quiltlef.gif (8176 bytes) VCCS Litonline Introduction to Literature
English 112 (English Composition II) 

Streaming Sound

Here is the procedure we developed for using Real Publisher and Front Page 98 to process already existing .wav files into Real Audio files that could be played on the widely used, free Real Player plug-in.

Preview of the Process: Basically, we make or convert the sound files with Real Publisher and make an .html page with Real Publisher that includes the embedding of the file and the command to pop up Read Player on the user's computer. But we don't "publish" with Real Player. Instead we use Front Page Editor to copy the command and icons, pasting from that .htm page onto whatever Front Page 98 page we wish. You have to "Import" the file from your computer into your Litonline web and, once it's there, change the link properties to find it--making sure the file name ends with .ram, not .rm, or the Real Player won't open automatically.

Print and save these directions. Try them out until they get familiar. Require your students to download the free Real Player 5.0 (copy the button from the .htm page you'll be making).

Ingredients: You'll need Real Publisher, Real Player, and Front Page Explorer and Editor. You can find royalty-free sound files on the Asymetrix Toolbook Assistant CD-Rom, or you can record your own as soon as you get your headset (with microphone) plugged into your computer.

Here are the steps for turning an existing audio file, e.g. a .wav file, into a streaming audio file:

1. Open Real Publisher.

2. Select audio quality on the right: Best guess = Use 14.4 for voice, but 28.8 stereo for music.

3. Click "File"---"Open Session."

4. In the Open Session dialog box, you have to specify the sound file you want converted and what to call the converted file. For example, you could start with arf.wav and turn it into fido.ram.

    a. Click "File"---"Add" to browse for the sound file you're going to convert.

    b. The "Add Source File" dialog box that pops up is the usual directory finder, so click your way           to the sound file you want.   Double-click on it.

    c. In the "Open Session" dialog box, on the right, under "Destination," click on "Save As" (the          "Real Media File" check box should be checked; click in it to make the checkmark appear).

    d. "Save Destination File As" dialog box lets you click through your computer's directory to decide          which folder to keep the result in when it's done and to name it. Click to the folder where you          want to put the file for now--and remember where because you'll be using it soon. Use a name of          eight letters or less; click on "Save" and the .rm extension will be added automatically.

    e. In the "Open Session" dialog box, check the filenames at left and right to make sure they are what          you want; click "OK."

5. Real Publisher displays the name of the target file at the top and says "Ready" in the status line at the bottom.

    a. Now would be a good time to fill in the "Title," "Author," and "Copyright" blanks with the              information you want to display in Real Player when the file you are about to make is playing          on your student's computers. If you leave these slots blank, they will display anyhow and be          blank in Real Player. (Let's settle on a way to fill these in. I suggest whatever title you              please, not the "filename," and you as author or any source you wish to credit (e.g.          Asymetrix). We should routinely list the VCCS as copyright holder. These values will          change if you use someone else's file by permission.) If we forget these labels, these steps can         be repeated later just to add them.

    b. At the bottom left, under "File Encoding," click START.

    c. Result? A green bar goes across the bottom, right status line. "Closed" appears at the bottom,          right in the status line. And statistics pop up. Click "OK."

6. Still in Real Publisher, near the bottom, middle, under "Web Publishing," you'll be using two of the three options.

    a. Click "Create HTML." Ta-da! The "HTML Creation Wizard" opens up.

    b. "Introduction": Read the introduction and click "Next."

    c. "Media File": Make sure the "Encoded File" radio button has the black dot in it, check the              location of the file on your computer (browse to it if you need to) and when it's correct click           "Next."

    d. "Playback Method": Select "Pop-up Player" so that Real Player will open up on our students'           computers. (FYI: "Embedded player" fetches a plug-in--via a Java pop-up that never works on           my computer). Click "Next."

    e. "Caption": Put here the wording for the link, e.g. "Click Me!" or "Vivaldi selection" or whatever.           "Click "Next."

    f. "Filename": Don't be confused; the default filename is the same as it was for the sound file you           made and goes to the same directory by default--but the ending is .htm. Use another name for the           page, if you like, but this is only a temporary location; you're going to put the link onto a FP98           page.

        Click "Next."

    g. "Results:" This part of the wizard lists the page and it's crucial "metafile" that gets Real Player to           open automatically, without users having to go find it to play our audio.

    h. Click on the "Preview HTML" button and pause as your browser opens.

    i.  Click the link you have made to make sure it plays the sound file. Pause while Real Player opens           and loads and plays the file. Click the Real Player play button to hear it again--and rejoice. If it           plays, minimize your browser until you are ready to check your final results.

    j. Click "Finish" and close Real Publisher.

(Legal and logistical stuff: Notice that the trademark emblem for Real Player and the button linked to the Real Player download site were with your link. These are three separate pieces--link to your file, trademark, and download button. The trademark should be on the page where your link to the sound file is, but not necessarily so prominent. The download button could be on the first page of the lesson, especially if sound files appear throughout, with a notice to students that they'll need to download and install Real Player--for free--before reopening the lesson in their reopened browser.)

7. Open Front Page 98 Explorer and Editor to the page where you want your sound file to finally reside in your lesson. Position your cursor on the FP98 page where you plan to paste the link to your audio file.

    a. Still in FP98 Editor, open the .htm page you made with Real Publisher.

--Here's how: When the "Open" dialog box appears, it is looking at your web. Next to the URL slot, hold your mouse cursor over the far right icon (a yellow folder with an aqua magnifying glass): "Select a file on your computer" pops up in a white block. (Isn't that reassuring?)

--Click this icon and browse to the location of the .htm file you made with Real Publisher.

--Double-click this file's icon to open it in the Editor.

    b. Highlight the link, the trademark, and the download button. (I don't know why the "Free" button           isn't labeled in Editor; but it will be labeled with the Real Player emblem in your browser.)

    c. Copy what you've highlighted. (Either by clicking on "Edit"--"Copy" or by using <Ctrl+C>)

    d. Click the aqua arrow near the top of the Editor interface to go to your FP98 page.

    e. Paste at your selected cursor position.

    f. Save your page! On the "Save Embedded Files" dialog box, click "OK" to save or to overwrite          the trademark and download button so that they will be with your web.

8. Check (and admire) your work by previewing it in your browser.

Here are the exact steps to import your sound files: Print this list and save this file and the earlier sequence list.

In Front Page 98 Explorer, with the web open to which you are adding sound files, click on "File"--"Import."

9. In the "Import File to Front Page Web" dialog box, click on "Add File."

10. In the "Add File to Import List," browse to the location of your sound files (these can be from multiple folders on your computer) and double-click the icons of those you wish to copy to your web.

11. When your "Add" list is complete, click "OK."

12. In FP98 Explorer, make sure the file names end with .ram.

13. Double-click the icon for the page containing the link to a sound file.

14. Highlight the link (less sloppily than I did for the demo, if possible), right-click on it, and select "Hyperlink Properties" from the bottom of the floating pop-up menu.

15. In the "Edit Hyperlink" dialog box, go the URL line and delete everything but the name of the file as it appears in your web's file list.

16. Repeat 14-15 as needed for more audio file links.

17. Save your page!

18. Preview the page in your browser to test the links.

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