Real Audio Configuration

ASIS has a Real Audio server.
To take advantage of the server, you'll require the following from Progressive Network's web site:

  • Real Audio Player
  • Real Audio Encoder
The beauty of Real Audio is that it allows streaming. When a user clicks on the link, the audio file(s) begin to download. The RealAudio Player begins playing after a few seconds; it does not need to wait for the entire file to be downloaded. It's feasible for the listener to hear whole songs, poems or whatever without having to wait for them to download first.

STEP 1 - Creating Content

RealAudio content may be created from previously recorded digital audio files. Prerecorded files may be in .au .wav and .pcm audio formats.

Using the Real Audio Encoder, encode the audio which you want to make available on your site. For compatibility with the largest number of Real Audio players out there and with the largest number of connection types, you should encode the audio in both 14.4K and 28.8K formats. Note that these files will have a .ra extension.

STEP 2 - Creating Metafiles

Metafiles are text files with the extension .ram. Metafiles contain the addresses of the RealAudio (.ra) files. These addresses are in the form of URLs. Instead of pointing to the .ra audio file, your Web page will be set up to point to it's metafile. This metafile, as said before, contains the URL (Uniform Resource Locator) of the audio file (or files) you want associated with the hyperlink. The user's browser passes the URLs to the RealAudio Player, which retrieves .ra files from our RealAudio Server. Simply put, the .ram file is the metafile which points to the.ra file which contains the actual audio data. Is this crystal clear?

The locator type used by RealAudio software is pnm (Progressive Networks Metafile) so addresses you put into a metafile begin with pnm://

To create a metafile:

  1. Use your vanilla text editor to create a file containing a RealAudio URL. The contents of your file should be in the following form:
    For example, to provide access to a RealAudio file called hello.ra for www.toothfairy.org , the text of your metafile would be:
    You must use www.asis.com as it is the DNS name of the machine running the RealAudio Server, on which you store your RealAudio files.

    If you want more than one file to play when the user clicks your link, create a metafile containing several URLs (on separate lines with no intervening blank lines). For example, if your metafile contains:

    the Player automatically plays your three files in sequence. A listener can use the Clip menu on the Player to move forward and backward between clips (.ra files).

  2. Save your metafile in the "Text Only with Line Breaks" format, using a .ram filename extension.

    For example, you could save the three lines shown above in a file named welcome.ram on your Web server.

STEP 3 - The HTML Tag

In your HTML document, reference the metafile in a hyperlink as follows:
	<A HREF="http://www.asis.com/your_directory
	/welcome.ram ">Welcome!</A>
where welcome.ram is the metafile containing the text:


STEP 4 - Uploading to the ASIS Server

You'll need to upload your .ra and .ram files to the ASIS server and place them in the directory you serve your web pages from. Be sure to upload the .ra file as binary and .ram as text.

IMPORTANT: Before you can use the Real Audio server, we need to configure it so that it can access your files. Please send email to support@asis.com asking us to configure Real Audio support for your Virtual Web Server.

There are many other features of the RealAudio server which you can take advantage of. The content creation guide available from Progressive Networks site (in PDF format) documents all of these features. Some of these include:
  • Changing the start and stop times of the audio file
  • Changing the title, author, and copyright info embedded in the file
  • Custom RealAudio embed Tag attributes
  • Synchronized Audio with Events