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Make Your Website Talk: How To Install Streaming Audio On Your Site
by: Donald Nelson
One of the most important tasks in online selling, and indeed in all selling, is to convince the prospective buyer that you are someone who can be trusted. A nice picture of yourself in your ďaboutĒ section is helpful, but even more convincing would be a heartfelt audio message in which you explain yourself and introduce your product or service.

If you are thinking that installing a sound capability on your website would be beyond your technical or financial means then I think you will change your mind after you finish reading this article.

There are some online services that provide full audio support but they charge monthly fees and this may be more than you want to invest. However, if you want to add sound with flash buttons to your site on a limited budget then there are several moderately priced downloadable software packages that allow you to do everything, without any technical know-how. They range in price from $40 to $100. Visit the websites of audiomakerpro.com, flashaudiowizard.com or soundstreamer.com, and you will see how these programs work.

Now, if you are like me, a real cheapskate, and you donít want to spend any money at all but would like your website to talk, then you can use the following method to install a streaming audio file on your website.

First you have to record your message. I was able to use an old software package (CoolEditPro) to record an mp3 message directly on my computer. If you have an MP3 player with a recording capacity you can just record your message and then save it to your computer.

Suppose the message is saved as myintroduction.mp3. If you just upload the file to your server and make a link to that file, it will not stream but will download when someone clicks on the link. In order to make it stream you have to do the following. Open a text file and type one small piece of text: http://www.yourwebsite.com/myintroduction.mp3 (give the location where this file will be) then save this text file with a name such as audiointro.m3u . It is only a text file but it has an extension that makes it look like a sound file. Now, upload the actual audio file myintroduction.mp3 and the text file audiointro.m3u to your server.

In the place where you want someone to listen put a text link or a graphic button linked to the file audiointo.m3u . When someone clicks on this link they will hear the file myintroduction.mp3 streaming from their speakers. It will be played on the default MP3 player of that particular computer, such as Windows Media Player, Winamp, etc.

This is poor-personís streaming audio, but it works. The advantage of the moderately priced packages or the higher priced audio services is that the buttons are nicer and have pause, stop and start functions.

Some audio services claim that adding audio to a website increases conversion rates by 300%. Audio is a tool, if you use it correctly it may indeed be just the thing you need to improve the performance of your website. So choose the method that is convenient for you and try it out.

About the author:
Donald Nelson is a web developer, editor, and social worker. He is the director of A1-Optimization, http://www.a1-optimization.comand provides search engine optimization, copywriting and reciprocal linking services from his website.


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