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How to play the song samples

Even if you've never listened to sound on the web before, this page will tell you how to hear the soundfiles on the ARMS site.

If you've tried to follow these directions and something isn't working, send a message to webmaster@reacharms.com.

Right now, we have select songs available in two formats. A few songs are available in MP3 ("mpeg 3") format. Some more are available in streaming RealAudio format. If you've never heard of these before, you may want to read the note below. To hear the files, you need a "player" program for your system. Take a look at the list of players below and pick one. (You'll also need some speakers or headphones connected to your computer, of course.)

Once you've downloaded and installed a player, just come back here and click on the song you want to hear. For an mp3 file, save it to your hard drive (you may have to shift-click to do that); once it's downloaded, open it with your MP3 player, and there you go. For the RealAudio files, you should be able to just click on the file and your RealPlayer should open and start playing in a few seconds.

Some popular players you can download for free are:

A typical 4 minute MP3 file takes about 15-20 minutes to download with a 33.6K modem. The RealAudio files should start playing almost right away. There is not any way to save the RealAudio files onto your computer.

A bit more explanation for those not familiar with music on the web

The problem with putting audio files on the web is that accurate recordings of music take up HUGE amounts of disk space, and take an incredibly long time to download. If I copied a song directly off our CD and put it online without "encoding" it, it would take you an hour or more just to download one song, and then it would use up about 40 MB of your hard drive.

The solution is to run the song through an encoding process that decides which (and how much) sonic information can be thrown away without making things sound too horrible. The more information is removed, the worse the song will sound. There are many encoding formats in use on the web today, but the two most popular right now are mpeg-3 ("MP3") and RealAudio. MP3 sounds much better but takes longer to download; RealAudio can sometimes be instantaneous, but the sound is pretty bad. And that's probably all you need to know.


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