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 CD Home < Web Review < 1998 < Nov 13  

Designers

Streaming Sound with Emblaze Audio

By Jackie Dove
Rank: 2

Emblaze Audio

Product: Emblaze Audio

Manufacturer: GEO Interactive

Platforms: Win95/NT, Mac

Price: $249

Demo: Only available for Windows 95/NT

System Requirements:
Mac:

•80 MHz PowerPC 601 or better
•Mac OS 7.5+
•16 MB RAM
•5 MB HD space
•CD-ROM drive

Windows:

•486 processor or better
•Windows 95/NT
•16 MB RAM
•5 MB HD space
•CD-ROM drive

Sounding Out with Emblaze Audio

Emblaze Audio 1.01, GEO's streaming audio compression utility for the Web, has many attractive qualities. At $249, it stands as a reasonably priced streaming authoring alternative, which lets you include music, narration, and other sound effects on your Web site.

Emblaze Audio, unlike other streaming technologies, lets you host sound without the need for plug-ins or server software. The program translates AIFF, WAV or SND files into Emblaze's proprietary file format, which plays via a Java applet. The applet downloads transparently to the user's computer and then acts as the multimedia player for files of any length. It functions on modem speeds of 14.4 kbps or higher. Emblaze is compatible with popular visual Web authoring programs such as Adobe PageMill or Microsoft FrontPage.

Emblaze Audio is part of a suite of products that let you create streaming video, audio, animations, and interactive content using Java applets created by Emblaze. To hear Emblaze files, you need a Java-enabled browser (such as Netscape 3 or Internet Explorer 3 or better).

Emblaze Audio is very easy to use, especially for non-programmers and Web designers. The program is a single screen utility with a radio-like interface which you use to navigate through your sound file. The Open button, or marble, opens the file for compression while the Compress button starts the compression process. That's all you have to do to operate Emblaze Audio.

Figure 1:
Figure 1: Emblaze Audio is a single screen utility with a radio-like interface. The Open button opens the file for compression, while the Compress button starts the compression process.

A graphic equalizer shows the amplitude of the sound as it was recorded. The audio wave display bar shows you an animated view of your sound file as it is undergoing compression. The binary display shows you the file actually being digitized into ones and zeroes. A counter shows you the estimated time it takes to compress your file.

Figure 2
Figure 2: The graphic equalizer (top) shows the amplitude of the sound as it was recorded. The audio wave display bar (bottom) shows you an animated view of your sound file while it is being compressed.

There are two options on the Emblaze interface. You can check or leave unchecked Create HTML and Control Panel. The Create HTML creates an HTML document with the Java code already written. You can copy and past this code into a pre-existing Web page or you can start building a new page around the Emblaze generated code. The Control Panel gives you the option of adding a GIF playback audio control panel to the page, which lets the user play, stop, pause and rewind the audio selection. Without the control panel, the sound simply streams in when the page loads.

Make sure to load Emblaze's Java class files (four files plus the Emblaze audio file) into your Web site folder with the rest of your Web content or it will not play. Then, you can immediately test the sound by opening a preview page in your browser. When you are satisfied with your sound, shoot the file up to your server and it's ready for everyone else to listen to.


Streaming Sound with Emblaze Audio
Compression and Sound Quality
Sound Input and Editing
Sound Inequality and Incompatibilities




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