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One of the most popular Audio encoding formats on the Web today is Real Audio. You can download one of their players or encoders, for free, by clicking here.

One of the most common questions regarding the Real Audio format is how to get content to stream instead of having to download the entire clip. There are two known ways of getting this accomplished. The first is to employ the use of a Real Audio Server, which can be found on their web site, Real.com. This option can be prohibitively expensive, save for the somewhat large commercial Web Site. Most users will want to choose the option of forgoing the Real Audio Server. There is a downside, obviously; you will be limited to 3 simultaneous streams.

Assuming that you already have the encoded audio clip, here is the method for streaming without the dedicated streaming server:

Upload your Real Audio to your Web Server.

Use a simple text editor such as Notepad to create a Metafile (one with an .ram extension). The metafile should contain the URL of the actual audio file.

Save the new metafile in your directory. Refer to the metafile on your page and you're all set.

Click here to hear a streaming audio clip. If you view the source on this page, you'll see that this link refers to the small ram file: saint_etienne.ram. The contents of this file are nothing more than the URL of the real media.

http://www.inch.com/audio/se_ptv.rm

This file was created using Vi, a UNIX text editor. You can, however, use any editor that saves as plain ASCII text.