strategy for putting music samples online

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I'm developing a website for a musician friend. He has released 6 CDs,
and we want to put some samples up for people to listen to..  As far as
I can tell there are probably about 49 ways to do this, and I'm trying
to figure out the best strategy..

right now I'm trying to choose between an embedded player, or just
making the mp3 samples downloadable, to be then played on the default
player in the person's computer..

the embedded player would be more elegant, easier and faster, becuase
they could just click and it would start to play, without waiting for
download time, but then I'd need at least two, right..  one for PC
people and one for MAC people..

just putting up the mp3 samples to be downloaded would be less fuss,
but it would mean folks had to wait for the download, before they could
play the song...

I'm wondering if there is a good summary of thoughts on this subject on
line that you might point me to, and/or if I've missed any important


Helen Martin
Living in Paradise on Vancouver Island

Re: strategy for putting music samples online

Helen Martin wrote:
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I think you'll encounter both sorts of people; those who just want to
click-and-listen, without going through a series of steps to get to the
music. And then, there will be those who want to download the music,
either because they prefer their own player, or because they want to
keep the mp3 and add it to their collection.

I suggest you use both. I believe a Flash mp3 player will work on any
computer with the Flash player installed, regardless of platform. The
download link will satisfy those who would prefer to play the file
themselves, as well as that small demographic which refuses to install
Flash in their browser. Just please, please don't set the player to
start playing by itself! ;-)

David J. Hennessy /
       web site developer
       webmaster services

Re: strategy for putting music samples online

"David J. Hennessy"
storey building. This is what they screamed on the way down:

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Strongly agreed with this: Use both. *Most* of the time, I'd rather
download the clip and play it locally or later. *Some* of the time, I
couldn't be bothered and want the choice to play it right there on the

And definitely don't have it start playing by itself, as David says :)
That's cause for asteroid strikes on your house :)

Marc Bissonnette
Looking for a new ISP?
Largest ISP comparison site across Canada.
Something to sell ?

Re: strategy for putting music samples online

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The distinction is slim: using an <a> vs. <embed> or <object>.  However,
it sounds like what you're actually considering is a custom player, like

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Wrong on all counts.  Nothing is more annoying than content locked up in
Flash.  Assuming you have a slow connection, you have to wait for the
download in either case.  Flash is cross-platform, but I don't see any
reason to use Flash here.

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My browser allows me to start playing media immediately.  My connection
is fast enough that even movie trailers download faster than they play.  
Either you're doing something wrong or you have a very outdated

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The first important consideration is what your *friend* wants from the
site.  Locking things up in a proprietary player makes sense if he
doesn't want people to play the music outside their browser.  In
general, though, the people/customers have come to expect an iTunes-like
model: 30 second promotional clips and possibly a free track or two.  It
may even be more beneficial for them to go to the effort of getting
listed in iTunes directly, and then link to that.

In short, almost none of the considerations are technical.

My personal UDP list:, localhost,,,
    and probably your server, too.

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