Revised: October 7, 2000
You can make an audio file start playing automatically when a web page loads. Click here for an example using the EMBED tag for Netscape and the BGSOUND tag for Internet Explorer. In Netscape however, I could only get the example to work after it had been transferred to the server; when I tried it locally, the plug-in did not appear to load.
Players: RealPlayer 7 Basic and WinAmp are free and play several formats.
MP3 Creators: RealJukeBox 2.0 is a free program from RealNetworks that allows you to create MP3 music files from your audio CDs. Real Jukebox Plus 2.0 sells for $30.
Media Cleaner Pro 4.0 from Terran Interactive ($499) has a compression program that supports all major audio and video formats.
These files are quite small but can only contain notes, not real sounds, so they are only useful for synthesizer-sounding music.
Some files sound pretty good, e.g., Jambalaya on Gary Hayman's cajun and zydeco music site (www.erols.com/ghayman) or Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata on Classical MIDI Archives. Some do not.
Voice Instant Messaging and Chat
hearme.com offers free instant messaging and chat products. Voicecontact 2.0 and HearMe for ICQ which appears to be add voice to instant messaging. VoiceCreator offers voice chat.
Material on some of the commercial services identified above drawn from Clark, Don "MP3 Settles Lawsuits by Warner, BMG", The Wall Street Journal, June 12, 2000, p. B6.
Comments to William Pegram, email@example.com