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On this page, find where to get and how to use
audio capabilities on computers and websites. Also, find sources for listening,
pronunciation, and speech recognition applications.
Navigation: Podcasting | Internet radio | Listening practice | Pronunciation | Etc. | Tutorials: Embedding sound files in your HTML documents | Recording | Speech issues | Real Media issues from last century
Elsewhere on this website, find
Podcasting - Navigate topics on this page
PodcasPodcasting came into its own in 2005-2006 and by the year 2007 all kinds of podcasting sites are springing up. I've been tracking some at my "Casting" page, which is meant to cover all kinds of casting services, such as webcasting and screen casting, as well as podcasting. Meanwhile, Webheads http://webheads.info are experimenting with various podcasting tools and there seems to be no place to catalog them, so why not here.
What's interesting about the sites in this list is that they allow participants to post their audio in discussion format, and then subscribe to RSS feeds of the comments. These could be used for any group, such as a class or in a voice memo situation, where collaborators in a group wish to be notified through Bloglines or similar program when others in the group have posted.
Other sites where you can record your voice and sometimes video
GabMail for video email: http://freegabmail.com/; e.g.
Internet Radio (and TV)- Navigate topics on this page
My favorites as we start 2007
Links to Internet radio stations can be found by keying 'Internet radio' into Google (the first two hits today: http://www.radio-locator.com and http://www.radiotower.com) .
Some faves (from Aug 2004, urls checked Aug 2007):
Last century my friends Beth and Steve liked (links double checked Aug 2007):
Listening Practice - Navigate topics on this page
The Community Language Collection at http://www.uncc.edu/english/clc "presents audio and text clips, graphics, and full transcripts from 40 oral interviews with senior citizens in 1979, illustrating several varieties of American English, with the majority from the Southeastern U.S., and the Charlotte, N.C. region. Speakers self-reported themselves as male and female, black and white, with a range of education and occupations. Narratives may be searched by theme or by speaker birthdates, 1885-1923. To make the site available to the largest number of viewers/visitors, including schoolchildren taking NC history, the site does not use frames and includes a dual track for streaming compressed audio. Although the original tapes were made under less than desirable conditions, a range of regional features is accessible via the audio segments selected for display. Clips from the tapes were selected to present one or more features of pronunciation within a narrative segment of the interview."
More audio for ESL listening practice has been available at: http://www.comenius.com/idiom/index.html (not found Aug 2007, but I want to check and see if I can find this site again - Vance)
Pronunciation - Navigate topics on this page
Adrian Raper reports: "Hong Kong University of Science and Technology Language Centre recently did a student survey of pronunciation materials, but not just software."
Raper goes on to say: "Hong Kong Poly U has developed their own self-access pronunciation package for use in the language centre. This is impressive. It uses the IPA, has British or American English and lots of material. It is not commercially available but they may have evaluated other packages before deciding to create their own.
Etc. - Navigate topics on this page
"LiveOnTheNet is rolling out the beta version of Talkr's revolutionary instant voice conference widget. First, its free! In the future, we intend to support these conversations with audio advertising and, of course, share that revenue with bloggers. Second, it easy! Talkr's blog widget requires no download of any sort and lets users create, find and join free live VOIP conference calls. Bloggers can post these voice widgets on their blogs and create free live chats on topics of interest to their audience. A single conference call's widget can also be placed on many different blogs, so groups of bloggers can collaborate on chats on broad subjects." I think it's at http://www.talkr.com - V
From George Mitrevski: There is a collection of speech related resources on the Web at http://mambo.ucsc.edu/psl/speech.html
Sites to download sound files and video clips are discussed at:
Check this out: http://soundamerica.com
Do it Yourself - Tutorials - Navigate topics on this page
However, suppose you want a player. The conundrum I was facing was, when I used the embed command to launch a player, the media would play automatically (each time the page was launched, which was annoying, especially second, third time, etc.). I wanted the player to appear, but the play button to be under the user's control. So I wrote Webheads and got a few solutions which I made into web pages. You can have a look at the pages and when you find one you like, view source to put the code in your own pages. The solution to my problem, incidentally, was to set autostart="false".
- Teresa was first to show me the the solution to the problem I had posed originally, and her player is light and minimal. See it here: almeida1
- Andreas suggested a novel solution here: andreas1.htm
The interesting thing about this one is that it uses the Podplayer from PodcastPickle http://www.podcastpickle.com/app/player/free.php. This is the free 'single episode' player from these folks, and when given the URL of a media file it goes and finds it, displays the player on your page, and waits for play to be pressed. But there's more: PodcastPickle also has a many-episode player which will display a playlist of all the media at your site and allow users to pick the files they want to play from the list. Tres cool! a mon avis ... but NOT FOUND Aug 2007 :-(
- Andreas also suggested this one: andreas2.htm
But I can't get my file to load into my IE7 after some time.
- Aiden suggested a solution in which a Windows Media Player object is embedded in your page. See it here: aiden1.htm
- The simplest code is probably 'embed' but there are warnings on tutorial sites that this tag may not be supported by all browsers forever. I put the autostart="false" attribute in this one: another1embed.htm
Incidentally, I grappled only briefly with where to store the audio. One possibility is http://www.podomatic.com. However for the audio I wanted to play, I used Wikispaces, which lets you upload files of up to 4 megabytes (in January, 2007). Another possibility would be PBWiki. One the file is uploaded, right click on it to get its properties and URL.
Audio Recording - Navigate topics on this page
Tip: To record sound you can hear on your computer, run a lead out the headphone or speaker jack on your sound card and loop it into the microphone jack. Then use recording software to capture it. This is a convenient way to capture sounds that stream on to your computer leaving only a 1k footprint.
Audacity http://audacity.sourceforge.net/about.php?lang=en From the web site "Audacity is a free audio editor. You can record sounds, play sounds, import and export WAV, AIFF, and MP3 files, and more. Use it to edit your sounds using Cut, Copy and Paste (with unlimited Undo), mix tracks together, or apply effects to your recordings. It also has a built-in amplitude envelope editor, a customizable spectrogram mode and a frequency analysis window for audio analysis applications. Built-in effects include Bass Boost, Wahwah, and Noise Removal, and it also supports VST plug-in effects. ... Audacity is being developed by a team of volunteers under the open-source model. It is written in C and C++, using the wxWindows cross-platform toolkit. All of the source code to the program is made available under the GNU General Public License, which essentially allows anyone to modify the source code as long as they publicize the changes. The code is hosted on SourceForge."
Audiotools, Record audio CDs with less hassle, Rating: ****, Operating System: Windows 95, 98, or NT, http://chkpt.zdnet.com/chkpt/expa19990225/www.hotfiles.com/?000QL3
Chinswing - threaded voice discussion
Goldwave at http://www.goldwave.com allows you to produce .au files which can be attached to web pages and heard without Real Audio.
My Chingo - leave voice messages on any blog or web page by embedding code to allow visitors to leave messages
Pure Voice - by Qualcomm, lets you create audio files which can then be sent as e-mail attachments. Although users must have the program on their computers, it's small and free. There is also a facility for annotating audio tapes without taping over the original: http://www.cdmatech.com/solutions/products/purevoice.html
Real Encoder is available from RealNetworks at http://www.real.com. The encoder allows you to convert *.wav files to Real Media ("real media" includes audio and video - it used to be called the Real Audio Player, for audio only).
Real Publisher, also from RealNetworks, helps you to http://www.real.com/products/tools/producer/index.html?src=toolsmain in May 99
Say and Post - (from the web site: http://sayandpost.com/) "record your voice message, share it with others SayAndPost.com provides a tiny (192 kb) windows application that allows you to record a voice message and post it online immediately. After recording you can just insert link to the voice file into your email, webpage or forum post. It is the easiest way to publish voice messages online." And in email from the developer: "The application is free. People can store 40 minutes of voice recordings for free. There are several paid plans for extra storage because of the costs involved. "
Sound Forge: You can also convert *.wav to *.rm using Sound Forge from http://www.sonicfoundry.com/ (but, you can't convert *.rm to *.wav). Sound Forge is an excellent recorder for all types of Audio.
Total Recorder is reviewed at http://www.hitsquad.com/smm/programs/TotalRecorder/. It is made by High Criteria Inc http://www.highcriteria.com/products.htm It's shareware. The Standard Edition is available for $11.95 U.S. The Professional Edition is available for $35.95 U.S. For a limited time The Developer Edition V4.2 is available for $99.95 U.S (May 2003). According to the site: "Total Recorder Standard Edition records PC audio from almost any source, including streamed audio from programs like Real Player and Windows Media Player. It can also record conventional audio from CD's, the microphone and other input lines on a sound card. Evaluation copies of Total Recorder are available for download ... The evaluation copies are fully functional versions of the program, with the exception that you are limited 40 seconds of recording time."
Speech and Audio - Navigate topics on this page
Trial versions of Voicemail and the Voicemail Player can be downloaded from Vocaltech at
All Clear! Idioms in Context
Larry Statan reports: "You can get a full demo of All Clear! Idioms in Context, disk 1 (Heinle&Heinle, w/permision)" at: http://www.speakware.com
Oral Language Archive
Chris Jones is involved with this project, at http://ml.hss.cmu.edu/llrc/ola.html (not found in Aug 2007, might ask Chris if it's still around)
Real Media Streaming - Navigate topics on this page
Dear web surfer, please understand that what appears from here on down was put here last century. I haven't had time to update it apart from this disclaimer (may never get time) - Vance
Realaudio.: makes big .wav files into very small .ra files. Download the (free) RealAudio plug-in at: http://www.realaudio.com/products/player.html
For compressing audio (and video) files and streaming them on a web page, and then playing them from a browser, Real Media Player and
Individuals (aren't we all) can download the Real Media Player for free. You need Version 5.0 or higher of the Real Audio Player to read Real Media *.rm files (or *.ra real audio files; with lesser versions, you read *.ra files only).
A more recent announcment (September 2, 1998) announces that the tools site, http://www.real.com/products/tools/ is "a comprehensive content creation and authoring products site. There are over 20, FREE and professional, media products for Macintosh, Windows, and UNIX from RealNetworks and other industry leading companies. Tools such as:
The implication from the announcement is that the above products are free. I have yet to check this out.
Someone wrote teslca-l: "has anyone found a platform which does accept RA files without any fuss?"
My reply, June 24, 1999:
Yes, html. Actually, there's a slight fuss. Here are the steps:
First time, do this ...
Forever thereafter, unless you need a different kind of player, do only this ...
To recap, you have 3 files, possibly all in one directory:
And that's all there is to it.
Some caveats ...
August 24, 2007
Copyright 2007 by Vance Stevens
under Creative Commons License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.5/
August 24, 2007
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