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Web Audio: Radio, Sound Archives, Telephone Tools

This Web page will track developments and links in on-demand Web audio, including online radio, sound archives, multipoint conferencing and telephone services. This includes sites providing models of audio use, including sound clips of music, sounds and radio broadcasts. See the current sections of this page on: Sound Formats, Sound Archives, Radio Stations and Live Net Radio, and Net Phones.  All operating systems ship with software that enables users to digitize audio with the computer's built-in microphone or with an attached microphone.

Sound Formats

Sounds files use storage formats that originated on different hardware platforms but now are readable by players that work in many different operating systems. Such audio formats include: WAV, AU,  AIFF, MIDI, MP3 and more.

 If your favorite sounds are in a format not made for the audio player on your computer, there are numerous places on the Net that store free conversion utility programs. One place to look is Usenet newsgroup called alt.binaries.sounds.utilities.


Sound Archives

Radio Stations

Live Net Radio

Radio can also be transferred live to multiple sites, and done simultaneously over the Internet. This process uses a special Multicast Backbone (MBone) and special mrouters as a part of the Internet Multicasting Service. Most Net users unconsciously send a packet of data from their machine #1 to a second machine, #2. But if we want the data to go to several other machines, the packet has to be sent multiple times to multiple sites, greatly increasing the demand for transmission bandwidth. This is called unicasting. The way around this problem is to use multicasting. With multicasting, the user sends one packet and it will be copied along the way to go to 20 other workstations. Where mrouters do not exist, the packets go disguised as unicast packets. This applies not only to audio but to video as well.

MBone is also a system design that is still in development (MBONE Deployment (mboned)). 


Net Phones (Internet Telephony/VoIP)

VoIP allows the user to make telephone calls over the Internet avoiding various degrees of local and long distance telephone charges. To participate, buy a combination audio headset and microphone, which can be found in common outlets such as Walmart and Radio Shack for under ten dollars.


A Power User's hint:
If your browser supports it, after you have started your download of a large audio file, choose New Window from your file menu, wait for a second window to appear, then activate whatever feature you have for stopping transmission (click "stop" in Netscape). Move the windows so you can watch the progress of the download at the bottom of your screen. You can now jump to another area of the net while the first window is still downloading the audio! When the transfer is done, switch back to the first window and watch the video at your own pace.

[ Updated June 14, 2004 |  Page Top. | C.R.O.P.  |  Pageauthor Houghton ]