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MMD > Archives > April 2006 > 2006.04.13 > 06Prev  Next

Music at Web Site - MIDI vs. MP3
By John A. Tuttle

Hi All,  Using 'real' music at a web site can be dangerous to your
pocketbook.  A short 3-minute MP3 file can easily exceed 2 megabytes.
That's fine if you only get 5-10 hits a day and your server allows one
gigabyte of download per month.  But let's consider that your server
allows five gigabytes of download per month and you get 300 hits a day.
Now we're talking about 600 megs per day, or 18 gigs per month.  Oops!

Now consider that the server charges just $10.00 for each additional
gig of transfer over the allowable 5 gigs.  Presenting your 'real'
music will now cost you an additional $130.00 per month, or $1560.00
per year.  Ouch!  (Ref.: )

That's why MIDI is so popular when it comes to embedding music at a web
site.  It's true that most sound cards have a poor piano sound, and for
that reason it's important to use a musical selection that's not very
demanding.  The effort to present 'high class' music in a MIDI format
backfires not because of the emulation but rather because of the poor
sound quality of the piano sound in a generic sound card.

I know of a few good web sites that have been unceremoniously shut down
by the host server because the site exceeded the gigabyte download
rate.  You have to remember that there are lots of people who have no
interest in mechanical music who are constantly looking for free music.
They have their computers set up to scan the Internet for free music
files, and they won't hesitate to download everything they find.  So,
while your intent is to offer great sounding music to your interested
visitors, you get bitten in the rear by people who could care less
about the content of your web site...

The bottom line is that while MIDI might not have great sound quality,
the files are generally 1/100th the size of an equivalent MP3 file.
And let's be honest -- the only reason for offering music in the first
place is to entertain the visitor for a few moments while they look for
another page at your site.  The only "draw" that the music offers is
generally "not" the kind you want.

Lastly, I have to admit that I've received a little bit of negative
feedback about the files I have embedded in my pages, and it's not
because people don't like the music.  A surprising number of people
use their company computer to surf the net while they're at work, and
it can be quite embarrassing when the music starts playing and they
can't find the volume control fast enough ... if you get my drift!

John A Tuttle

(Message sent Thu 13 Apr 2006, 15:41:51 GMT, from time zone GMT-0400.)

Key Words in Subject:  MIDI, MP3, Music, Site, vs, Web

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