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Audio Website - How to add a Web Audio Quickly

Some people look at audio on a web site as a passing fad -- after all, if it was really all that useful, why did it just
recently become popular?

Audio Website - How to Increase Sales

The fact that audio can increase sales and sign-ups isn't disputed by savvy marketers, but until recently the technology wasn't cheap enough or easy enough for a "normal" person to deploy streaming audio. It used to take a special server and more fiddling than a lot of people were willing to do.

And then Macromedia Flash version 6 came on the scene and introduced the ability to stream MP3 audio files from a normal server. Soon after that several solutions came on the market that gave everyone the ability to stream audio.

So, it's all good, right? Well, not exactly. Since using audio is a new thing for most marketers there's some confusion about how to record the audio files, what size they should be, etc.

In my communications with people who are putting audio on their web sites the most common question is, "How can I create a sound file that even dial-up users can hear without lots of stops and starts?"

Audio Website - How to add a Web Audio that evena dial -up user can hear

The stuttering that dial-up users are subjected to is a result of two factors. First, they're on a slow line and things just aren't going to come across as quickly. Second, audio files that are recorded at a high bit-rate require a high bandwidth connection. Either everyone needs DSL or better (yeah, right!) or you need to create an audio file that's much smaller in size.

So let's look at ways to do that. Note: there are about as many audio editing programs out there as stars in the sky,
so the following won't be step-by-step instructions. But the info should get you close enough to make the right choices
in the software you're using.

There are two options you're going to want to tweak. They're typically called "sample rate" and "bit rate." The sample
rate numbers will usually be followed by the letters Hz or kHz and range from about 8000 (or 8 if the info is in kHz)
to 44100 (or 44.1 kHz). Bit rate numbers are usually followed by the letters kbps and will typically range from 8 or 16 up to 196 or even higher. (If you see just two or three options, 8, 16, and possibly 32, that's not the parameter we care about).

For CD quality audio you'd want a sample rate of 44,100 Hz but since voice can get by with so much less, set your sample rate to 11,025 Hz (or 11.025 kHz). And most people listening to music want their bit rate set to at least 128 kbps, but for voice work we can go much lower. And, if we want dial-up people to be happy, we have to go very low.

Try setting your bit rate to 16kbps and see if you're satisfied with the result. If not, try 32kbps and so on, up until you are happy. Just remember, every step you take up the ladder means more dial-up people won't have a smooth audio stream. Folks with faster dial-up connections should get 32kbps sound with little trouble -- but if the sound quality of a 16kbps file floats your boat, then go with that. Just about everyone should be happy in that case.

Audio Website - How to tweak

It might take an afternoon of tweaking with your audio software to get comfortable with it the first time, but after that you'll be able to crank out audio files as easily as you crank out word processor docs.

If you haven't made the move to using audio on your web site yet, go ahead and give it a shot. There are many great reasons to use it, and now that you know how to create audio files that even dial-up users can experience, there are fewer reasons not to.

 

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