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Author Topic: Poll: audio samples  (Read 2416 times)
Ramza
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« on: January 25, 2007, 01:20:10 PM »

Over the years I've had people write in about their inability to listen to our "streaming" audio samples (and by "streaming" I mean "really outdated formatting"). So, please answer this poll and provide any comments alongside it so I can work with this part of the soundtracks section in future updates.

Thanks!
Patrick
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Cauton
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« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2007, 01:41:02 PM »

Have you considered some other streaming audio format? A lot of people are turned off by Real because of bloated software that is intrusive and aggresively associates all media file handlers with itself, and because the audio quality really isn't that good. Ogg, QuickTime or mp3 would all be much better options.

In my opinion, anyway.
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TurnBasedDude
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« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2007, 03:07:57 AM »

The samples work for me fine, though occasionally RealPlayer freezes up on me. I am not really fond of the program myself, and many people I feel the same way on RealPlayer, and don't like to have it. Like Cauton suggested, try finding a new audio format you can use for samples in order to reach a broader audience. There is bound to be something else or more up to date you can use, and still make it legal if that's the reason you've been sticking with Real. This is your field after all, and I am sure you will think of a good idea to improve the section.

That's my two cents.
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« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2007, 02:32:43 PM »

I just hate Real Player, Patrick....
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« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2007, 02:35:54 PM »

It's kinda sad, really:  the soundtrack samples are what originally brought me here, yet I haven't listened to them in years because I refuse to put that bloated piece of shit software on my machine ever again.
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Shooichi
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« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2007, 10:08:57 PM »

Even if I were willing to install RealPlayer on my precious iBook, I can't! I'm running Mac OSX, which as I understand it, is not RealPlayer friendly.

Not that I'd download Realplayer if I could.
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« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2007, 10:43:50 PM »

Actually Real works fine on OS X. It's sufficiently less a piece of bloatware too. But yeah... I think it's time we looked into things like Flash audio for samples.
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Eusis
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« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2007, 11:16:50 PM »

The last time I listened was when I was using the Mac. I've not touched them on a PC, didn't really care to install real player. In fact, it seems like no one supports it anymore anyway. :P
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Ramza
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« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2007, 06:52:00 PM »

I am looking into changing all of the sound samples to a standard low-bitrate mp3 format. This would not only expand the sound samples' usability, but would also probably save on file size.

More to come, thank you all for the feedback.

Ramza
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Ramza
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« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2007, 02:04:01 AM »

Thread resurrection / UPDATE!

It's been to decided that, at least for now, Real Audio will *still* be the format of choice. Why?

Well, after some experimenting, we've learned that conversions from the RM file to other audio types (mp3, flash audio, wma) actually INCREASED file size, and usually created some noticeable side effects (occasional popping and distortion).

We tried a lot of things, but even when starting from the actual WAV file audio, it looks like Real does a decent job at compressing these songs!

However, what we have done is remove all of the "streaming" files (that re-linked to the files themselves) and now have the links pointing directly to the audio file itself. The reason we did this is particularly because we want you to have an alternative:

http://www.free-codecs.com/download/Real_Alternative.htm

"Real Alternative," to be exact. This codec allows RM content to be played. And because we've done away with the "streaming" file system (which was a piece of crap that didn't quite work anyway), this alternative will be very useful to those who dislike the bulky RealPlayer software.

Please take the time to respond and let us know if this makes the audio samples any more functional, or at the very least *appealing,* to you the precious reader.

Thanks,
Patrick Gann
RPGFan.com Soundtracks Editor
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MonCapitan2002
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« Reply #10 on: March 09, 2007, 12:24:21 AM »

I use RealPlayer and have never had a problem with it.  It's been a while since I checked out the samples, though.  So if I understand correctly, the samples will be downloaded instead of streamed correct?

I do have one question, though.  You mentioned that you converted the RM file to one of the other formats.  How did you initially create the RM file, though?  Were the files provided to you by the publishers of the soundtrack CD's or did you create them from a copy of the CD you already had?  If it is the latter situation, couldn't you try ripping a file from the original disc in multiple formats to see which one is largest?

I just realised you mentioned that the original file is a WAV.  Is that the file you created from the actual CD or is that provide by the soundtrack publisher?
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« Reply #11 on: April 27, 2007, 06:08:03 PM »

I'd be much more inclined to have slightly larger files that don't rely on super-propriatary evil-asshole file formats like Real Media. I'd rather see WMAs... and I'm a Mac user!

MP3s / AACs are just so much more convenient anyway. But you shouldn't be converting Real files into other things, anyway... start with the originals, THEN try converting them, I bet you'll find that they sound a lot cleaner at lower bitrates.
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