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Designing Web Audio & CD-ROM by Dylan Thede, Josh Beggs

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MP3

Capability

Rating

Browser compatibility and percent of browsers with Plug-in

Excellent.

Interactive sound design capabilities

Limited/None. Technology is a compression format, not a multimedia authoring environment.

Software cost for encoding and streaming

Free to inexpensive.

Small licensing fee may apply for professional applications. No dedicated server required for posting downloadable files.

Level of documentation and support

Limited.

Audio encoding and content generation

Easy.

Audio authoring and delivery

Difficult to Easy.

Installation of SHOUTcast server for MP3 streaming requires Unix programming expertise. Posting MP3 files on a standard web server for downloading is easy.

Audio fidelity and compression

Outstanding.

Depends on the rate.

Low-bandwidth performance

Excellent.

MP3 shines in low-bandwidth environments. To the discerning listener, the MP3 encoding algorithm produces the most ear-pleasing and natural form of audio degradation after compression for 28.8 bandwidth environments.

Server performance and quality of software tools for large-scale streaming

Good—SHOUTcast Server.

But primarily a downloadable format. Streaming options such as SHOUTcast are becoming more widespread. Currently very few tools available for large-scale broadcasting.

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