[ music Category ]
June 16, 2003

Loves Music

I have been trying to get some music on my site... but with no luck. I tried to upload a song onto it but the file was too large. Even if I use a zip file, I am still unable to get some songs on my website. Any suggestion? Oh... another thing... would be great if i dont have to pay any fees for the program. :)

Posted by Heidi at June 16, 2003 07:56 PM


Posted by Ryan on June 17, 2003 4:16 PM:

Ah, but you get what you pay for!

Basically you need a program that can take music from a standard audio CD and turn it into a computer file in a generally popular format like MP3, right? You might want to try CNET's Download.com for a shareware or freeware utility.

Also, RealNetworks' converter (now called Helix Producer) should also be available freely on their website.

RealAudio files (.ra) are probably your best bet as far as small file sizes and ubiquitous format are concerned (posting ZIP files would make it a hassle fr visitors to get to the music), but I don't know if Helix Producer takes input straight from CDs (instead of from a pre-encoded digital file). You may need to go:

CD -> MP3 -> RealAudio

The first arrow being any good sound "ripping" utility from Download.com, the latter being Helix Producer.

Posted by Ryan on June 18, 2003 3:25 PM:

Okay, the Cliff's Notes version... with links!

Get a CD to WAV or MP3 converter. Get Helix Producer Basic. Turn tracks on your CD into WAV files, then turn your WAV files into RealAudio files. Then upload your RealAudio files to your archives directory, and link to them. (Programs like Andromeda , which runs the HawaiiStories media library, can generate automatic links.)


Posted by OldVersion.com on June 18, 2003 3:36 PM:

Old copies of RealJukebox will do it in one step.

Posted by Ambika on June 19, 2003 8:38 AM:

if you're going to mp3, you may also want to lower the bitrate to reduce the filesize (using the programs people have listed above :) -- 64 kbps will do the trick, although the quality will suffer. The option will probably be obvious on the program you use.

Posted by NemesisVex on June 19, 2003 9:55 AM:

RealOne is a freekin' bully. I made the mistake of installing, and it was obnoxious, popping up screens long after I'd shut it down, and taking over every single file format on my drive. I still encode using RealEncoder -- haven't tried Helix on the count I don't want to get another piece of software from RealNetworks that'll bully my machine again.

Finding old and free versions of RealNetworks software is tricky. You have to really dig because they so don't want you to find it. But it's there.

So, uh, what kind of site are we talking about? 'Cause good luck if you're trying this on a free-host site like Yahoo/Geocities.

Posted by Ryan on June 19, 2003 12:45 PM:

RealOne is a disaster of pop-ups, association stealing and crashes. I quickly "backgraded" to RealPlayer 7.

FWIW, I avoided Helix for a while, stickiing with the older RealProducer, but it's turned out to be a sincere improvement... including native support for some input formats that I used to have to convert/encode separately.

As for what site, I think she's talking about her blog here at HawaiiStories...

Posted by The Don on June 20, 2003 11:06 AM:

It seems everyone is pushing the RealAudio option here, so for the sake of bipartisanship I'll put forth another option. Newer versions of Windows Media Player (not sure if you're running a Mac or PC) offers CD ripping technology that gives you an output file in WMA format, which can be compressed rather well too. Then you can upload just as everyone else has suggested.

Happy Blogging.

Posted by Ryan on June 20, 2003 12:27 PM:

Thanks, "The Don," actually, I could stand to learn a bit about the WMA format myself. Real is my default, but more out of comfort than anything.

So are you saying the file sizes between WMA and RA - at high levels of compression - are comparable for your average CD track? Does WMA stream via HTTP the way Real does? And... is there a WMA player for Macs?

Posted by NemesisVex on June 22, 2003 8:43 PM:

I didn't get the impression WMA could stream. Microsoft's streaming format is ASF, and in order to serve it, you need to spend at least $500 on Windows 2000 Server (or find an old version of NT that has it there for free.) The server software for ASF is not included in Windows 2000 Professional.

(I'm going to assume its available on XP.)

WMA is a good alternative to MP3, since they can retain the same level of fidelity with much smaller file sizes. And thankfully, Winamp supports WMA. But you don't find very many file trading networks trafficking WMA files.

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