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

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Beatnik

Capability

Rating

Browser compatibility and percent of browsers with Plug-in

Fair.

Interactive sound design capabilities

Outstanding. Format is built for sound designers.

Advanced button rollovers, transitions, sound effects, and loops.

Software cost for encoding and streaming

$10 to $100.

Inexpensive to purchase Beatnik software package. More expensive if you want direct consulting and support from Beatnik engineers.

Level of documentation and support

Good.

Audio encoding and content generation

Difficult.

Must have familiarity with composing MIDI scores and editing digital audio samples.

Audio authoring and delivery

Difficult.

Beatnik requires a fairly complex setup and testing process to encode hybrid MIDI audio files into the Beatnik format and to develop the Java-Scripts necessary for synchronized playback.

Audio fidelity and compression

Outstanding/Good.

Supports MP3 compression. Overall playback sound quality is phenomenal relative to file size. Note, Beatnik is not a format for encoding streaming audio files.

Low-bandwidth performance

Outstanding

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

Poor/Fair—HTTP Pseudo-Streaming.

However, Beatnik files are generally very small so they download quickly making true streaming not as necessary as with other more bandwidth intensive formats.

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