What should the media player do?
Here's my list of features for our player:
without worrying about codec availability.
There are so many different programs that will decode audio and play it back (mp3, windows media, real media, quicktime, the list goes on). We aren't really interested in making visitors to our sites look for the one that we chose just to hear our audio. Flash MX solves this for us.
Have some of the standard
controls for an audio player.
Nothing new here, but we have to do it.
Allow the audio to be
played before all of the content has been loaded.
Nothing annoys me more than waiting for ages for the audio to arrive only to find that I wasn't interested in it in the first place. If the user can start to listen to it as soon as possible, we reduce the chance of driving them nuts.
Allow the user to be able
to scrub through the audio to any part.
This lets the user find their favourite bit.
Be quick to add to a file.
Because I'm busy.
Be simple to add to a
Because I forget stuff.
You may want your player to do more: we certainly do. We now have a cool way of buffering content at certain points in a commentary, and it's seriously cool to include closed captions for hearing impaired visitors. You may have other ideas! Add them to the list.
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|Tim is a co-director of the Glasson Murray Group, providing quality graphic design, illustration, 3D visualisation, interactive environments, virtual reality, multimedia and website services.|
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