MP3 Information Page
Cranford Pub Search Engine
Cranford Publications soundclips are genrally given as MP3s, the standard for Internet audio content. To allow easier streaming the clips have been encoded at lower bit rates than what is used for commerciially available tracks. The fidelity is however good for educational usaage
Both to simplify and because of the educational nature of our site our site, links to sound clips are accessed a-tune-at-a-time, from the page devoted to the source recording. These are long enough to learn a melody but don't give complete tracks (tracks are availabe if you purchase the CDs or individuals tracks from the artists sites). Other clips are accessed from pages of music notation - single transcriptions which can be found by following links from source recordings.
MP3s are the most popular format for listening, transferring and storing audio from the Internet. On-line, MP3s can be streamed or you can download MP3s to your hard drive for later use. These files can then be catalogued and played by both home computers and portable MP3 devices. MP3s can be backed up on any hard drive or floppy disc and can even be burned to a CDR for playback on any CD player. Today, this is the most popular format for the personal playback of MP3s.
The MP3s on our site are mostly short clips taken off of the CDs we sell providing you:
- Free demos from the recordings which Cranford Publications sells mail order as conventional CDs and cassettes.
- Recorded reference for melodies which are supplied in standard musical notation as GIF or ABC files. Most of these seetings are also found in books books which we sell or are currently compiling
- Familiarily with this technology. In the next few years, more and more artists will be selling their music this way.
With the exception of the link that brought you to this page, any time you click the symbol below, assuming your browser is configured with the proper plug-in, a separate window will open and a sound clip will start to load. We find that the Quicktime plug-in is best. Depending on monitor /software used you may have to resize or minimize the playback window so that you can see music notation at the same time as playback.
If you go to our recordings section, the links to individual recordings will lead to samples of music notation and /or sound clips. Our sound clips are almost all partial tracks (including a minimum of once through a featured melody). Tune titles, composer and performer information etc. are all included with each clip.
Although MP3 files can be streamed without copying them onto your PC, unless you have broadband Internet access like cable, DSL or better, we recommend downloading and saving before playback. This will reduce the buffering time at slower connection speeds.
Regardless of connection speed, anyone who wants play a melody repeatedly will find it advantageous to download the desired MP3. Save all the tunes you want o learn in one place, and then listen and learn at your own pace. NOTE - no sound files contained in this web site are to be copied and retransmitted unless permission is received both from Cranford Publications and from the artist / label/copyright holder.
Most modern Browsers are already set up to play MP3s. You may however need to "fine-tune" your settings, plug-ins installed etc. Because of the number of players, browsers and versions that exist, it's impossible for us to give specific instructions.
With most software you install, set-up happens automatically. Programs such as Firefox, Safari Internet Explorer and Netscape Communicator are best used with transparent plug-ins such as Quicktime. All can be downloaded for free for both Windows and MacIntosh platforms.
Any browser with a properly installed plug in will open our MP3 files exactly the same way as activating a text link on the web. We have programmed the links so that while the MP3 loads into your cache, a new resizable window opens ... so that you can look at the musical notation to the tune while you wait for the sound to begin. If you have more than one audio player on your computer you should assign each one as the default player for specific audio files. Use your Realaudio player to listen to the Realaudio files. Use MP3, Windows Media or QuickTime players to listen to MP3 files. Using your Realaudio player to listen to MP3 files may cause a minor crash in the audio software and you may have to shut down the program.
For both sound quality and functionality we prefer the Quicktime Plug-in. Clips play automatically after they have completely loaded. Alternatively, partial clips can be listened to during the loading process. We've tested this using all connection speeds - from very slow cell modem connection of 9600 baud to broadband - all without problem (other than the length of time to load). For the "audiophiles" Quicktime offers the best sound quality either as a browser plug-in or as a standalone media player.
Download Quicktime Plugin
You can preview the clip by letting it load to approximately 10% and then manually activating the player. If it's the tune you want, let the entire clip load before saving. Once loaded, it is in your cache it should play flawlessly. If you want to save it just go to the file menu and choose the appropriate Save As option and file it away in an appropriate directory. (this differs depending on Browser, platform etc. -- for Mac Internet Explorer users choose download link to disk). ... for Netscape choose "Save as Source".
For Windows use your computer's find command and type in *.mp3 as the file name, looking in all directories (C: for most computers) (Mac just go to the Finder and issue a seach command for .mp3). This tells the computer to look for any MP3 files on your hard drive. Your browser typically will save by default to a temporary folder. Many programs prefer you save downloads into their default folder, which can make finding tunes a little confusing. You can avoid this situation by creating a new folder that you use to store all of your MP3 downloads. Or, choose to save all downloads to your desktop. Either way, your files won't get buried deep inside your computer where you can't find them.
There are also dozens of hardware devices which act as portable stand-alone players. Other multi-purpose devices are proliferating include cell phones with players built in, PDAs with MP3 capability, the I-Pod etc. etc.
- For best sound quality use the Quicktime plug in or the stand alone media player for previewing and downloading theses files.
- Position your computer speakers in a standard stereo array to enjoy optimum stereo and depth of image detail. Speakers should be positioned in a triangle with your seating position the same distance apart as they are from the listener. If possible, position these without the monitor in the middle for even better sound quality.
- If you are having trouble configuring your browser and wish to download the clip immediately, choose the save-as link, (saving "as source" to your desktop, or to a specificl directory or folder) and download it to your hard drive. The MP3 can then be opened by a variety of MP3 media players.
- If you get stuttering or skips, it's possibe that you are short of RAM. If you're running multiple background programs make sure you have plenty of headroom..
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