Making RealAudio Files Available From Your Web Site

1. Compress your files into the appropriate format with the encoder

The free encoder from http://www.real.com/ will compress the files, but I use CoolEdit Pro and Sound Forge (commercial pro audio software). As an example, I made a file and saved it in real-audio format at my web directory in the 'media' subdirectory; the file is called `deathero.ra' . If the file were to be accessed (it isn't) as a URL it would look like this:

   http://www.arachnaut.org/media/deathero.ra

You can compress for many different playback rates. I choose the stereo 20kbps rate which is near-CD quality and plays back continuously from a 28.8K modem if the connection is good.

If you are using speech, the mono 8000 bps version should be fine over a 9600 baud modem.

2. Make a meta file

The meta file is what is sent to the RA player. The player opens the meta file and connects to the site via a separate TCP or UDP channel to make the data request independent of the user's browser. Here's an example. The meta file for that last example is in my web directory in the 'media' directory and is named 'deathero.ram'. It has the following line:

   pnm://www.arachnaut.org/media/deathero.ra

Since we don't have a RealAudio media server we can't have more complicated metafiles. With the RealAudio server, the metafile can describe multiple formats at different playback rates and the server and player can negotiate for best rate.

3. Configure your MIME types

In your .htaccess file put this line:

   AddType  audio/x-pn-realaudio  ram

4. Markup HTML

Use the meta-file name as the target. Example:

   <a href="/media/deathero.ram">Death of a Hero (2:40)</a>
This setup is used if you want the user to experience the RA player as a separate pop-up window outside the browser. If you want it to run inside the browser you have to use a different mime-type, but I don't recall the exact name. You can also embed the RA player and control it's appearance from within a browser. That's described in the examples at the RealAudio support site at http://service.real.com/.

To display images in the RealAudio viewer you have to make AVI files. I haven't tried to do that yet.


The above information was contributed by:

Jim Hurley
<URL: http://www.arachnaut.org/ >


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