Media Tips, Tricks, and Hints
How do you digitize audio
To digitize audio and/or video you will need to install
a hardware or software encoder. Hardware Encoders are usally recommnded for use by more experienced users, so to keep things simple, the instructions here will be for using a software encoder.
Most basic software encoders are free and can be downloaded directly from Microsoft, ShoutCast, Real, and QuickTime. And most are very easy to use and simply digitize your content into
a compressed format.
How do I transfer the
original content to a computer to be encoded?
For this you will need to purchase and install a good quality sound card and/or video capture card (if doing video) on the computer that you will be using to edit and encode your content. This will allow you to transfer your audio and/or video content onto
your computer. Most media editing software allows you to import content from an external source dirctly into their program.
Note: The PC you chose to capture your content to should have a good amount of memory, a fast processor, and a large amount of free hard drive space in order to adequately handle the storage and editing needs your content may require.
What are some good programs
to edit my content?
There are many applications that can be used to manipulate/edit your media file.
Adobe sells an easy to use audio editing product called Audition. They also sell a great program for editing video is called Premier.
Sony sells a product called Sound Forge for editing audio that is very easy to use and very professional. They also sell a product for video editing called Vegas that is again very good.
Is it possible to stream my content without having to save it into a file first?
Yes it is! Instead of capturing your content into an editing program, you instead would capture it using your encoder and stream it directly to your provider. This is called
a " Live Encode." This is the best method to use when your content itself is live and needs to be broadcast to your audience in real time.
How do I conduct and
setup a "Live Event"?
Streaming Live on the web is one of the more powerful aspects
of streaming media.
Here are the basics:
1. Plug your audio/video device/source into your sound or video capture card
on the back of your PC.
2. Adjust your desired settings in your encoder (source, bit rate, server information, etc.)
3. Make sure your source is feeding the content to your capture device, and then start your encoder/s.
4. Test your Audio levels through you Volume Control and/or
adjust video output from your source as necessary.
5. Test your stream by opening up a media player and connecting to your stream.
If I don't want to stream 'live', where do I put my content in order to allow people to access it?
You content would need to be placed on a server/computer
that is running Internet Information Services or streaming services that are associated with your content (i.e Windws Media Services). Some host providers
and ISP's offer these services but some may not. You'll need to check with your Host provider
to find out exactly what services they offer. NOTE: Streaming
media files that are placed on a server not running streaming
services will require the end user to first download and save the file to their local PC before it can be played.
How do people access media
files once they are on the streaming server?
For users to access your stream you will need to send them a direct link to it, or post the link to it on your website. You can also embed the link into a playlist file.
To link to your media file or stream from your webpage, just add a link on your site that either points directly to your stream or media server, or directly to your media file(s), or to a playlist file.
What is a playlist-file?
A playlist-file is a small text file that resides on a
web server. This file directs the users player
to a specific media file or stream to play by providing the direct path to a stream or specified file. It also allows you to add specific
information that may be displayed in the player such as song title or stream name. There are
several types of playlist files; asx, m3u, pls, and ram. To learn how to
make a playlist file, please
You can also allow users to play your content via an embedded player.
What is an embedded a player?
An embedded player is a method that allows users to play your content via a player that is 'embedded' into your website. An embeded player can be integrated as part of the webpage itself, or can be designed to work as a popup window.
The advantage is that a user doesn't necessarily have to have a speciific player intalled on their PC in order to access your content.
However, on the flip side, though there are a large variety of embedded players that are available, most do require a certain level of HMTL and coding knowledge in order to be able to properly install them.
Where can I find an easy to install embedded player to add to my website?
The most popular embedded player used is Windows Media. To see two different working examples of an Embedded Windows Media Player (including their source code) - Click Here -