The Cheap-Ass Guide to RealAudio and RealVideo Files
(thanks to freespeech.org which is
where we got this from)
Introduction to RealAudio and RealVideo
RealAudio and RealVideo, collectively known as RealMedia, is a technology
that lets you watch video and listen to audio across the Internet. Two common
audio file formats are .WAV and .AIFF. Currently, in order to listen to .WAV
or .AIFF file that resides on a website you need to download it first to a
folder and then open it with sound recorder (on a PC). To download a 10 minute
clip of CD quality audio in these formats would take about 1 hour with a 28.8
RealMedia overcomes this problem by compressing the file hence making it
smaller and by allowing the file to be "streamed" to your computer.
By streaming a clip, the website (actually the RealMedia Server at the website)
sends small packets of information (the audio and/or video file) over a
connection you have to it. On the other end, you receive the information and
play the media clip bit by bit. The process is almost invisible to you, except
for a small amount of initial buffering.
With streaming , you will see and hear the audio / video a short time after
clicking on a link to it. The audio and video is streamed and played at the
same time to a special audio and video player (called RealPlayer) thus
eliminating the need to download the entire file first.
You simply download and install the free RealPlayer or pay for
RealPlayer Plus from Real
Networks. When you click on a link on a website that refers to a RealMedia
file your browser will launch the RealPlayer and play the clip automatically.
It's all part of the RealNetworks RealMedia system. RealProducer creates the
clips, RealServer sends the clips, and RealPlayer shows the clips. This guide
will cover the following topics related to RealMedia files:
- How to watch or listen to them go
- How to create them (audio and video) go
- How to publish them on this web site go
How to watch or listen to realmedia
This is easy. You need at least a 28.8 modem and the latest version of
from RealNetworks. There's a free version (which is certainly in keeping
with our cheap-ass motif) and a pay version. If I told you not to bother
with the pay version, RealNetworks would probably get mad at me and stop
helping us promote our site. So I'm not gonna tell you that.
How to create realmedia
This is ever-so-slightly more complicated. The process for creating
RealAudio and RealVideo files varies according to your resources and your
needs. What follows are step-by-step instructions for a number of possible
scenarios--all of which assume the lowest possible budget. For the
definitive skinny on the subject, you should refer to (and bookmark) the
RealSystem Production Guide.
Before you do anything else, you'll definitely need
RealProducer. This is RealNetworks free creation and
publishing tool and replaces the older RealEncoder. Go to tools for creating
RealAudio and RealVideo page (scroll down to the "Download Today" link
near the bottom of the page)
How to create just Audio:
Cheapest: Use a computer microphone (~$10) and the free
RealProducer to create your own RealAudio "talk show." Instructions.
Less Cheap: Use a portable cassette player/recorder (~$20 - $50)
and Cool Edit 96 ($0 - $50) to create your own "person in the
street" interview show. Instructions.
How to create Audio and Video:
Cheapest: Use an inexpensive videoconferencing camera (~$120) and
the free RealProducer to create your own deskbound "talking heads"
television show. Instructions.
Less Cheap: Use a low-end camcorder (~$200), a low-end video capture
board (~$100 - $200), video editing software ($0 - $200 - $600), and the free
RealProducer to create a full-fledged "tv" series or documentary
for the Internet. Instructions.
How to publish realmedia on this web site
We've tried to make this is easy as possible. First prepare your realmedia
file, as explained above. Then, using the form on the publish web page, first fill out a few details about
your story, such as a title, and your name. Skip over the text stories
section, to the multimedia stories section. There you can press the
Browse... button and locate the realmedia file on your hard drive that
you want to publish.
Once that's done, you will need to select the correct media type using the
mime type menu. Choose either audio/x-pn-realaudio or
video/x-pn-realvideo, depending on whether your file is audio or video.
Finally, press the publish button. Please click your mouse button only
once on the publish button (don't doubleclick), as otherwise the system
will publish more than one copy of your story, and possibly one of them will be
If you are publishing a long audio or video piece, it may take a while for it
to be transferred. Unfortunately, there is no way we can get it to tell you how
it's going, it just says "waiting..." until it is finished
transferring. This might be a good time for a cup of tea, or a chat with a
When it has finished, you'll see a new web page, telling you your new story has
been published. Congratulations, your creative work is now online and linked
from our news page.