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mp3 for playing and downloading

need help because I'm on dialup

5:00 pm on Jun 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Hi --
I've tried Kikiat's little player (elsewhere in this forum) which is great -- but, it seems to stop loading the file after less than a minute.

But, because I'm on dialup I'm not sure. I'm doing some pro bono work for a small local band and they want people to not only be able to hear some of their songs, but *also* to download them.

These song files (mp3) are huge and would take about an hour for me to download and see if my links actually work.

As, I said, I tried Kikiat's player and also just a plain a href of the song title (which calls up either WinAmp or WinMediaPlayer on my machine). All three methods stop after buffering/downloading less than a minute of the song. And if I hit the play button, the download/buffering starts all over again.

Can someone please point me in the right direction to get this working? I'm so hampered by dialup when it comes to media issues that I really need help to get it right without 45 tries! lol

Thanks much.

12:16 am on Jun 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Encode a low bitrate MP3 for testing.

Have you considered the fact others are going to have the same problem?

You should provide a few versions of the files, by your estimate of an hour those would be very high bitrate MP3's. I'd guess probably 320kbps which is great for people on broadband that want high quality files.

You can cut that by a third using 128kbps which still provides very good quality. Even more so you can encode using WMA at 64kbps, that will almost provide real time playback on dial-up.

You can encode even lower but once you get below 64kbps the sound quality becomes noticeably degraded. Stick with WMA for anything below 64kbps because it's about the best for really low bitrates.

7:02 am on Jun 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Hi coalman --
thanks for your advice -- I know that somewhere between 25 and 30% of folks are still on dialup and wanted to give people a choice.

I did find what I consider to be a wonderful player for mp3 called
XSPF Player. That one does work quite well, and offers the option to download the file as well as play it.

Now, I think, from reading your msg., I need to find a program that will change an mp3 into a WMA file. Off to the hunt --

Thanks again --


8:42 am on Jun 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Coalman -
I found a program (Switch) that converts mp3 to wma -- cuts the size in half (at 64 as you suggested).

However, when I put a call to the file using href on the page, the song doesn't start playing. The only way I could make anything happen was to select Windows Media Player on my machine and then it started to behave like a normal file download -- nothing happening on the site -- just a straight download.

What piece am I missing here?

thanks much (again)


9:27 am on Jun 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I use Windows Media Encoder for encoding WMA, it's free from M$. Lots of options.

When you provide a direct link to a media file it should open your default media player and start playing/buffering. I sent you alink in sticky mail see what that does.

2:59 pm on Jun 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

u can use either wma or rm files .With a CD quality audio, wma files will be more than good.
3:15 pm on Jun 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

While other options are always good, remember that mp3 has the best compatability with different operating systems, portable music players etc.
4:11 pm on Jun 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Yes definitley keep the high quality MP3's as an option. I'm working on similar project and will be offering multiple formats. Lossless FLAC and 320kbps MP3 for burning to disc, 120kbps MP3 for players and a 64kbps WMA for previews and a play it now option.
7:26 pm on Jun 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

coalman --
Thanks for the Sticky -- But -- I clicked on your link and same thing happened. My FF2 download window opened up and it started downloading the file. No buffering, no whiff of any media player anywhere around.

And, yes, I fully intend to have the two formats -- wma and mp3. And the mp3 stuff is working beautifully. Thought the wma would be a snap -- but no go.

Anyone have any ideas? I have both WMPlayer and WinAmp on my machine.

grrrr -- and thanks folks!


1:10 am on Jun 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Well I just tested it in FF myself and it worked, I've never opened a WMA link directly in FF before and it asked what I wanted to do with the file. The problem most likely lies with the way you have configured FF to handle files with the WMA extension, you can change this in the options. If you right click the link and selct "save as" it will most certainly work.

That is on of the problems with providing a direct link, it will work for most people but it's not going to work for everyone. It depends on how the user has their machine configured.

The other alternative is to embed it directly in the page for playing and provide a link for saving.

8:42 am on Jun 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

coalman --
I went back to your link and clicked on it again and then went away -- when I came back WMPlayer was up and playing the song.

So that settles that. It just doesn't buffer in FF, rather downloads the whole thing before it starts.

I'm hesitant to use the embed as it means, I think, that I can't then use the DOCTYPE strict -- but will look into it, and perhaps decide to use transitional for this one page.

and thanks again.


9:15 am on Jun 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Yes sorry, I'm on a very fast connection and that file downalods in a blink of an eye and I didn't notice that. I tried it with a larger file and got the same response. I'd imagine it won't be that much of an issue because anyone using FF will be aware of the behavior.

I'm also wondering if this may be a problem on my server end, I have it set to open automatically yet it asks me each time...yet it knows what type of file it is.. hmmmmm.

5:15 pm on Jun 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

have a play list instead of the original file as link
4:26 pm on Jun 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

HELP again - duke - coalman, et al.

I'm now wondering about the names of the files.

What I have on the cd that was given to me by the band is this

09 - Last 12 Drops - You Are My Sunshine.mp3
05 - Prenzlauer Berg Tango.mp3

Do I need to change the file names? The server is Unix --

If I change the file names, and someone downloads the .mp3 files to make a CD can they still do that? Can't believe I didn't think of this earlier. They are now sitting up there in the format I just typed above. Also the question goes to the .wma files as well.

I have started to rename them and then panicked!


8:46 am on Jun 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

The file names are irrelevant and is just the format used by whatever program they used to rip them, most ripping programs allow you to set the format to whatever you want. If you wan to maintain the original format just use an underscore. Some of the better taggers(see below) even support file renaming with underscores.

However you'll want to make sure the ID3 information is correct. ID3 stores meta data like song title, track, CD name etc., depending on the version it can contain quite a bit of information up to an including lyrics and album art. Some of the advanced features like lyrics and album art support is dependant on what you are using to play it back.

They have taggers for this or you can use Windows Media Player to view edit this information.

10:47 am on Jun 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

even a flash clip can be ripped apart , so you can jus give a meaningful name
11:02 am on Jun 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

coalman, duke --
Again -- you guys are so helpful --

First I've heard of something called a tagger -- will look into it --

and I did leave the track titles exactly as they were (spaces and all) and they all work just fine on the Unix server. (Using the XSPF player which uses a kind of XML file.) It will let you create a playlist, but I want to keep them separate, for downloading purposes. Anyway, it's a real neat little program -- by Fabricio Zuardi.

I'm a hard worker and constant tweaker-learner-fiddler -- but I've been behind on the music/video stuff because of dialup. Working with state pols to try to spur wireless distribution here in the hills, but nothing is happening.

I took on this site because I love the band and its music -- that's my contribution to helping them make a go of it -- so it's my first experience with these kinds of things -- (had to drive 7 miles to upload the stuff to the site at a friend's house with DSL) -- I can't begin to tell you how frustrating this all is. Even cut in half by .wma, takes more than 20 minutes to upload one song. grrr

Anyway, thanks much for all your help. It's been really nice and I've learned a great deal -- which means I can proceed with development of a site for a close friend who is a jazz bassist!



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