Where can I find an MP3 player for a website?

Where can I find an mp3 player for a website?

We’re doing a website for a customer, and they want to allow their visitors to be able to play music clips (which they either hold the rights to or have permission to play publicly).

The customer would like to allow the people visiting the site to be able to choose between a half dozen clips, and they want a player with a visualization that is usually called an equalizer (six or eight different colored vertical bars that dance up and down when the music is playing).

Also, they want to change the available clips every now and then, so it would be nice if the list of clips were reasonably easy to change.

We’re using a bit of “flash” on this site already, and the players I’ve seen on other sites that seem to be what I’m looking for have been done in Flash. But I’d use anything that met the requirements and was reasonably good looking.

This is a commercial site, so I can spend a few bucks if needed, and of course the player will have to be licensable for a commercial site, or not require a license.

A couple of the players we’ve tried are kind of ok, but they have all had some kind of bad flaw. One opened the player in another window, one downloaded the entire clip before it started playing (giving a long time delay before the music started), one worked but didn’t have the visualization, one made you download and install an add-in for your browser the first time you used it, etc.

I’ve been a programmer for many years, but website development is new to us, so we’re kind of learning as we go.

So, all you doper web developers, any idea where I can find such an animal?

Pretty much anything is going to have to be downloaded to the user first, even the flash jobbies.

I really can’t help you much, except to ask you a couple of questions:

  1. Why do you need this? Is the music an integral part of the business of your customer or is this some kind of “eye candy?”

  2. Have you seen the pissing contest over in the Pit about Flash? Consider that most of the people arguing against flash are the users who are exposed to it, and most of the people arguing for it are the people who put it on web pages.

  3. Consider that a lot of people don’t have Flash installed on their PCs. The only reason it is on mine is so I can see the Xiao Xiao clips. Any site that presents me with Flash only gets dumped and I’ll try to find the product (or service) from someone without Flash.

  4. Please take into consideration that a lot of folks are still on dial up. I’ve got 33.6Kbit service. I don’t like high bandwidth pages.

My two cents worth. And remember: Free advice is worth what you paid for it.

Check out the album previewer at http://www.snzippers.com/store/albums/anti.htm

It’s done in Flash, and since it’s Flash files and not MP3 files, it’s quite fast.

It was done by Eric at http://www.retrorocketmultimedia.com He might be selling copies of it.

If you’re any good at Flash you should be able to make something similar yourself. Our designer did it for several of our sites. Somehow (I wasn’t involved in this part, heh) when a client uploads an MP3 file it’s also converted into an SWF file. Then the song name, file name and album name are stored in the DB. Using ASP we create an XML stream and send it to the Flash player that plays the SWF files, displays the song and album names and has an equalizer.

I can give you more info on this, including a live example (don’t want to promote any of my own stuff on the boards) if you want to email me using the email button below. I’m sure we’d also be interested in selling you what you need :smiley:

I doubt very much that the Flash sound file is much smaller than an MP3 file of the same quality (which seemed very poor on the site posted). when I loaded track 2, for instance, it said something like 719KB loading, which isn’t fast at all at 3.4KB/s.

And the site in question assumed that I wanted to download track 1 and start playing it just by visiting the site (Well, ok, as a Mozilla user I had to click on the flash for it to play, but most people don’t have that option), other things that annoyed people in the pit thread.

My 2 cents? Users would be better served by links to sound files (mp3, media player, real, whatever) for them to download and play on their own player. You know, like those amatures over at Amazon.com do.


Thanks for the responses folks, the dopers always come through. Let me see if I can answer some of the questions.

Mort Furd The customer is a private club, and music (both live and recorded) is a big part of what brings people in, so they want to showcase some of it on the website. They’re pretty adamant about including it.

I’ve peeked in at the flash wars, and I’m torn. I frequently skip flash stuff, but I’ve seen some well done pages using quite a bit (or virtually exclusively) flash. We’re trying to keep it simple, but some of the things they wanted seem to require it. I’m not married to flash for the MP3 player, it’s just that the ones I’ve seen that seem to work the way we want have been done in flash. I’m hoping we can come up with a player that doesn’t add too much to the bandwidth requirements. I’ve discussed the possible alienation of low bandwidth users with the customer, they want to go ahead anyway.

ZipperJJ The player at the site you referenced would be perfect if it had the “equalizer” type visualization (the visualizations I’m talking about are actually simulations of little spectrum analyzers, not equalizers, but all the references to them I find seem to call them equalizers). I’ll email the author and see if they can help.

My flash person (I’m just an old application programmer) is pretty new, and while it seems to me it shouldn’t be too hard to create a player, I’m not the guy actually doing it, and he hasn’t been able to. For some internal political reasons, I’m reluctant to push too hard, so I’m trying to find something ready made, or at least a way to point him in the right direction.

Also, I’ve emailed you. Thanks for your input.

LordVor I tried to get the customer to go with a link that downloads and plays on the user’s player of choice, but it just isn’t what they want. They want it to just start playing ASAP after clicking the link. What can I say? They’re the customer.

Thanks again for the responses, any suggestions are greatly appreciated.

A quick additional note.

Prompted by a question from ZipperJJ, I’m trying to find out what kind of server the website is actually running on. It’s at a web hosting company, and the preliminary answer is Win NT, but we’re trying to verify that.

When I get the final answer, I’ll post it here, just in case.

Thanks again for any ideas.