Digital Audio World

Musings and information on podcasting, digital audio, online streaming audio and home studio recording from Tim 'Gonzo' Gordon of

Friday, October 20, 2006


Here's the latest PODCAST INFO newsletter I published this week. Do you get my newsletter? If not, subscribe here.


Let's take a quick look at streaming flash audio in this issue ofPodcast Info.

First of all, what is streaming flash audio, and why would you use it?

Flash is the name of program written and released years ago by Macromedia. This was part of a suite of web-related software, which also included DreamWeaver (web design), FireWorks and FreeHand (graphic design - with different purposes).

Flash was probably the er, well, flashiest of those programs. With it a clever and skilled designer could incorporate audio, video, animation and other elements. Somewhere along the way a handful of folks came up with the idea that it would be easy to incorporate the 'click-to-play-audio' function into a website so that it would be easy to get viewers to click and listen.

So why should you offer flash audio if you have a podcast? After all, a podcast is downloadable and transportable, right? What's the point of offering another version of the audio?



People listen to audio differently, and the more options you are able to offer your visitors, the higher the chances are that you can capture their attention and actually get them to listen.

Not only that, but there are still people who access the web via dial-up, and downloading a multi-megabyte file might take them 30 to 60 minutes and unreasonably tie up a phone connection.


That's why on my podcast home page I'll offer a link to subscribe via an RSS feed, a direct link to subscribe through iTunes, a direct link to the MP3 file and a 'click-to-play' audio flash button for people who want to listen right then and there without waiting.

Macromedia claims that Flash players are installed on 98 percent of all computers, and while that number may be exaggerated, conservative estimates put the number at at least 90 percent. Flash is the streaming solution of choice for dial-up listeners as well as those who are accessing the web with DSL or broadband.

So when it comes to making it easier for your audience, offering flash audio is a no-brainer. But where do you get a useful piece of software to convert your files to flash? My favorite for the past year or two has been AudioStreamsPlus, created by America Web Works.

(And by the way, if you purchase the software, send me a copy of your receipt at tim(at) and I'll refund $10!) Of course there are other flash audio solutions, but I've not found one that is as user-friendly as AudioStreamsPlus.


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