Monday, 01 March 1999
Streaming audio over the Internet is a reality primarily due to developers like RealNetworks and Liquid Audio. To hear such audio content (or downloaded files), digital players (plug-ins) are stored in your hard drive. In most cases, you need a dedicated player for each type of encoded file. However, in the pursuit for a less chaotic Internet, Liquid Audio provides a plug-in for their G2 player that handles Real Audio files. To make matters worse these are not the only music files that can be found. For each type of proprietary sound file, there is an exclusive player and, so, the compatibility dance continues.
Aside from this hodgepodge of incompatible formats, there is the bigger concern over the quality of available material. Not just the content itself but the actual sound reproduction. Audio files are heavily compressed, often limiting bandwidth and ...