Saturday, January 23, 2010

Universal Music

There are so many things to learn. As I learn to write music, I am also learning how to present it on the web to share with others. Recently, the very talented composer Keith Edwards contacted me, and warned me that although he had sent a couple friends to listen to some of my music on my web pages, they could not play any of it. It turned out that they were using Windows computers without QuickTime installed, something I didn't test!

So it was time for me to invoke some Google-fu and discover a better way to host my music. Originally I had lazily just let iWeb convert the MP3s into QuickTime movies for me. Later, I had toyed with installing a free Flash player, much as I detest Flash. Now, I am of the geeky "roll-your-own-HTML-in-a-text-editor" school, and a little voice kept telling me "This is the WEB! Let the end-user/browser decide how to play the content!" But how do I do that in a universal way? Search, read, try, search, read, try...

My re-searches eventually brought me to a moderately old but well-researched and still-relevant article by David Battino, that gave a chunk of Javascript code for embedding MP3s in your web page in a more foolproof way. Being a software engineer, I couldn't just use it as-is, but tinkered with it a little to suit my purposes (and clean it up a little) before installing it on my web site. Now my music pages are hopefully a little more universally playable, hopefully even on Linux. The formatting is simple... no fancy Flash players and widgets, just the music.  Please feel free to wander over to my newly remodeled music page (here) and try playing something from the list of pieces at the bottom of the page, and let me know if it works on your computer. Also, mention if you are on Mac/Windows/Linux/iPhone, and if it is all working OK.  Thank you for listening :)


Will Scarvie said...

Well, it worked nicely for me, but then I'm using your original target platform: QuickTime on a Mac.

Hopefully it sounds as good for everyone else.

Drakonis said...

It is always good to know that I didn't break it on the Mac, so your testing is valuable! Thank you for "tuning/chiming" in. :-)