When the flash 6 player came out with its ability to stream audio everything came together.
You will need a conversion program such as Web Audio Plus, Sonic Memo or Mp3 Sound stream. Any of these programs make it super easy to convert your mp3 into a streaming file. All the programs I have tried have step-by-step wizards and you literally have your file converted in a couple of minutes. The software will produce the code you need for your web page. All you have to do is copy the code the program produces, paste the code into your web page, upload the swf file and your website will talk or sing.
The steps to convert your mp3 file
Select the audio file you would like to convert or record your file into the software
Play the audio back to make sure you are happy with the results
Choose your button style
Choose your button color and your background color
Generate your audio button and the code to paste into your website
Most anyone can produce streaming audio for their website in a matter of minutes.
Doug Taylor has been creating audio online since 1999. If you think that putting audio files on a website will be a lot of hard work and hassle then download a free 16 page special report Mastering Streaming Audio . Visit http://www.create-streaming-audio.com/csa_ezine.html for streaming audio tips, tricks, shortcuts, and techniques.