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Compare Streaming Audio, Downloads, and Podcasts

Here are some innovative ways to include audio on your mobile website. Explore the various audio settings and services that can make your designs sing (sorry — couldn’t resist the pun).

You can enable mobile users to access your audio files in these three ways:

  • Streaming audio refers to the process whereby the audio files are transferred continuously, bit by bit, to the mobile device while the user listens. The file isn't saved on the device but, rather, is sent to the user every time it’s requested.

    However, to stream audio, you need to clear complicated technical hurdles to ensure that the audio files play as promised. Live concerts, press conferences, and sporting events are examples of situations where you might want to take on the challenges of streaming audio.

  • Downloadable audio files are, not surprisingly, downloaded and then played on a mobile device without being connected to the web. This method allows your users to download a file before they get on a plane, for example, and then listen to it even when they’re unable to connect to a wireless Internet connection.

  • Podcasts are downloadable audio files with a Really Simple Syndication (RSS) tag that lets users subscribe to the podcast so that every episode of the podcast series downloads automatically.

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