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Sunday 20 September 2009

Audio and E-book Opportunties

I joined a Christian Writers' Group a few weeks ago,
and the email exchanges of those members is quite
exhilarating. Browsing and skimming them last night I
came to one where a writer who has vision trouble and
can't read regular print books challenged the others
to produce more e-books.

E-books are read on the computer, and the greatest
thing about them, as I've discovered myself, is that
one can enlarge the text so it is easier to read. For
those who find even that too difficult, it is possible
to get software in your computer which will read the
text to you. I'm not sure how digital it sounds, but
I believe in many places that software is free to any
who are legally defined as blind.

What shocked me about the exchange was that a number
of writers had admitted a bias against e-books when
this other member first asked who all offered their
books in this form. The mindset still seems to be, a
book is not really published until it comes out in
paperback or hardcover.

I confess I've learned too, that fiction doesn't sell
as an ebook yet, though all kinds of marketing manuals
and self-help books do.

Fortunately, when this writer explained herself, the
others rallied around with offers to help out. One
said she'd gladly offer her books to be read on tape
if anyone could be found to do it. Another urged that
we all consider producing our books in digital at the
same time as in print.

Thinking about all this today, I suddenly see wide
open doors of opportunity for ministry and perhaps a

Here in Canada, I believe the Canadian National
Institute for the Blind (CNIB) is on the lookout for
volunteers to read books on tape. They have a lending
library by mail. The US has similar organizations.

All you would need is a good clear voice for reading
without stammering or hesitation, and with a lively,
instead of monotone voice. It wouldn't matter if you
sat in a wheelchair, or had no use of arms and legs.

The same reading could be put on tape or CD. Besides
the audio, the CD might have a graphics or flash
movie version as well.

If you know, or could learn some web design skills,
you could volunteer or make small paying arrangements
with various authors to turn their books into e-books.
If they have a website they might be happy to pay you
a small commission on each downloadable copy sold
alongside of their print book.

If they don't have a website - guess what - you have
the skill, so offer to build that author a simple one
or two page website to sell her books. All it needs
to be is a terrific sales letter with ordering links
at the bottom. You'd think the writer could write up
that effective sales letter, right? You'd just copy
and paste it into the web page.

Should it happen that you have more advanced skills,
or they grow on you, why not set up a library, or
bookstore of ebooks? Market it specifically to those
who need the benefit of being able to read a book on
their computer.

Hey-hey, before too long even those with 20-20 vision
will come snooping around, praising the advantages of
digital books. You'll be a trend-setter.

The whole publishing world is like it's just had an
earthquake, and the after-shocks haven't all hit yet.
The dust hasn't settled on all the changes coming.
Be a Mover and a Shaker.

A Technical Introduction to Audio Cables

What is so important about cables anyway?

One of the most common questions asked by consumers faced
with purchasing cables for their audio or home theater
system is, “What is so important about cables anyway?” They
can cost as much or more than some of the hardware in the
system and to many it is difficult to understand why wire
isn't just wire.

To begin to understand how audio cables work, we have to
start with the two fundamentally different types of audio
cables you are likely to have in your system. The first type
of cable is called an interconnect, which is used to connect
various components together (such as a CD player to a
receiver). The second type of cable is called the
loudspeaker cable (this is the wire going from the receiver
or amplifier to the speakers). It is important to realize
that both types of cables are carrying the same information,
just with different amounts of energy.

Interconnects carry a signal with very little energy. These
cables only need just enough energy to convey the
information from the source, for example a CD player, to the
amplifier. The low energy requirement means that the signal
in interconnects has very little current (usually in the
range of thousandths of an amp).

Loudspeaker cables on the other hand, carry a large amount
of energy. All of the energy required to move the speaker
cones and make sound must come through the loudspeaker
cables. Because of the high-energy requirement in these
cables the current is relatively high (currents can reach 10
amps or more).

The very basic reason why audio cables are important is
because they change the signal going through them. There are
two different, fundamental ways that an audio cable can
change the signal. The cable itself can change the signal,
or the cable can allow outside sources of energy to change
the signal.

In order to understand how these two situations can occur,
some basic background electrical knowledge is needed.

Signals in all types of wires are conveyed by the
combination of voltage and current. Every signal has some
amount of voltage and some amount of current. The larger the
difference in voltage between two places, say the beginning
and the end of a cable, the larger the amount of current,
and vice-versa. The direct analogy to voltage and current is
the flow of water through a hose. The amount of water
flowing through the hose is analogous to current. The water
pressure in the hose is analogous to voltage. The higher the
amount of water pressure, the more water will flow through
the hose. The higher the amount of voltage, the more current
will flow through the wire.

Every cable has a set of electrical properties that can be
measured using standard electrical testing equipment. The
three most basic properties are resistance, capacitance and
inductance. While a detailed description of these three
different electrical properties is outside the scope of this
article, a basic description of the relevant effects of
these three properties can be given.

- Resistance opposes current. The higher the resistance the
greater the amount of energy that is removed from the current
and turned into heat.

- Capacitance opposes changes in voltage. If a voltage is
increasing, capacitance will cause the voltage to increase
more slowly. If a voltage is decreasing, capacitance will
cause the voltage to decrease more slowly.

- Inductance opposes changes in current. If current is
increasing, inductance will cause the current to increase
more slowly. If current is decreasing, inductance will cause
the current to decrease more slowly.

The final piece of background knowledge that is needed for
this article is what the audio signal looks like. If one
were to take the speaker cover off a speaker to look at the
speaker cone while music is playing, you would see that it
is moving back and forth. In order to move the speaker cone
back and forth, the electrical signal must push and then
pull the cone in rapid and repeating fashion. This is
accomplished by having an Alternating Current, or AC.

Alternating Current simply means that the voltage oscillates
between positive and negative. Because the voltage drives
the current, this means that the current also goes positive
and negative. In other words, the current is going back and
forth in the wire, just like the speaker cone. The subtle
variations in how fast the voltage and current go back and
forth creates the different sounds that we hear when
listening to music.

How a cable itself affects the audio signal

Now, going back to the ways that the cable itself can change
the signal going through it, let's consider both types of
cables separately.

As stated previously, interconnect cables carry a very small
amount of current. Relative to the current the voltage is
large. Because of that fact, capacitance is important, but
inductance is relatively unimportant. As the voltage
oscillates between being positive and negative, the
capacitance slows the voltage changes down, and causes
delays. This can cause audible distortion in the sound.
Because interconnects have very little current, resistance
is not much of a factor. Even an interconnect with extremely
high resistance will only remove an infinitesimally small
amount of energy.

The signal in loudspeaker cables is essentially the opposite
of the signal in interconnects. Both cables have the same
information, but in loudspeaker cables, the voltage is small
and the current is large, relatively speaking. Because of
the high current, both resistance and inductance are
important in loudspeaker cables. The higher the resistance,
the greater the amount of energy that will be absorbed by
the cables. The resistance will not cause any distortion,
but it will decrease the volume of the sound. The inductance
on the other hand, can cause distortion. As the current
oscillates between being positive and negative, the
inductance slows the current changes down, and causes

How a cable lets outside sources of energy affect the signal

As stated previously, the second fundamental way of altering
a signal passing through an audio cable is to introduce
outside sources of energy. This outside energy is typically
termed “noise”. By definition, if any energy is absorbed by
the signal, the signal has been distorted.

There are many potential sources of noise around audio
cables. Some of the more common sources of noise, such as
radio frequency waves, are familiar to most people. When
wiring up a radio, frequently a consumer must attach an
antenna. Antennae are intentionally designed to channel
radio frequency energy into a stereo. Just like an antenna,
it is entirely possible for an audio cable to pick up radio
frequency energy. If you are not intending to listen to the
radio, this is not a welcome effect.

Electronic components, electrical cords, sound waves, and
even the sun, are all capable of creating noise. Electrical
cords create electromagnetic fields around them that can
transfer energy to a cable. Sound waves create mechanical
vibrations that can be transformed into electrical energy
that is added to an audio signal. Because there are so many
different types of noise, there are many methods used to
prevent a cable from picking up noise. Shielding, twisting
of conductors, and mechanical damping are all common noise
protection methods in cables.

While noise affects both interconnects and loudspeaker
cables, generally the effects are far more significant in
interconnects. This is because the signals in the
interconnects have far less energy. Since most forms of
noise are inherently low energy to begin with, this means
that it is far easier for them to modify the low energy
interconnect signals than the high-energy loudspeaker cable

Macro vs. Micro

The parameters discussed so far have been primarily “macro”
effects. These are for the most part the top-level
parameters that effect cables. These parameters as well as
others not discussed here also exist at a “micro” level.
Taking capacitance as an example, a given cable will have an
overall capacitance that can be measured. This overall
capacitance is a “macro” level parameter. The same cable can
also be analyzed as 1000 separate but connected pieces. Each
piece will have a local capacitance. These local parameters
are “micro” effects and can have their own impact on the
signal separate from the “macro” effects.

The impact that the “micro” level parameters have on an
audio signal is usually less than the impact of the “macro”
level parameters. However, they do still make a difference
in the signal transfer. The various ways that audio
companies choose to either mitigate or ignore these “micro”
level details is, in part, responsible for the vast array of
different cable designs. From cryogenic treatments and
precious metal wires, to fine silk insulation and fluid
filled cable jackets; extreme cable designs abound.

Will I hear the difference?

The fact of the matter is that cables do alter the sound
going through them, and that it is audible. You do not need
to be an expert, or an audiophile, to hear the difference.
To demonstrate this point, simply listen to your stereo. If
you close your eyes, does it sound like the music is being
played live right in front of you? This is what audiophiles
strive for, and unless you have a very high-fidelity system,
your answer to this question will most likely be no. You may
have a hard time describing what exactly does not sound
right about your system, but you know that it doesn't sound
like a live performance.

Of course, the reason why the music does not sound live
cannot be blamed solely on the cables. The degradation of
the sound occurs in every component of your system. However,
the point here is that even a casual listener can detect the
subtle distortions that can prevent music playback from
sounding live. Improving the quality of your audio cables
will improve the sound quality of your system.

It is fairly safe to say that no matter what cable you use,
the modifications to the sound will be small. Audio cables
will never cause a listener to hear a piano when a flute is
being played. However, it is the small detail that makes all
the difference between good and bad quality sound. That is
why very strong opinions are formed about various cables.

As audio systems continue to improve in accuracy, listening
to a “live” performance in your living room gets closer to
reality. Cables are an enabling factor for advancements in
audio reproduction and can play a remarkably important role
in your system.

Audio Marketing Comes of Age: Educate First and Sales Will Follow

"Podcasting" is one of the newest and most popular marketing formats that have taken a strong foothold on the internet over the last several months. The word "podcasting" is actually a derivative of Apple's "iPod" and "broadcasting". It actually refers to the ability of RSS 2.0 to automatically deliver audio and video files over the internet by subscription.

Often times, podcasts are actually delivered via MP3 files that can be played from an iPod, a MP3 player, or a home computer. You can learn more about this technology here:

Ironically, a couple months ago, I had done a telephone interview. All of the people listening to the show dialed up into a remotely hosted phone bank to listen to the show. Although that program was delivered through a standard telephone system, a few listeners who later contacted me had said that he heard my "podcast". It seems a lot of people automatically applied that term to the phone interview, although the interview was not available in a computer format or even accessible from a computer.


I have always been a huge fan of talk radio and talk shows. I still am.

When my wife is not in the room, I listen to lots of educational television and political talk shows. When my wife is not in the car, I primarily listen to AM radio. My primary focus in the car is politics and news, unless it is late at night and then it is Art Bell I listen to the most.

Of course, my wife hates that kind of thing, so that is why I only listen to it when she is not around and when she is asleep. I would rather enjoy the show than to listen to her nag about why I listen to that "crap". ;-)


I have always felt that there would be a place in internet marketing for content delivered via an audio format.

Back in early 2000, I had explored the possibility of bringing some of my own content to the internet in a streaming audio format. Unfortunately, at that time, I really did not have the time or resources to seriously pursue the idea. I was forced to shelf the idea in 2000, because of the high cost of the bandwidth required for delivery of streaming audio programming via the internet.

By the end of 2004, "podcasting" had come of age, and marketers the world over were offering audio formatted business information online. I guess that five years ago, I was just a bit ahead of the curve.


Like I mentioned before, a couple of months ago, I had done a live telephone interview with a mentoring program, and we had several hundred listeners to the program. From that one interview, I managed to pick up a couple of thousand in new business and several new and regular clients, and that was a really small listening audience.

All I can say about that event is that it sold me on the idea of using audio programming to sell my online services.


I am in a unique business. Often times when I speak with people, who are not running an online business, they will ask me what it is that I do exactly. Here is where the challenge enters the equation.

You may have never logged onto the internet or you may be a regular internet user, but if you are not engaged in the business of selling goods and services online, you may not understand my service. I can't tell you how often I talk to non-marketers and get a blank stare when I try to explain my business to them. Even my wife's aunt and uncle get the "deer in the headlights look" when I try to explain to them the nature of my business. He runs a successful offline business, but it does not bring him any closer to an understanding of my business model.

Many of you who know me, understand precisely what it is that I do and can understand why I make a good living doing it. You can understand the value offered to my clients through my business model.

Those of you who don't know me do need to understand a bit more about me before I continue.

At this very moment, you are either looking at someone's website or reading their online newsletter, and you are reading this article that I have made available for free to publishers and webmasters.

In this article, it is my goal first to educate you about something of interest to "you". My hope is that when you get to the end of the article, you will be quite taken with me, and you will want to know more about me. Then, when you read the About the Author information at the bottom of this article, and you will visit my website and review my products and services with interest.

That makes sense, right? You have come farther than most people I talk to about my business model.

With my primary service, I am the "go-to man" for getting your articles delivered to the highest numbers of publishers and webmasters who are interested in finding content that they can use with their ezines and websites.


When using free-reprint articles to market your online business, you are often more successful in getting your article reprinted and in getting traffic to your website, if you take the attitude of educating your reader above all else. If you get lost on the idea that you are using this promotion method to promote your business, then you will have missed the key to your success.

Remember what I said above, "it is my goal first to educate you about something of interest to you." You are the reader, and you will only be willing to read what I have written, if I am providing information to you that is of interest to "you".

Many marketers make the mistake of thinking their article is intended to sell their products or services, instead of themselves.

When you are willing to address the concerns of the reader above all else, then you will have provided a service of value to your reader. In doing so, you sell your reader on "you". And, your About the Author information serves as the teaser/lead/ad to take your reader to your website, where you will get the chance to sell your reader on your business, products and services.

Educate your reader first, and sales will follow.

This system works for hundreds of my clients and for myself.


When most people think about radio advertising, they think about 30-second and 60-second ads. This is fine for people who sells cars, hot tubs, groceries, and other products that are already well-understood by the listening audience.

But, if your business were like mine --- difficult for the average person to understand, then a 30- or 60-second radio spot would be a total waste of your advertising budget!

On the other hand, it would be different if I could get 15, 30 or 60 minutes to explain to my listeners what my business is and how it would be beneficial for the listener to use it for the promotion of their own business, then I would have a good chance of getting my listener's business.

In my phone interview, we actually spent one hour and twenty minutes talking, and that interview generated a couple thousand dollars in new business. It was the most profitable one hour and twenty minutes I had ever spent.

Can you imagine how much more business I would have picked up if the audience were coast-to-coast, and I was reaching hundreds of thousands of listeners instead of hundreds of listeners? And, can you imagine how much more business I could have generated from that interview, if it had been simulcast live on the internet and archived in MP3 format for me to make available later to visitors to my website?

I can imagine... That is why I got so excited when I was able to strike a deal with a nationally known, radio personality to make this kind of service available to my clients.

Audio On The Web - How To Do It With Ease

It always amazes me at how many bands and musicians don't have audio on their web sites. Doing so increases sales of your album and makes it easier to get people to come out to gigs, so why wouldn't you?

There are usually two reasons:

1. People are scared to giveaway their music because "people don't buy what they get for free."

This isn't true and the best example I can think of to illustrate the point is bottled water. People can get water for free, of basically free, but they pay a premium to have it in a nice container.

Why wouldn't they do the same with your music?

2. People don't have the technical skills to do it.

If this applies to you, get Audio Generator because you simply upload your music to their servers, they give you a snippet of HTML to add to your site, and you'll be up and running within a couple of minutes.

Another great thing about Audio Generator is that you can call in a message via telephone and then send out an "audio greeting" to your mailing list. This is VERY powerful for getting people to take action.

For example, you could record a message which said, "Hey, this is Dan from Band X and we're playing tomorrow night at Club Z. Mention this message and I'll buy you a beer."

Whatever... You get the idea.

Audio is a powerful way to strengthen your relationship with your audience.

Thanks to Music Business Radio and the audio books I've released, a lot of people know what my voice sounds like, but before I had all of this, I had to work twice as hard by hitting people face-to-face.

Don't work so hard! Use technology to help you create and expand your customer relationships.

And speaking of voice stuff, I highly recommend Audio C4. This book has excellent instruction on how to create audio messages that sell. In addition, you'll come off like top voice talent, rather than some guy who has never spoken to a crowd before.

Audio Speaker Systems

There are many types of speaker systems for different applications. There are car speakers, stereo speakers, surround speakers, and speaker products for home theater systems. The wireless speaker is becoming very popular for home speakers. It allows you to have a speaker system in every room of the house.

More and more people are using their computer as their home entertainment center, so computer speakers are a popular consumer item. By connecting your speaker system to your computer, you computer speakers can be used for listening to music and for watching movies.

Other popular speaker products include car speakers. A car speaker system often includes a subwoofer for fabulous sound on the road. Audio speakers for your car are specially designed for the unique characteristics of a car interior, and so are different from audio speakers that are used in the house.

People who want audio in all parts of the house are finding that ceiling speakers are excellent speaker products. These audio speakers are easy to install and are convenient way to have a house wide speaker system. Quality can vary greatly on ceiling audio speakers, so for music, you want a good-quality speaker system.

Audio speakers for the home should be able to reproduce the full frequency range without distortion. A good-quality speaker system can enhance your enjoyment but listening to music, so buying the best quality speaker products you can afford is a good investment.

A speaker system is made up of several different components. Most audio speakers have a woofer and a tweeter, and high-quality audio speakers will often have a midrange speaker and perhaps an extra woofer for low-frequency sounds. Computer speakers are usually small, although larger surround sound computer speakers are becoming more common.

Each speaker system has its own special sound, so it's a good idea to listen to many speaker products before choosing audio speakers that you like.

Boost Your Online Sales with Audio and Video Support

Have you ever noticed when you are shopping at most any retail store there is background music being played and if you need help understanding how a product works or need aid in purchasing the correct equipment there is always a person near by to help you?

This is what your ecommerce or online sales website needs to achieve that comfortable atmosphere where visitors to your online store will enjoy shopping. When you make your store online comfortable with audio or video your customers are apt to stay longer on your website and that means a better chance of a sale.

Using audio in the form of quiet listening music will aid in keeping your customers online and enjoying shopping at your ecommerce store. They will feel comfortable and at ease which will allow them to browse your store and buy.

Another way in which audio on your website can aid in getting you more sales is when you can personally talk about a certain product and how it works, what it does, and just how the item can make their life easier. You will then be transforming your website into the feel of a retail store, with salesmen that offer their help to customers. Your customers will appreciate this extra feature and will also be able to learn about the products through listening instead of just seeing a product on a page.

Go the next step, add a video of how to use the product, how to install, or construct the product and show the many uses on the video of what the product can do for your customers. Now, you not only have a salesperson explaining the product, but you also have a technician showing how to use the product.

People are more apt to purchase products if they can tell that your website has real people behind the pages. Using audio and video will give your website that extra touch and your trustworthiness will go up as well. You will be providing your customers with a nice setting for shopping, a salesperson that can aid them with their purchase and a technician that guide them through the installation process.

Getting started with video editing is very simple.

The basic items you need are a video capture card, video capture software, the software to edit, your computer, storage space on your computer and a camcorder, VCR, or you can display your movie on your computer screen. You may also need MP3 Converter>, MP3 Encoder, CD Ripper, and MPEG Encoder.

Using audio and video on your ecommerce website to increase sales is a must. You will be giving the consumer what they want and deserve in our high tech world and they will not have to go to a retail store to have their needs met.

Boosting Your eBay Auction Profits: Just Add Audio

Are You Getting The Highest Possible Profits From Your Ebay
Auctions? Here's a tip: Add audio to your auctions.

According to a recent report, adding audio to your eBay
auctions could increase bids by as much as 22% over auctions
without audio.

A recent trend showing up on a lot of websites is the
addition of an audio clip. The clip is a personal message by
the author or the website owner encouraging you to take
advantage of what they offer.

The psychology behind this technique is really Marketing
101. It's called personalization. An audio clip added to
your eBay auction allows you to personally tell the
potential bidder about the product. Using your own voice
allows you to make contact with the bidder on a personal
level that written words cannot. Because, that's what your
eBay auction really is...It's just a long written classified
ad asking the bidder to make an offer to purchase your

Prior to the advent of the telephone the only reliable way
to communicate long distance was by writing letters. It was
not unusual back then for lovers to write each other daily
or weekly. The decline of letter writing is a well
documented event that coincides with the advent of the

With audio you can describe the item, tell the bidder why
you are selling it or even communicate with them about your
refund policy or provide your contact information. The
possibilities are almost unlimited as a way to establish a
rapport with the bidder.

But, the most important reason to add audio clips is that it
makes it easy to convey excitement and invoke emotion,
giving you a really powerful selling-edge.

How to add audio to a web site:

The simplest way is to upload a .wav or Mp3 file to a
website and provide a link to the file. When the bidder
clicks on the link his or her computer will automatically
recognize the file and play it with the audio player on the
bidders computer.

There are some drawbacks to this method. If the bidder's
computer doesn't recognize the file it won't play. The
overall effect is not as professional as it could be and it
distracts the bidder. If you are a reasonably tech savvy
type you can easily deal with the drawbacks of this

For the rest of us, there are a number of software solutions
and websites that will simplify the task of adding audio to
our eBay auctions.

Here are two:

Audio Maker Pro - (The one I
use and recommend)

Sound Streamer - (Less

Different programs and websites range from charging a one
time fee to monthly fees for the use of the program. The
good news is that many will let you test them for as little
as $1 for a trial basis or let you download a demo version
to see how well it will work for you.

Mike Nalbone is an author, editor, publisher and webmaster
who earns a living full-time on the Net.

Boost your web sales with streaming audio

What do you do with your intranet or internet site once you've added words and pictures? How about adding audio as well?

Audio is friendly, direct and ideally suited to getting complex messages across in a short space of time.

It's now getting easier to add audio to the net, thanks to increasing bandwidths and innovative new ways of compressing data.

The problem has been that CD-quality audio has traditionally been the preserve of ISDN- and ADSL-equipped users. Basically, there has been too much data to fit down the pipe.

But, borrowing on the same techniques that are used to compress digital photographic images, it is now possible to compress sound to make it fit down a standard dial-up 56KBps modem line.

The trick is to compress the audio in a way that doesn't sound offensive to the ear, but can still pass along the line at about 3 kilobytes per second, given that a dial-up modem downloads at about 4-ish kilobytes per second.

The next trick is to use streaming technology that can start to play the audio while it is still downloading. As a long as it is downloads fast enough you don't get annoying stops and starts. You should also end up with a "buffer". In many cases, the whole audio file will have downloaded long before the user has finished listening to it.

The volume of online streaming audio grew by 118 per cent last year, according to market researchers US-based AccuStream iMedia Research and the top ten internet radio stations received an average of 137.5m tuning hours in the same period, up from 63m in 2003.

Typical audio formats are Real's Radio Player (as chosen by the BBC), the ubiquitous MP3 (as featured on thousands of youngster's personal hi-fis) and Macromedia Flash.

MP3SoundStream ( uses Flash and works well as 98% of computers already have the Flash plug-in and the rest can easily download it. Flash takes the MP3 file, combines it with an audio controller button and streams it for you off any server, which means low-cost and ease of use.

So once you have the technology in place, what can you record? The answer is anything. Adding audio to an intranet lets you record a weekly message from the CEO or a sales message. Or why not have a weekly news round-up?

The audio can either be recorded straight into your PC via a microphone and soundcard, or recorded on a Minidisc recorder and then digitised into the computer. Once there you can add music, voiceovers, cuts and fades with a program like Adobe Audition or Sony Soundforge. Music can be bought online for just a few pounds and you can even use free audio editing programmes, like Audacity.

What was once the preserve of the BBC and other high-end radio studios is now available on a desktop computer near you - but only if you have the skills to match.

FAQs (291 words)

Q. What is streaming audio?
A. It is audio delivered to your computer that can be listened to while it is still downloading.

Q. What's the advantage over other audio formats?
A. You don't get an annoying delay while the whole file downloads.

Q. What do listeners need to have on their computer?
A. A soundcard and speaker(s) or headphones, their normal browser software and a so-called plug-in – a small piece of software that converts the data into sound.

Q. This all sounds expensive. Is it?
A. Not really. You can get free programs to record your sound, a computer microphone costs less than a tenner and there are free audio editing programs available on the net. You then need to convert the audio file to a streaming format, but there is an increasing amount of software available to do that too. You also need to think about a MiniDisc recorder as these have superseded cassette tape for most applications. Royalty-free background and intro music is available on CD and via the web for a small fee.

I recommend MP3SoundStream ( Its great, very easy to use and only costs $39.95. Another alternative is Sound Streamer at $34.95 (

Q. What is the quality like?
A. Judge for yourself - visit and listen to the demonstration programmes. The trick is to get the quality as high as you can, but still make it playable on an average modem-equipped home computer. Once everyone has broadband it will be CD-quality for all.

Q. How do I find out more?
A. There is a great ebook available called Audio C4 ( It only costs $29.95 and is worth its weight in gold. There is a list of useful links at


Q. This all sounds expensive - is it?
A. Not really. You can get free programs to record your sound, a computer microphone costs virtually nothing and there are free audio editing programs available on the net. You then need to convert the audio file to a streaming format, but there is an increasing amount of software available to do that too

I recommend MP3SoundStream ( Its great, very easy to use and only costs $39.95. Another alternative is Sound Streamer at $34.95 ( or Audio Maker Pro (
You also need to think about a MiniDisc recorder as these have superseded cassette tape for most applications. Royalty-free background and intro music is available on CD and via the web for a small fee.

Q. How do I find out more?
A. There is a great ebook available called Audio C4. It only costs $29.95 and is worth its weight in gold.

Q. What is the quality like?
A. Judge for yourself - visit and listen to the demonstration programmes. The trick is to get the quality as high as you can, but still make it playable on an average modem-equipped home computer. Once everyone has broadband it will be CD-quality for all.

Break through the clutter with audio banners

"A horse is a horse, of course, of course, his name is
Mister Ed!" Do any of you remember that silly jingle
from the television show?

That's not really important anyway. What IS important
is that Ed, the talking horse, was quite a phenomenon
back in the 60's. Ed talked, reasoned and displayed
traits unlike any of his animal brethren.

There is a lesson here, of course. Millions of people
watched Mr. Ed every week just because he WAS
different. And that leads us right smack-dab into a
discussion about your banner advertising campaigns.

Those poor maligned banners. Once the darlings of
Internet advertisers, they've really been getting
bad-rapped lately due to their failure to lure web
surfers into clicking-thru and creating sales. But is
it the fault of the banners or have they become so
ubiquitous that the surfer hardly notices them? Why
don't we make those banners so inviting and
entertaining that users won't be able to click fast

I think that content providers are too focused on
consumers as "sets of eyeballs." We need to look at
these people first as users and, secondly, as members
of our online audience. And audiences have come to
expect advertising wrapped in a very entertaining
package. An essential part of that package is
streaming audio.

Streaming audio has become a whole new industry for
the Web. As more and more people listen to music
online and web-based radio, advertisers are taking
notice. These listeners, fondly called "streamies,"
are devoted Internet users and active online
shoppers. They are a valuable audience as they're 70
percent more likely to have made an online purchase
than a non-streamie. Arbitron Internet Information
Services says that streamies are quite ready to accept
web advertising in exchange for free programming, and
they're more receptive and influential targets.

How can we begin to use these statistics to leverage
the effectiveness of banner ads?

Java based audio presentations can be fully integrated
into your banner advertising. Why Java based, you
ask? Most important is the fact that no plug-in or
complicated player installation is required on the
part of the viewer. (The "impulse to click" is not
thwarted by the user having to take additional
actions.) The size of Java files are relatively small
as well thereby minimizing the page load issue. And,
because Java is cross platform, you can be comfortable
knowing that the majority of visitors will be able to
enjoy the presentation. Java is versatile and works
well with almost any application.

What can be done with these banners? Audio can be
synchronized with your banner images and text to
deliver eye and ear pleasing messages. Slide shows
can be placed within the banner. Relevant product
information can be imparted quickly and effectively
before the visitor is ever asked to click through to
the website. Special offers and promotions can be
referenced to entice the shopper. No longer are
viewers merely spectators; they are active

Interactive audio banners provide the consumer with
the ability to listen to more detailed information and
even to initiate the buying function directly from the
banner itself. This really helps to capture that
"impulse" buyer right at the time he's most anxious to
buy. Because it's interactive, a web visitor can
directly respond to it.

The power of audio should not be underestimated.
People would still rather hear about something than
spend time reading or sorting out passing images.
Keep in mind that museums and other institutions have
offered tours for years that are accompanied by audio
scripts designed to educate the visitor yet allowing
the eye to roam freely and absorb the creative on an
individual basis.

Audio banners can also add a personal appeal to the
visitor. Use the banner to tell a story about the
product or service that invokes an emotional
response. Talk about the product's benefits to the
consumer and how the product will improve his
life/work/relationships. Use the banner to whet
people's appetites for additional information. Never
lose sight of the fact that people make buying
decisions based on emotional reasons and design your
banner presentation accordingly.

It is far too early for any of us to dismiss the
banner ad as an idea whose time has past. We have to
step back, take an objective view, and start thinking
about how we can make them more than just billboards.

As the Internet leaves its infancy and enters the
"toddler" stage, we need to remind ourselves that
we're still dealing with a new medium. And that this
new medium is still largely unexplored.

Broadcasting Mp3 Audio Via Computer, The Looney Tune World Of Podcasting

Podcasting Is A New Form Of Fun Stuff

To Do On The Computer.

The Ipod Was Made For Music Downloads,

But The Reality Is That It Has Created

A Launch Of Mini Shows,

That Are Uncut And Cheap To Produce.

Every Event You Can Imagine Is A

Potential Contender As A Reality Radio

Broadcast Show From Rio To Cape Cod,

And From Boston To Broadway.

CB Radio,i.e. Ham Radio, Was Developed

As Radio For The People, But

Now Another Page In The Consumer Notebook

Of Modern History Has Turned.

Any Music Concert Can Become An Mp3,

Whether It's By Players Like Eminem

& 50cent Or Country Music And

Guitar Songs Dedicated To Andy Griffeth.

Mp3 Audio Can Include A Report From

A Reality TV Show To A Las Vegas Show,

To A Looney Tune Review,

And It Can Range From Humor To Commentaries

On The Weather, Oprah Winfrey & American Idol,

The Titanic, The Da Vinci Code,

Or Even A Live Sex Show In Harmony Hall.

They're All Now Available As A Downloadable

Music Composition, A Video Or Even A Slide Show

On Your Computer,

And I Wouldn't Be Surprised If

Some Of These Shows Show Up On Sirius Radio,

XM Radio Or Other Satellite Radio Shows,

Conventional Radio Or Even On TV.

The Ipod Is A Creative Way To Download

Digital Music Automatically Via Computer

Around The Clock, By Virtue Of Podcasting.

This Is Not About Downloading Online Music

Onto Your Computer Via Music File Sharing.

This Is About The Bone Thug Across The Street

Writing A Music Lyric On His Computer

Calling It A Skin Tune

By Frankie J & Lil Jon Luny Mas,

And With No Harmony Or Melody,

Having A Ball, Because Some Stranger

In Central Louisville Looking For

Cheap Music Downloads Records It

To His Mp3 Player While Waiting

For A Pizza Delivery.

The Apple Ipod Is Not A Technology

Whose Life Is Limited To A

Trade Show Display.

It's In The Hands Of The People.

Podcasting Is Way Bigger Than

Two Way Radio Or Any Online Computer Game,

And It's Not Limited To The

Ipod Mp3 Player Or Even The Rio Sport

Mp3 Player.

Newer Models Are Creating Competition

And Getting Cheaper, Just Like All

Computer Technology Always Does.

Just Look At The DVD Player.

Ipod Is Getting The Credit,

But Adam Curry, Former Music Video DJ

And MTV Host In The 1980's,

Is The Central Player In RSS

(Real Simple Syndication).

A Music Download To A Mini Portable

Mp3 Player Is Not New, The Ipod Buzz Is.

Podcasting Is Going To Be Big.

I Feel Lucky To Have Gotten In On It

At An Early Stage,

With My Daily Podcast Sunny Thought Of The Day.

It Supplements My Free Affirmations By E-Mail.

So Now You Have 2 Free Ways To Get

Positive Thinking From Me.

I Was Interviewed Last Month

In The Honolulu Star Bulletin,

Who Told Me I Was The Only Daily Podcaster

In The State Of Hawaii.

Since Then I've Found Out I'm One

Of Only A Handful Who Podcast Daily

In The Entire World.

And My Radio Interviews – I Was Interviewed

By Positive Purpose Radio Host Kevin Mcdonald,

On KLAY AM Radio In The Seattle Area,

5 Times – 1 Hour Each – Those Shows

Were All Podcast Internationally, Too.

Welcome To The Future!

It's Evolving One Day At A Time.

Why Not Hit The Computer Airwaves Yourself?

And Start Podcasting Today!

Classic Montrose Debut Released on Audio Fidelity's 24 Karat

In late 2001, after fifteen years as the main force behind DCC's success, Marshall Blonstein resigned as President and Chairman of The Board of DCC Compact Classics to form Audio Fidelity. He has continued his tremendous success with the label and started his own series of gold disc releases.

Collectors around the world covet the 24 Karat gold discs and there is one available now, that will have rock fans and audiophiles alike licking their chops. The classic rock-metal self-titled Montrose album. Preceding the Montrose release the series kicked off with the Doobie Brothers Minute By Minute and the Faces A Nod Is As Good As A Wink.

The buzz has already started in rock circles. Once people hear the meaty Montrose power chords pounding through their speakers and Sammy Hagar singing lines from “Rock Candy” like “You're rock candy baby, hot sweet and sticky” again, this classic rock album will most certainly relive all the success it experienced when it was released in 1973.

The lyrics are still smoldering after all these years and so is Ronnie Montrose's guitar. His legacy holds a lot of weight 32 years later and it is evident that he influenced legions of guitar players with this album.

This 24 Karat Gold discs have a clear and even sound afforded by the meticulous process of sourcing the music from the original master tapes then converting it from analog to digital. Music fans have a lot to look forward to in coming months, Audio Fidelity will be releasing the self-titled Bad Company debut and one of the best from the Deep Purple catalog Who Do We Think We Are.

Create your own audio studio for under $100

Creating your own audio studio has never been easier. There are so many great products around today that will allow you to produce high quality audio for a fraction of the price it used to cost.


The first thing you will need is a compatible computer. Today every new computer is already set up with everything you will need. A basic sound card with a mic and line in jack. If you do not have a sound card they are very cheap and you can get a good one from any standard computer shop.

Next you will need a good mic. These come in all sizes and shapes with different configurations however a general all round mic like the Logitech Noise-canceling microphone is fine for beginners. I suggest you get a desk top one to start with as you may want to move into video later and so you wont want a headset in your videos.

Of course you could go up a stage and get a preamp with a professional mic but this will start running into dollars and the whole aim of this article ids to help you get started.

Next you will want to get some cables to connect up your tape recorder and other audio equipment. Again the computer stores now have packs that will connect up pretty well any device into your computer to digitalize your sound.


Recording your audio is probably one of the most critical parts of this process and again you can get software that ranges from free to many thousands of dollars. For this exercise I suggest you download the free copy of Audacity. This is an excellent software package that will allow you to record from your mic or any equipment you have.

It provides excellent editing capabilities and also will allow you to edit multiple tracks and then combine them into one single track. For a wuick overview of how to do this you can watch this video.
Download the software here.


The next piece of software you will need for your studio is a converting program that will allow you to convert different formats. For example you may have a real audio file and you want to convert it to mp3. dBpoweramp is like the swiss army
knife for the audio industry and will convert just about any file to any other file format.

Convert from one format to another, just about every audio type is supported: mp3, mp4, Windows Media Audio (wma), Ogg Vorbis, AAC, Monkeys Audio, FLAC and many others whilst preserving ID Tags. It will also rip CDs for you.


If you are going to stream an mp3 direct then you may want to recompile the file to a smaller format. RazorLame is a so-called "front-end" for use with LAME. LAME is a great MP3-Encoder: it's very fast, it produces high-quality files, has many advanced features (like Variable Bitrates and Joint-Stereo), and it's open source. Unfortunately, it is a command line utility, and that is where RazorLame comes in: It provides an easy-to-use graphical user-interface which makes MP3-encoding even easier!

The best way to use this software is to get one file and compile in a number of different formats to test the size against quality. Very similar to working with graphics.


There are a few different ways of streaming your new audio files. If you have Macromedia products you can simple organize this your self however there are some great third party programs around that will do it all for you at a fraction of the cost.


This is a simple piece of software that takes any mp3 or wav audio and converts the whole file into a swf file and then attaches a button so that viewers can listen on a web page without needing to download any extra software. This is because the flash plugin is on 98% of computesr and if not it will automatically detect and load the small plugin. This is great for anyone not wanting to get ino all the technical aspects of streaming audio.

You will not need to reduce your files at all with this program as it doers it all for you. This is perfect for anyone wanting to stream one file at a time and wants to do it quickly and efficiently. It will stream even over most modem connections.



For people wanting to stream a number of files then msijukebox is a great alternative. This software lets you choose any number of mp3 files and then organizes them using an XML file. By using the above free programs you can significantly reduce the size of these files to save on bandwidth.

Because MSIJukebox streams the actual mp3 you can also have a lot higher quality playback including stereo files. This is much better for those wanting to stream a number of very high quality mp3 audio files.


So there you have it. A complete studio set up for under $100. Just download all the free software and purchase any of the streaming audio setups that you want. You can then create, edit and manipulate any audio files you like. You will also be able to add these audios to your website.
With the web surfer becoming much more "web savvy" than they were a year ago, they are expecting not only information but an entertaining web experience.

Don't Use Web Audio The Wrong Way...

Have you ever wrestled with a set of instructions, but then got so frustrated with it all that you threw them aside in a fluster and tried to figure out how to do it… yourself?

Resulting in…Making a great big mess of it all?

Similarly, if you really want to use Web Audio the right way, the way that WORKS, then you need to know what DOESN'T work.

Here's what many people do, pretty systematically… to hinder their marketing and audio responses:

1. Speaking into the microphone without a care for what they're saying, how they're saying it and, without any regard to who's listening! That's pretty scary. Mumbling along without paying any attention to the small details. It's what could sink the hopes of many… FAST!

SIMPLE SOLUTION - Write out a little script. Then, rehearse it. After that, record it several times. Finally, choose the best of the lot and use it. See, I told you it was pretty simple.

2. Some feel that hiring a 'PROFESSIONAL' or 'DJ', to record the voice audio, is the way to go. Now, for some, that may seem a reasonable way out, but what's likely to happen is that the websites' PERSONALITY loses its authenticity. Somehow, most of us can detect when things seem out of sync. When things seem a little too… SLICK!

SIMPLE SOLUTION - If you really want to get someone else to do the voice audio for you, then make sure they've got a warm, natural personality that shines through in their voice. It'll win people over.

3. Sending the recorded audio message to your website, and then… FORGETTING ABOUT IT! Have you ever dialled a phone number, got an answer machine message that was either way out of date or just plain irrelevant? What an unprofessional image to portray. Well, that's why NOT attending to what's on your messages, could cripple you more than you'd know!

SIMPLE SOLUTION - Keep your audio updated! I'm not saying that you have to micro-manage it and change it every other day. But, keeping your messages fresh, alive and full of valuable, useful and usable information that addresses the needs of your audience… is what'll keep them loyal, attentive and eager to receive your future messages!

4. Leaving your audience mentally floating, not knowing what to do next. Have you ever experienced a scenario similar to this one: Whilst waiting on a train platform, an announcement is made to the waiting passengers as follows,

"due to a fault on the line, please expect further delays".

I'm in no doubt at all that this announcement would have left the passengers feeling concerned, confused and wondering what to do next. What the announcer should have taken the time to add is as follows,

"as we have not received any information from our control centre indicating the expected length of delay, you may like to consider hopping on bus number 19, leaving the bus stop adjacent to the station entrance in 7 minutes time. Otherwise, please continue to listen for further announcements, which we will endeavour to make every five minutes. Please also accept our sincere apologies for the delay and any inconvenience this may have caused you".

SIMPLE SOLUTION: People are silently begging to be told what to do next. If you can lead them to a specific outcome, they'll be putty in your hands! Whether it's instructions to go to a specific toll free number to get more information, or something they have to activate, like a membership number, whatever it is… tell them PRECISELY how to do it.

Web Audio, used correctly, will have a dramatic impact on the way in which your customers respond to you. They'll be so 'stuck' on your website and addicted to your audio messages, that you'll soon be sending out birthday cards to them!

FLASH AUDIO WIZARD has a simple in-built technology that'll give you the website personality you've always dreamed of. It's simple to use. It's easy to get started. Why not get your website 'speaking', today.

Eight Reasons Why You Must Add Audio To Your Website


Did you know that Internet users remember only 20% of what they read while remembering an amazing 70% of what they hear? Audio on your website will help your message stay with fresh your visitors for longer.


Using audio to convey a personal message to entice visitors to subscribe to your newsletter will result in up to 400% more subscribers than using traditional subscription marketing methods.


Using audio on your website helps to keep visitors on your site for longer. The longer visitors stay the more informed they are about your product and services and the more likely they are to buy your product or service.


Adding your own voice to your website helps prospects identify with you personally, warming them to your products and services in a way that cannot be achieved by any other existing marketing technique and converting more prospects to buyers.


While your competitors still hang around in the dark ages of Internet marketing, placing audio on your website gives you an enormous competitive advantage. Visitors will trust you more than your competitors and trust is the number one vital ingredient for making visitors part with plastic.


Used in emails and ezines, audio allows you to communicate personally with your clients and subscribers, creating rapport and warming your market in a way not possible with text and graphics.


Basic streaming audio buttons can be put on your website for as little as $19.95. Even the most advanced solutions cost around the $97 mark! Considering the uumph these little audio buttons give your site, a once off payment of 97 bucks is not a lot to part with!


You don't have to be a techie geek to put audio on your website. Most of the solutions out there require no html or flash know how at all. They are designed to be user friendly so even the technophobe should have no problem getting the job done quickly and easily!

Great Audio Gift Ideas -- Big Sound, Small Price Tags

It's that time of year again. Time to go shopping for holiday gifts, and this year, the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) expects an estimated 78-percent of Americans to purchase electronics.

Kate Connors, resident audio expert at Cambridge SoundWorks, believes audio products are going to be big this year. “Prices are coming down and there are a lot of affordable gifts worth considering,” says Connors. Among them, speakers that can transform the PC or MP3 player into a full blown music system, high performance table radios that perform like stereo systems, and outdoor speakers.

“Why skimp out on good sound when you're at the PC or listening to a CD or MP3 player,” says Connors. “If you want better quality sound than a Boombox, but don't want to deal with running wires, so a multimedia speaker systems is the way to go.” These speaker systems can be connected to anything with a headphone jack -- like a portable CD player or MP3 player -- and can run on a rechargeable 12-volt battery. The result is a portable, versatile high performance sound system that can be placed anywhere -- and is small enough to take along on trips. Such systems now retail for under $100.

* Consider a high end table radio in place of a stereo system

Another popular gift idea this year: a high-end table radio, like the SoundWorks Radio CD. “They allow you to put together a great sound system without breaking the bank,” says Connors. Unlike other high-end table radios, this new radio is outfitted with three speakers, including a powered subwoofer. The result is a sound system that offers rich, natural, room-filling sound -- a feature normally associated with larger stereo systems. They are great for adding music to the kitchen, living room or den. “Think of the SoundWorks Radio CD as a full featured stereo system in the form of a small, stylish table radio,” says Connors.

It features a front loading CD slot (based on the design of high-end car CD players), which plays standard CDs as well as MP3 files on CD-ROM. Radio Data Service (RDS) capability is also featured, so users can see the name of the station and even the current song's title and artist scrolling across the display. The SoundWorks Radio CD has a multi-language display, and an easy to use JOG button to change radio functions, as well as an FM stereo tuner that can store sixteen FM station presets, and an AM tuner with eight preset buttons. Front and rear auxiliary inputs for additional CD or MP3 players are provided, along with dual alarms that wake to tone or music, as well as an ultra-compact remote control.

* Outdoor Speakers are a Unique Audio Gift Alternative

“If someone already has a decent stereo inside, why not buy them a pair of outdoor speakers so they can have a great audio system outside,” say Connors. “Outdoor speakers are one of the most popular gift items for the holidays. The beauty of this type of speaker is that they can be tucked under the eaves and angled towards the deck or patio for natural, accurate, wide-range sound.” And, since they are weather-resistant, they can be left out and won't be damaged by the elements. A good pair of outdoor speakers starts at $200.

Headphones To Please Any Type of Audiophile

There are many different types of headphones on the market today. This is in high contrast to the headphone market just a few decades ago, where your choices were either studio monitor headsets (the big, clunky type worn over the ears) or cheap portable units.

There have been many advances in headphone technology over the past few decades, and now the consumer has a plethora of different shapes, sizes, styles and technologies to choose from. "Ear buds", "Back phones", "Canal phones" and "electrostatic headphones" are just a few of the types offered in today�s high tech headphone market. In the article we will review the different types of headphones available today and touch on the features and benefits of the individual types.

For the home user, the main type of headphone that is purchased would fit in the "studio monitor" category. This style of headphone has been around for years and certain models have not changed in years. The studio monitor is the standard "over the ear" variety that are common in radio and music studios. They typically have a � inch plug (as opposed to the smaller 1/8 inch or mini plug). Vendors of this type of headphone include AKG, Sony, Sennheiser, Grado Labs and Fostex. They are available "closed" and "open" varieties. Audiophiles will typically tell you that the open variety sounds more robust and has a fuller soundstage, at the expense of sound leakage (people around you will be able to hear what you are listening to and vice versa) that is not as noticeable in closed variety �phones which provide a higher level of sonic isolation.

For the listener on the go, there are many varieties to choose from. Ear buds are a very popular type of headphone which are commonly included in the packaging when you purchase a new audio player. These bud type headphones slip into the outer ear and provide minimal isolation from the outside world. While there are a few exceptions, the majority of bud type headphones on the market are cheap and do not sound very good to the discerning ear.

If you like the small form factor of buds but want something with a little more oomph, you may wish to consider canal phones. Canal phones are much like buds, but actually fit inside the ear canal (buds never make it past the outer ear lobe). Because they actually fit inside the canal, canal phones provide a much better seal than ear buds which allows for a higher degree of sound isolation and bass response for the listener. Silicone or foam ear plug type tips allow for comfort and safety during prolonged use. Be prepared to shell out a little more cash for the better quality canal phones, as vendors such as Etymotic and Ultimate Ears have models which sell between $350-$1000 USD.

The last type of phone we will discuss is back phones. Back phones are very similar to the open, circum aural phones popularized in the 70s and 80s, with the notable exception of the headband�s placement which, instead of being over the head like the older variety, is behind the head, which results in a more comfortable fit for athletics or the listener on the go.

No matter what you are looking for, there are many different types of headphones out there to suit your needs. Have fun shopping and happy listening!

Here's Exactly What Makes Web Audio So Powerful

Have you ever tried to communicate with another person using just actions and sign language? It gets pretty frustrating, doesn't it? Especially when you know that if you could just SAY a few words, they'd get the picture, almost instantly.

Well, imagine if the website you've put up on show... could "speak". If it could sparkle with the spoken word. What do you think the effect could be?

You see, what the smart website marketers have realised, is that they need to move beyond just written words and striking graphics. They're looking to giving their website… a 'personality'.

BUT… in the cold hearted, faceless world of the internet, being able to reach the audience you want, with sincerity, warmth and with a 'face', doesn't come easily to most.

That is unless you happen to have the skilful knack of knowing what to write, when to write it and are able to string words together to help paint a strong emotional picture in readers minds for your product, service or idea.

Getting all the help we can via other means is crucial in giving us that slight edge.

There's possibly nothing more intimate, more convincing, more realistic for the reader, than to hear a 'voice' behind the website. What it adds, is satisfying helpings of…


Imagine being able to connect at regular intervals with your customers and clients! How do you think they'll feel when you're able to inform them that there's an exciting offer about to happen and you make sure the message reaches both their eyes, and their ears!

What about using this simple technology to help create a stampede of sales, an abundance of new subscribers, a fleet of qualified prospects, a herd of new referrals!

What about being able to tell your customers that you messed up on the last bit of information you gave them and that you're really sorry. Won't you be able to convey this message better using real live words, than by using written text?

Won't your sincerity, conviction and heartfelt emotion, reach them INSTANTLY, where it matters most… THEIR HEARTS!

Home Theater Audio Setup

Your home theater audio setup will depend on the space available to you, what kind of signal your receiver can carry, and the number of speakers you have. With proper setup, it doesn't matter if you have a simple stereo audio setup or a complex multi-speaker setup. Proper home theater audio setup will give you the most enjoyable experience.

The first step to proper home theater audio setup is if you have a tile, hardwood, or any other non-carpeted floor, to put down an area rug. Hard floors may look nice but they affect acoustics poorly.

The second step in home theater audio setup is to place your speakers. For a stereo setup, placement is simple - one on either side of the viewing area. For Dolby Digital 5.1 or Surround EX, however, you must take extra considerations into mind. Your center speaker should either be on top or below your display and facing your primary viewing position. The left and right front speakers should be on either side of the screen, preferably at ear level, at about a 45 degree angle from the center of the viewing position.

If the seating is meant for more than one person, all three of the front speakers should be placed in a straight line. Surround speakers should be placed slightly to the rear of and alongside the seating, a few feet above head level when sitting. If the surround speakers must be placed behind the seating, experiment with pointing the speakers at an angle so that the sound coming from them seems to 'surround' the viewer. If you have a subwoofer, place it wherever is most convenient, as it's placement is not critical to sound reproduction.

When you are using Dolby Digital 5.1 or Surround EX, it is necessary to continue your home theater audio setup by configuring your receiver. Unless you have tower speakers, all main speakers should be set to 'small'. Low frequency effects and bass should be set to subwoofer if you have one. DSP modes should be turned off. Read the user manual to find out how to change these settings and to double check any special requirements you receiver might have.

With proper home theater audio setup, you can have a truly enveloping aural experience.

How to Capture Streaming Audio

Streaming audio is all over the web these days. There are live radio broadcasts, video and audio streams, and many music vendors use streaming audio as samples of their products. You can listen to the song, but unless you buy it, it can't be stored on your computer. Or can it? The simple answer is “Yes”! We'll take a look at a few methods for recording streaming audio.

First of all, we should examine what streaming technology is and what it is used for. The traditional method of listening to music or watching videos on your computer was to download the entire file and play it from your hard drive. Streaming works in real time – you can view the video or listen to the music as it is being downloaded. The data arrives in a “stream” of bits from the server to your computer.

The obvious advantage of streaming is saving time – you can listen to the stream a few seconds after the download is started. Streamed audio and video can also be protected from copying by Digital Rights Management (DRM) technology. This is often done by commercial vendors of video and audio to control distribution of their content.

Even with DRM, however, all audio and video streams can be recorded. The simplest way to record streaming audio is to attach a recorder to the output jack of your soundcard. Any recording device – portable MP3 player, cassette deck, MiniDisc etc. can be used. The problem with this method is that you have to convert the digital stream into analog, and there will be some loss in sound quality.

If you wish to keep the audio stream in the digital domain, you need special software to capture it. Most audio capture software works by emulating a sound card. You feed the output of the emulated sound card to a file, and as the audio is streamed to your computer it is captured to file. Any kind of audio stream can be captured this way no matter whether it is played with Windows Media Player, Real Player, Quicktime, or any other audio streamer.

How To Increase Your Sales With Audio

Audio increases your sales. Point blank. Period.

Recent studies claim that audio can increase your sales up to 300%. Independent studies by Terry Telford, from The Business Professional, have shown sales increases of 163% on one website and 79% on another. Both tests were run over a 3 week period.

Regardless of your expectations for adding audio to your website, it won't hurt your response rate for whatever you are selling or giving away. In most cases it will increase it.

One possible reason for the increase in visitor response is the human factor. We're social animals and like to interact with each other on a personal basis. Audio on your website is similar to picking up the telephone and talking to the person “live.”

There's something about hearing another human's voice that instils a certain level of trust, even if it is a very small amount. It brings us that one little step closer to each other.

The next question in your mind should be, “How do I get audio on my website?”

You've got several choices; the majority are covered in The Definitive Audio Report. You can download the report for free from

Very briefly, audio comes in two flavours. You've got the vanilla download or streaming strawberry.

The download version is very simple to configure. You upload your MP3 file onto your website and point a URL at it, like

When you click on the link, it automatically opens the audio player on your computer and you hear the recording.

The alternative to downloadable audio, is streaming. Streaming is useful if you want your visitors to listen to your audio without the ability or need to download it.

Setting up streaming audio is a bit more complex than the download version, but offers your audio a more secure environment since visitors can't download it.

To set up streaming audio, you need an MP3 file and software that can hide the actual location of your file. The software also needs to create Flash buttons for you so your visitors can push a button to listen to the audio.

The simplest software I've used to stream audio is Sonic Memo, from Jay Jennings. It takes all of 5 minutes to set up the software and then you can create unlimited streams on your website in 30 seconds flat.

How to Record Meditation Scripts to Audio Equipment

You've come across a few sites that offer meditation scripts and you're really interested!  Oh, what to do next?!  More like, what to do first!?

If you're someone who loves to meditate (or wants to start) and has loads of meditation CD's why not try something novel?  Record your voice using meditation scripts.  Imagine this, each visually guided session personalised through using your voice.  You now have the power to adjust your rhythm, volume, tone, and pitch to exactly how you like!  When you want to change the way your meditation sounds, you can easily do this by re-recording the script! All the more power to you!

Setting the Mood

Before you begin your recording session check out the next 10 points first:

1. Choose the quietest room you can work from.  Will there be background noise? Close off doors and windows and shut down (where possible) anything that will create background noise.

2. Pencil in some recording time in your diary and let people know you're going to be off-line for an hour or so.

3. When you're ready to start your session switch on the answering machine (if you have one) and reduce the ring tone volume.  If possible also decrease the number of times the telephone rings before going to the answering machine.

4.  Put some relaxing essential oils in an aromatherapy oil burner such as lavender, geranium or bergamot – you probably have your personal favourites - go with what you prefer.  Get the full benefit of relaxation before you even begin meditating!

5. Prepare audio equipment of your choice (see - So what do you actually use to record your voice?).

6. If you'd like to, have your favourite relaxation music playing quietly in the background.

7.  Read each script aloud and thoroughly prior to recording your voice.  When you read aloud you'll pick up more easily where your pauses should be and if you're happy with the speed, modulation etc.

8. Finally – before you press the record button, take a few deep breaths – relax and continue to relax until you have a sense that you're totally present and centred.

9. When you're ready and you've practised your rhythm, speed, volume and pitch to a stage where you're happy with it, record the first script.  When you're done, replay it and assess if you're happy with it.  You'll soon hear whether you're going to be happy with it.  The great thing is you can always re–record the scripts.

10. If you're unhappy with the sound of your recorded voice (some of us are) maybe your partner or a close friend (who is willing) will loan you theirs.

So what do you actually use to record your voice?

You can record these scripts easily by using a blank cassette and a cassette recorder.  Alternatively you might prefer to record them using a voice recorder such as the Windows Sound Recorder - you'll find this on every installation of Windows.  When you've completed your recording, you can burn it to a CD using a commercial CD copying program.   Not only that, there are many free audio editor, software programs available for downloading on the internet - why not check out a few?

Increasing sales by adding streaming audio to your site

If you have noticed, a lot of sites these days add streaming audio to their sites.

Those ubiquitous buttons that resemble little orbs with the play symbol on them? I'm sure you must have seen them.

A lot of marketers these days allow their site visitors to hear their sales pitch, or perhaps a testimonial this way.

Before the advent of Macromedia Flash 6, the only way to stream audio was using real audio player which required users to download their bulky software, not to mention a web server that supported streaming.

The advantage of streaming audio is that visitors don't have to wait for the whole sound file to download before they can listen to it. Thus with streaming audio the playback is almost instantaneous.

Using flash 6 it is very easy to create these buttons that stream the audio from your website to the users browser.

A great flash tutorial on how to make these buttons is available at utorials/Audio/Flash_MX-Kenny_Be-824/index.php

Now the question is how do you record your voice and keep the file size small enough?

If you were to make a recording of your voice with the "Windows Sound Recorder" that was 60 seconds long and save it, it would be 1.26 mb .wav in size.

But you can reduce this to only 117 kb if you made it a .mp3 file instead. Here's how to do it.

Open sound Recorder by going to Start/Programs/Accessories/Entertainment for (Windows 98)

Open sound Recorder by going to Start/Programs/Accessories/Multimedia for (Windows 95)

Press the "Record button" to start the recorder.

As you're speaking into the microphone your sound recorder should have a voice pattern.

After you're done press the "Stop button".

To hear your recording press the "Play button".

Next Click "File/Save As from the menu enter your file name and then click the "Change button".

Another window opens up.

Here For "Format" click the "Drop down button" and select "MPEG Layer-3".

For "Attributes" click the "Drop down button" and select
16 kBits/s, 12,000 Hz Mono 2KB/s.

Click OK.

Click Save and you see the conversion of the file to a .mp3

All done !!

Now all you have to do is pass this mp3 as the source to the flash file and you have instant audio on your site.

How to Create Your Own Streaming Audio With a Few Simple Clicks

Discover right now how to quickly and easily create "streaming audio" like a pro and make your web site stand out from the crowd ... for just cents on the dollar!

Streaming Audio has always been available to the large corporate sites and techies. Now you can use the MP3 Sound Stream software to produce your own streaming audio just like the professionals with no knowledge of programming required.

A Message from MP3 Sound Stream

Best of all no monthly fees or additional costs....

With the web surfer becoming much more "web savvy" than they were a year ago, they are expecting not only information but an entertaining web experience.

You do not need any technical ability. Our program is so easy to use that anyone can add streaming audio to their website and stand out from the crowd.

Marketers and business people have always known that a well-placed audio stream can increase sales and signups to their products and services. The problem has always been that the average person could not afford the high cost of special servers or programmers to be able to use this technology.

This has all changed with MP3 Sound Stream …

With a few clicks, you'll be able to create an unlimited number of streaming audio files….. and instantly upload them to your Website/s. Host them on your own server - you're in full control.

Most other programs will require you to create the streaming audio file yourself. This however is the hardest part of streaming audio and MP3 Sound Stream is one of the few software programs that will take your audio file and compress it into a streaming audio format for you. Download the trial copy and try it for yourself and see how it works.

MP3 Sound Stream will help you establish credibility to your site visitors.

No more plug-ins for your visitors to download. Just click and listen!

MP3 Sound Stream is so simple to install on your computer and add audio to your web pages. We can provide you with a complete a set of tutorials for full, easy-to-follow step-by-step instructions. It's as easy as 1-2-3 with MP3 Sound Stream software. (Download a free fully functional demo.)

You've seen them on web sites, you've heard them and thought to yourself, "Wow! This is really professional! I wish I could have something like this on my web page!" It's always been too expensive or too hard or too inaccessible... until now.

So what are you waiting for? Click here to order now!

Streaming Audio even over a modem connection!

Produce as many files as you like.

Host them on your own server - you're in control.

Greatly reduce the size of your audio file.

Streams over most modem connections

Easy to use interface

Added components for more variety

Pay only once instead of a monthly service

Receive our Streaming Audio workshop with your purchase.

Create up to 4 1/2 hour audio messages, MP3 Sound Stream is designed to play the moment you click the "Play Button" … even if you're on dial-up.

Creates Streaming Audio In 4 Simple Steps
By now you realize how easy it can be to boost your sales or highlight your service or products by harnessing the selling power of the human voice on your Website.

This remarkable breakthrough in Internet marketing technology instantly injects the power of the human voice into your Websites and emails … even if you have no technological skills whatsoever.

All that's required is these 4 steps:

How To Make Your Websites Talk

STEP 1 - Choose or create your own mp3 or wav file.

STEP 2 - Decide what Options you want! (Graphic of Software interface --->)

STEP 3 - Copy and paste text into your web page!

STEP 4 - Click go! Upload to your website.

Video Tutorials Create the audio

Embed and Upload

For the busy webmaster who doesn't have a lot of time on their hands, MP3 Sound Stream is the solution to creating audio files and codes in an instant. Just enter the sound file name, choose the options and select the controllers and colours to use. Easy!

So are you ready to click here and order now?

Fully customize with the controller buttons

MP3 Sound Stream not only allows you to produce excellent quality streaming audio, the program will also provide you with over a hundred different buttons to attach to that file. This allows for a personalized look and fit for your website. We started with 65 that come with the program and we have added 3 new sets you can download free. Have a look at the standard ones now.

6 uses for Streaming Audio

1) Musicians - One of the greatest problems musicians have is a way to present their music. Rather than offering a few songs why not create a mini radio show with highlights of each song with some commentary. Mp3 Sound Stream lets you stream music with ease.

2) Create Products – Many people do interviews or can use the phone to ring some one special. Why not record these and create a product. Ready to click here and order yet?

3) Personal – Create audio cards for special occasions. Christmas, birthdays or just say high to mum and dad on the other side of the world!

4) Ezines - With many servers prohibiting long emails, ezine owners are posting their newsletters online and just sending a link. This enables you to add interviews, testimonies, music and so much more.

5.) Training - Coaching is on the rise and it is so easy to produce a coaching audio to teach people about your product, encourage team members, network marketing training. Colleges can record lectures, churches can record sermons and they can all be streamed over the internet using MP3 Sound Stream.

6.) Marketing - Marketers and business people have always known that a well-placed audio stream can increase sales and signups to their products and services. The problem has always been that the average person could not afford the high cost of special servers or programmers to be able to use this technology. That is now changed with the development of MP3 Sound Stream.


Quite simply MP3 Sound Stream is the only product of its kind on the Internet today, for the price, that will allow you to add as many streaming audio files to your web site/s as you like for the one low price of $39.95.

You can create as many streaming audio files as you like. You can make them for friends, family or business associations. In fact we have a few people who use the program to make streaming audio files for businesses at a small charge.

Of course there are other programs around that will allow you to create streaming audio files however most of them require a monthly fee or are simply not as diverse as MP3 Sound Stream.

Audio files are very similar to graphics in that the ratio between size and quality are crucial. Many of these programs require you to prepare the audio file in the correct format before you can stream it. Mp3 Sound Stream does all this for you.

Now that you have heard the quality and experienced the streaming audio why not download a free trial copy and try it out for your self. It is very easy to use. The trial copy has some embedded audio in the output however when you come back and purchase the full version they will be removed.

Now that your ready to start adding streaming audio use the link below to order your copy of MP3 Sound Stream Now. Once your payment has been processed you will be directed to a secure download page where you can access your unlock key and also some added bonuses. If you have any problems with the download we also send out a confirmation email of your payment with all the links and information within 24hrs of your order. You can always contact us at any time if you have any problems.

Learn how to capture audio

Capturing audio from your camcorder into your computer might be a main step to consider when transferring video data.

This process might become complicated if you are transferring audio from a camcorder which does not support digital technologies and therefore this step would not be as easy to be achieved as if the camcorder would directly transfer digital audio.

When we have audio or video which origin comes from a camcorder that doesn't support digital video, we would need an extra device to capture it before being able to transfer it to the computer. This way, if we have analog audio and wish to capture it with the computer converting it into digital, we would need to go through an extra step.

There are special devices which were specifically created with the purpose of allowing its users to capture analog audio or video from their camcorders and turn them into digital compatible qualities. Once you have achieved this step, you could easily capture such digital audio or video with your computer the same way you would have done from a digital camcorder.

If you wish to capture video recorded with a camcorder into your computer, you would need to convert it into MPEG or MPG digital files in order to turn them into a digital technology compatible with those which your computer would read. Therefore, you would need a device which could achieve this objective and take this step before you are able to actually capture the files with the computer.

Many of these digital capturing devices would allow its users to capture audio as well as video and edit them together. This way, if you have captured video and wish that it has music or any other sounds; you can easily do so by capturing such audio files in different audio tracks, and then edit them in any way you might wish. These devices would allow you to learn what steps to take in order to achieve your capturing goals through their user's manual and you could learn all the capturing possibilities it would bring through the instructions as well.

Make Your Website Talk: How To Install Streaming Audio On Your Site

One of the most important tasks in online selling, and indeed in all selling, is to convince the prospective buyer that you are someone who can be trusted. A nice picture of yourself in your “about” section is helpful, but even more convincing would be a heartfelt audio message in which you explain yourself and introduce your product or service.

If you are thinking that installing a sound capability on your website would be beyond your technical or financial means then I think you will change your mind after you finish reading this article.

There are some online services that provide full audio support but they charge monthly fees and this may be more than you want to invest. However, if you want to add sound with flash buttons to your site on a limited budget then there are several moderately priced downloadable software packages that allow you to do everything, without any technical know-how. They range in price from $40 to $100. Visit the websites of, or, and you will see how these programs work.

Now, if you are like me, a real cheapskate, and you don't want to spend any money at all but would like your website to talk, then you can use the following method to install a streaming audio file on your website.

First you have to record your message. I was able to use an old software package (CoolEditPro) to record an mp3 message directly on my computer. If you have an MP3 player with a recording capacity you can just record your message and then save it to your computer.

Suppose the message is saved as myintroduction.mp3. If you just upload the file to your server and make a link to that file, it will not stream but will download when someone clicks on the link. In order to make it stream you have to do the following. Open a text file and type one small piece of text: (give the location where this file will be) then save this text file with a name such as audiointro.m3u . It is only a text file but it has an extension that makes it look like a sound file. Now, upload the actual audio file myintroduction.mp3 and the text file audiointro.m3u to your server.

In the place where you want someone to listen put a text link or a graphic button linked to the file audiointo.m3u . When someone clicks on this link they will hear the file myintroduction.mp3 streaming from their speakers. It will be played on the default MP3 player of that particular computer, such as Windows Media Player, Winamp, etc.

This is poor-person's streaming audio, but it works. The advantage of the moderately priced packages or the higher priced audio services is that the buttons are nicer and have pause, stop and start functions.

Some audio services claim that adding audio to a website increases conversion rates by 300%. Audio is a tool, if you use it correctly it may indeed be just the thing you need to improve the performance of your website. So choose the method that is convenient for you and try it out.

Podcasting: Internet Radio On Demand... and MORE!

If you haven't heard the term "podcast" yet, you will.

It's about to blow the world of online audio through the roof as every Tom, Dick and Shirley can now operate a high powered Internet Radio station providing on-demand audio (and shortly, video) with nothing more than a microphone, simple software, and a little imagination.

Just like cable TV in the 1980's gave smaller networks and individuals a voice on television, podcasting gives individuals a voice (literally) through online audio.

Podcasting is actually the audio form of "blogging," where individuals share their thoughts in writing over time on a dynamic webpage known as a "blog."

With blogging, subscribers and other blog publishers subscribe to and cross promote each other's content by linking to and writing about each other.

With podcasting, the author shares his or her thoughts in audio form (MP3) and subscribers download and listen to the audio either on their computers, burn the files to CD, or transfer the files to one of the increasingly popular portable MP3 players.

In fact, the term "podcasting" draws its name from the iPod, created by Apple Computers.

Initially you might think the only people podcasting are geeks and computer nerds, but that's not the case.

If you imagine "talk radio" meets "free cable access" then you have and idea of what pocasting is now and how it could evolve in the future.

Right now, any idiot (like me) with a microphone and something to say can create an online radio show.

This type of access to media that reaches a world-wide market enables smaller, niche publishers to develop a world-wide following that just isn't monetarily feasible in traditional mass-media.

That means talk shows like "Chihuahua Breeding" or "Motorcycle Fashion Weekly" that could never hope to afford air time in a local market, can now develop an audience on the Internet.

Log on to to peruse a wide range of available shows on everything from dog training to wine selection and tasting tips (one of the most popular).

Despite all this potential power, podcasting remains in an infancy stage right now.

But, the Internet has always proven in the past that a powerful but simple technology will always find a way to make itself felt quickly.

All it needs to explode is a few people to lead the way and show exactly how to use the technology to entertain and educate subscribers.

I also think two worlds will evolve for podcasting program publishers, just like cable vs. network television.

Some content will remain free (network TV), while some subscribers will gladly pay for more specific "niche" or pay-per-view content (cable TV).

As the quality of the programming increases along with more widespread acceptance of the tools necessary to consume the content (MP3 players and portable video players), podcasting will grow to stand beside other mainstream media.

It won't happen overnight, and it won't penetrate every market, but as members of the "global village" seek to find and feel a connection with like-minded individuals, regardless of their physical location, podcasting provides a cheap, powerful, and innovative solution for that basic human need

Put Audio & Video on Your Web Site

As a company that sells streaming media services for a living, we get questions everyday about what needs to be done to make an audio or video presentation that will stream well over the Internet. Most of these inquiries come from small businesses with limited budgets for marketing and advertising. They are always pleasantly surprised when we tell them that they can do it themselves!

Let's start with an audio only presentation:

·Write out your script first! Focus on two to three points that you feel are essential to explain your products or services. Keep the script simple. If your site offers a wide variety of goods or services, you might consider several different messages with each one keying in on one or two important areas.
·Have someone who is not familiar with your business review the script and your site. Be sure that they understand your message. If they don't, rewrite it!
· Practice reading the script until you feel completely familiar and comfortable with it. (You can hire professional voice talent for reasonable rates if you'd prefer not recording the audio yourself.)
·Use the best quality tape recorder available to you. A cassette recorder is fine.
·Use a high quality brand name audiotape.
·An external microphone that plugs into your recorder is preferable to the one that comes built-in. They are very inexpensive and produce a better recording.
·Do your recording in a quiet place with as little background noise as possible. (That one seems pretty obvious, doesn't it?)
·Speak naturally! It can help to have a friend or colleague act as an audience to give you focus.
·Record your presentation several times. Select the one that will sound the most natural and inviting to your site visitors.
·Send the tape to the encoding (streaming) vendor. They'll take it from there!

A video presentation takes a little more time and effort, but you really can do it yourself. Your home video camera will work just fine! All of the same rules you used to make your audiotape apply here including the use of an external microphone. Good quality videotape is essential. The following suggestions will help you prepare a video presentation for your site that should stream very well:

·Keep the camera steady! Put the camera on a tripod or brace it against something solid like a table or a wall. If you must pan or zoom, do it very slowly. (Too much motion can cause a “blurry” stream.)
·Simplify your frame. Think about where everything is going to be. People coming in and out of the frame can create movement that may cause confusion.
·Stay focused. A lot of auto-focus cameras can't focus properly if you are too close to your subject. Five or six feet away is a good distance. Don't try to shoot through a window; the camera will focus on the glass.
·Good lighting is essential. Try to light your scene from the front. Don't stand in front of a window; the backlighting will cause you to be in silhouette. Try shooting outside if possible.
·Use the fastest record speed. This will insure the best video quality.
·Record in a quiet place. Hold the mike close to your mouth to cut down on external noises.
·RELAX AND ENJOY YOURSELF! It really shows. Practice until you feel comfortable.

If you have additional questions or concerns, your streaming vendor should be ready and able to assist you.

Early adopters of Rich Media techniques, streaming being one of them, have already started to reap the rewards of higher click-through rates and increased conversion rates. If your message is meaningful and relevant to your site visitors, your streaming presentation will add to their enjoyment of visiting your site and encourage them not only to buy but also to return and buy again!