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Web Audio Tips and Tricks for Playing Sound Online

#1 User is offline   DavidBattino 

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Posted 27 February 2008 - 11:07 PM

It's insane that in 2008, the most comprehensive Web audio player is called Anarchy. How are you playing sound on your site? Here are some of my experiments:

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#2 User is offline   Steve Turnidge 

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 09:35 PM

Hi David,

I got pretty excited when I saw Yahoo! Media Player. As they say in their developer blog it's as easy as 1, 2, 3:

1. Link to MP3s in your web page. These can be anywhere on the web.
2. Add a line of code to insert our Javascript library. We host this, so you just have to point to our URL.
3. Working play buttons appear next to MP3s.

I haven't had a chance to use this yet, but I look forward to when I do. Anyone else have experience using this player?

...Steve>>>

This post has been edited by David Battino: 17 March 2008 - 10:32 AM
Reason for edit: Fixing broken links

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#3 User is offline   synergy543 

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 01:42 PM

David,

Thank you for posting the links above on web audio. I'm building a web site now (my first!) and I need to imbed some audio so your tutorials are a great starting point for me. Adding code for the "non-enlightened" is an intimidating experience to say the least so tips such as these are very helpful.

One point I find interesting with web audio is how we've all become accustomed to silent web pages. So much so in fact that when we come across one that starts playing music, it can be most annoying. Contrast this with other media such as TV and its quite interesting how we don't mind the audio component with TV but when it comes to the web, many just prefer it like a silent movie. I'm sure this evolved as people surfed the internet in environments (office, library, etc.) different from those in which they might watch TV.

For this reason, I think it makes sense to give the web viewer the choice to initiate the audio elements rather than having them automatically play.

I wonder how others feel about this subject? Are we destined forever to silent web pages as being the norm?

Greg
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#4 User is offline   DavidBattino 

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Posted 15 March 2008 - 09:34 PM

QUOTE (Gregory D. Moore @ Mar 14 2008, 02:42 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
your tutorials are a great starting point for me.


Thanks! Be sure to check the reader comments after the articles; often the readers come up with clever refinements.

QUOTE
when we come across one that starts playing music, it can be most annoying.


Moreso because the music itself is usually harsh-sounding and repetitious.

QUOTE
I think it makes sense to give the web viewer the choice to initiate the audio elements rather than having them automatically play.


Agreed — especially if the designer makes the Mute button hard to find.

QUOTE
Are we destined forever to silent web pages as being the norm?


I think as more people start to browse the Web on devices like the iPhone, sound may become more important, because it will help compensate for small screen sizes. The trick, of course, is to design sounds to add information rather than distract.
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#5 User is offline   DavidBattino 

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Posted 17 March 2008 - 10:58 AM

QUOTE (Steve Turnidge @ Mar 13 2008, 10:35 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I got pretty excited when I saw Yahoo! Media Player. Anyone else have experience using this player?


Thanks, Steve. I checked out the demo page and documentation. The player adds some neat twists to Delicious Play Tagger, which I often recommend as the simplest approach to embedding MP3 playback buttons on a webpage, but the default skin looks big and clunky to me. And although it adds a volume slider, it still seems to be missing a location slider.

Interestingly, Yahoo says the player defaults to Flash and falls back to QuickTime or Windows Media Player. For now, it supports only MP3, though other media formats are planned.
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#6 User is offline   DavidBattino 

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Posted 25 March 2008 - 09:49 AM

I had a breakthrough last night: One thing I could never figure out about my Build a Better Web Audio Player script was why it would cause Internet Explorer on Windows to embed different playback plugins on different computers. My script forced Firefox and Opera to use the Windows Media Player plugin, but Internet Explorer might use Windows Media Player, QuickTime, or (shudder) Real.

Turns out that to force Internet Explorer to use WMP, you just need to add its ClassID attribute to the outer object tag in my script:

CODE
classid='clsid:6BF52A52-394A-11D3-B153-00C04F79FAA6'

I'd removed that attribute because it wasn't necessary for playback, but I didn't realize exactly what it was doing.

So the line in the script becomes:

CODE
PlayerWin.document.writeln("<object width='280' height='69' classid='clsid:6BF52A52-394A-11D3-B153-00C04F79FAA6'>");


Funny how many times I'd read the classic "Bye-Bye Embed" without grasping that.
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#7 User is offline   DavidBattino 

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Posted 05 August 2008 - 05:33 PM

QUOTE (Steve Turnidge @ Mar 13 2008, 10:35 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I got pretty excited when I saw Yahoo! Media Player.


I implemented YMP on one of my sites as a test. I still miss the location slider and think it's big and clunky-looking (though I think it's skinnable). One neat feature, though, is the ability to link to your music on Amazon with an affiliate link. That way, when a visitor buys the music (or anything else), you get a referral fee.

It's not a direct link, because it works by doing an Amazon search for the text in the anchor tag's title attribute, but I was able to point Amazon in the right direction by getting clever with that text.
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#8 User is offline   DavidBattino 

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Posted 22 August 2008 - 10:43 AM

Version 2 of Yahoo Media Player is due any day and adds some slick new features. There's a preview available on the wiki. I dug into YMP and Play Tagger in this recent article:

Three Free & Easy Web Audio Players
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#9 User is offline   DavidBattino 

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Posted 16 November 2008 - 09:43 PM

QUOTE (David Battino @ Aug 22 2008, 10:43 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Version 2 of Yahoo Media Player is due any day and adds some slick new features.


Well, it actually took Yahoo until a few days ago to release YMP v2, but the new version is much nicer. Still no location slider, but they promise that's in the works.
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