China the Beautiful - Copyright Ming L. Pei 1995-97

Play & Hear Sound on the Web

(Note: I have not played sound files on Mac computers, but have been told by readers that Mac computers works fine wiht sound files here.)

How to configure Netscape to play sound files

To play sound files, Netscape Navigator must be told (a) the file extension that signifies it as a sound file, (b) name of the computer program (called "helpers" by Netscape) that plays it, and (c) where to find this program.
You only need to do these once.

Currently, we record the sound files in two different formats: Microsoft (wav) and Real Audio (ram) formats.

When you see the icons: -

the same sound track is available in both formats.
You have the option to choose whichever format you prefer by clicking on its icon.


Microsoft (wav) format


Microsoft Windows plays sounds itself (for example, it plays a chime sound when the program starts.), so the necessary player program is already there. So there is no need to obtain the program. However, The Netscape Browser may not be configured (told) to locate this program. If this is true, then follow the procedure below.

(a) At the top of the Netscape screen, locate the word "Options" and click on it.

(b) A drop-down menu will appear. Among the list of optons is "General Preferences". Highlight it and click on it.

Now you see the "Preferences" window as below.

Near the top are a row of words. These are "Tabs".
Click on the tab with the word "Helper" on it.

(d) The screen changes and looks like this:

At the center there is an area (white background) with 3 columns: File type, Action, and Extension.
Scroll down until you see "wav" in the Extension column. High light it, and look at the Action column.
If the Action column shows "MPlayer.exe", then you need to do nothing. Cancel and done.
If the Action column is blank, or "Ask User" then you need to set the Action column to "MPlayer.exe" as follows:
In the lower part of the screen, make sure the "File Extensions:" shows "wav".
Below this is "Action". Click on the Radio button in front of "Launch the Application".
Below this is another white area. This area may be blank, or it may have texts left over from a previous session. You want to set this to say Mplayer.exe with its full path. A safe way to do this is to click on the "Browse" button, and change the directory repeatedly until you come to the \Windows directory. Search for Mplayer.exe entry and select it. Click until it shows up in the white area.
Click ok. You are done. ok and exit.


RealAudio (ram) format


Sound files recorded in RealAudio format must be played with a RealAudio Player plug-in program. This program did not come with older versions of Microsoft Windows - but is included in the latest verison.

You can download RealAudio Player, free, from Real Audio company site's Engish page . The latest version is v.5. (Spring 1998)

This RealAudio player is necessary, if you wish to play the files marked as .
ram files are 10 to 20 times shorter than files, which means that ram files can be downloaded much faster and begin to play much sooner. Highly recommended.


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