8 replies
Hi Warriors,

I'm doing some interviews at the moment and I've already ended up with several mp3's that are almost 1 1/2 hours long.

So I'm wondering what's the best way to encode/deliver these so that they stream out well for people listening to them online.

Is it better to just give people the file to download, or is there a decent way to give people a good online experience accessing a bunch of long audios like this?

Thanks for any input - much appreciated.

Andy
#audio #experts
  • Profile picture of the author Loren Woirhaye
    All streaming media is about compromise. It's about
    balancing signal quality with the bit transfer rate you
    want to stream at.

    It's probably best to give folks a choice to download
    or stream. I prefer download because I switch what
    I'm doing with my computers a lot and don't like
    having them tied-up with streaming.

    MP3 is a compressed format so it tends to stream well
    on many connections. If you want to make it as compact as
    possible I recommend encoding at 32kbps in mono
    at 44,100 Hz. These are the audio settings I've found
    produce the smallest, best-streaming FLV files for
    video streaming. FLV is usually encoded with an MP3
    audio track, so it stands to reason the same settings
    will work well for audio.

    These settings are good for spoken word stuff, but
    music is not great. The audio is kind of grainy at these
    settings.

    These days people want to know what they are going to
    get, so if you want them to listen, create a written
    little blurb for each audio telling what they'll get when
    they listen. Blind bullets drive many people crazy with
    curiosity so they can be an effective way to get a
    desired action, even on a free product.
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    • Profile picture of the author Lloyd Buchinski
      Originally Posted by Loren Woirhaye View Post

      If you want to make it as compact as
      possible I recommend encoding at 32kbps in mono
      at 44,100 Hz.
      That's the exact settings I use for spoken audio. Sony Soundforge is quite a cheap, good software to get audio to those settings.

      I also prefer to download an mp3 and play it on whatever, where ever. Mostly I am just interested in audio talks. If they are trimmed down to this level a person can even download them with dial up.
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  • Profile picture of the author John Piteo
    I would say make it a downloadable MP3, but I do also agree with Loren about giving people a choice.

    Personally I like downloadable MP3's because I don't want to sit at my computer an listen. I'd much rather listen at the gym on the treadmill or walking on the beach. You could call it an audiobook for good perceived value.


    John P
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  • Profile picture of the author MichaelHiles
    I prefer downloadable MP3s because I can load them on my MP3 player (8gb Creative Xfi) and listen to them when I do my daily walk. Hence, higher bitrate quality the better.
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  • Profile picture of the author Andyhenry
    Thanks for the replies so far.

    I think providing a downloadable version will be a no brainer.

    Andy
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  • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
    I too prefer downloads to streaming. As you said, Andy, it's a no-brainer.
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  • Profile picture of the author MarkAnderson
    Andy, downloadable version is better than stream. But, allow your visitors to listen little part of each MP3 (the best parts) as streams, you'll get nice DTR.
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