February 11, 1998

One of the most common comments I’ve been receiving lately has to do with the format of the audio files, aiff, which is awkward for PC users (i.e. 90+% of you) and takes forever to download. I’ve experimented with switching to RealAudio, but I’ve as of yet been unable to do it right.

Only computer experts need read this. Here’s my situation. I use a Mac. In order to convert a track on a CD to real audio, I first have to import the track into SoundMachine. The settings I use are 16 bit stereo and a rate of 44.1 khz. Once I’ve imported the track, I have to save it in one of seven file types: au, system 7 sound, aiff, wav, QuickTime movie, movie, movie self-contained. I’ve been using aiff. Once I’ve got the track in aiff format, I use the RealAudio Encoder to convert it. I use the setting RealAudio 3.0 28.8 stereo for no particular reason.

The resulting RealAudio files, however, when played back tend to skip and stick.

Every 10 seconds or so, the song hangs on a single sound, as if it were stuck, and then moves on. If I were playing it from the Net, I might assume that the delays were due to network traffic. But the problem occurs when I’m playing the file from my desktop.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated by me and any other Burt fan without a T1 connection. Thanks.