Streaming and Downloading.
is the most popular
because the music virtually starts playing straight away. It is
like turning on your radio. You listen while it plays
from "some distant location".
In the streaming process, a
very small text file with a file-extension of *.m3u downloads in
a couple of seconds and your computer system reads the data file
with instructions to the player to access the underlying mp3 and
play it as though it was on your computer. This means the whole
file does not have to download before you can play it.
"ghost" copy of the mp3 "slowly" forms in a hidden system folder....
after you have heard the stream, the "ghost file" may disappear
if the publisher wants you to make a financial contribution for
The Windows Media files with
the *.asx extension, (more
about files extensions here) tells the
Windows Media player how to connect to the server to get the
media file being requested. This means that it contains a
URL that points to the server and the file that the user
wants to play. The *.asx
files are in fact a sort of "shortcut".
Original recordings are made in an uncompressed *.wav format and
when they have been mastered, they are converted into *.cda
format on a music cd. They are practically like the original but
Usually computers are
pretty fast in these days; post 2009, and an actual media file download can occur
pretty fast indeed and so plays automatically as soon as the
completed, using a player on your computer that is associated
with that media file. On fast systems this rapid downloading is practically as good or
is virtually the same as Streaming.
But if you want to end up
with a sample or song file on your computer for later enjoyment,
you need to know more...
Having the mp3 music file
referred to with a playlist file with a file extension, for
example of *.m3u or *.asx (there are others), the song just streams immediately.
If a download link is provided directly to the *.mp3 file then you have
permission to download it and save it wherever you want to.
There is a lot more I could say about this but this will get you
there for now.
Mp3s used to be easily saved or
retrieved from the browser cache, but new "security measures"
intended to prevent the listener from
retaining a permanent copy of a song on the computer for later use
is by giving you an m3u text file that doesn't actually tell
anything (like you can't read it) but which the computer can work with.. and when you
have listened to a file, the system may delete any trace of the file, that
could have been retained for later plays.
Of course there are always ways
around all of this... Experience will be your teacher.
About quality of music files
The point that the MP3
format is a "lossy file format"
and thus is poorer quality, might not be known by listeners who
wrongly judge the quality of a song - especially if it is playing
in 128kbps or less. In a higher quality bit-rate mp3 file, it is
quite noticeable what is missing from lesser bit-rate files.
When you hear the 192kbp files it is most noticeable.
if the music is
good, listeners who prefer to get the highest quality
recording can find it only available on the original CD. What real music buff would settle for less?
The daunting step these days seems to be in making the decision
to become a paying customer.
Poor quality music is easily
accepted as there is so much music available these days - and so many
sources of "over stimulation", that it is only a true music lover that
chooses to get the best quality for themselves instead of
settling for "second or third rate". Investing in something that
really gives you what the music is now capable of with the level
of digital editing and mastering these days, the aim is for a
"super experience", and there are many artists who are now
providing that. I hope to follow in their footsteps and will do
the best I can with continuous upgrades of each song and album as I go along.
possible, downloading a
music file from the net to your computer is really good
havingness. You can play a
file over and over and include it on a
(particularly using Winamp) or save it to CD
or DVD. Where and how to save files can present some
challenges but 'we keep learning'.
To access an audio file
on your computer, double-click on the music file
itself and it will open the program that plays it. You may need to
'associate' a player program for a particular type of media
file.... Or open the Player of your choice
first and then
trek for the music file yourself.
Finding Media Files -
find to your music or audio files that have gotten misplaced or are just deposited all over the place, do a 'search' as
With Windows XP:
Left click on the start button. Click on "search" and then
choose "files and folders".
1) "pictures, movies and video" and tick the "music
box" and hit "search".
2) Click "All files and folders" and
specify music files such as *.mp3, *.wma, *.wav, *.flac or even
Once they are found select files in a same location and
copy or cut and paste them to a desired folder.
With Windows 98:
on the start button. Click on 'find'. In the 'Named' field, type [*.wav] or [*.ra] or
[*mp3] (without the brackets) -and set the 'look in' to where you suspect the files might
be. Hit 'find now'. You can double click a sample file and it will activate a player and
you can listen away.