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Sound and Video

 

Sound and Video are the future of the World Wide Web, especially since Manx Telecom are at the forefront of broadband communications!

What do you need to hear sounds from the internet?

Hardware:

Software

Any recent version of the two main browsers (Internet Explorer 5 or Netscape 4) will let you hear a variety of sound files being played over the internet.  

What do you need to watch video from the www?

 

Battle of the Media Players

Real Player v. Windows Media Player

These Media players can play all the music and video files you might possibly want to hear or watch.  The choice between them is a matter of taste, and also a matter of  whether you want to see Microsoft become dominant in another area of computing.

Windows Media Player has the advantage that it can be seen to behave as part of Internet Explorer, especially with sites like Lycos Video Center.

Real Player uses "Plug-Ins" - little programs to deal with the different types of media you want to play, and these can be downloaded as and when they are needed.  If you go to the Real website make sure you look for Real Player Basic - this is the free player.  It is there - on the grey  band across the middle of the page.

With both players you will be asked to download files called "Codecs" which are the language the files use to communicate with your sound and video cards.

Both players can be used as CD players, to play midi files, to play MP3 files, to play .wav files.  Both players can write downloaded or recorded files to CD if you have a CD writer.

Napster

Napster is probably the most controversial of the music sites, as it's users make copies of their collections available freely over the www.  It allows one to search it's user's collections by title and artist to find all sorts of music.  The music is in MP3 format and Napster's interface includes an MP3 player.  Napster has been through the courts in the United States and it is expected that users will have to pay to download music in the next few months.