Playing Audio on your Web browser

Ceolas provides audio samples in two formats: the standard au format for optimal sound quality, and the ra (RealAudio) format, for fastest downloads. Sound samples are typically about 30 seconds long, giving a 300kb au file, or a 50kb ra file. We are also adding support for the Real Audio 3 format (RA3), with file sizes twice that of RA and much better quality.

On some pages, only the au format is available, and is indicated by this button: Sound icon
Otherwise, the abbreviations ra and au mark the links to the sound samples. You can play both formats through your Web broswers by using the appropriate helper application.

RealAudio helper application

Use the RealAudio player from Progressive Networks, inventors of the format. RealAudio is designed to play the sound as it downloads. Congestion of the net often causes the sample to break up in the middle; to avoid this, the files served from Ceolas will download entirely before starting to play.

AU helper applications


Just install Sound Machine, and you'll be ready to go.


The two most common players are WPLANY and WHAM. Virtual Audio has a page which reviews these players and gives installation instruction for Netscape, but is also of use for other browsers (the Wplany link there is obsolete, try here instead. Also, if you don't have a sound card, you will need this software speaker driver.


Most Unix systems have built-in sound players. If that doesn't work for you, there are a few other options, though none are very simple (life is never easy in Unix, is it?). If you have a Sun Sparcstation, go for XPlay. Otherwise, you can follow Mosaic's advice and get showaudio, their default player, which comes as part of the metamail mime viewer. Netscape reccomends AudioFile though that is also a large system of which the player is only a small part. If you find any simpler system, please let me know!

Linking the Helper Applications

Depending on your browser, you may have to link the helper application to the browser. If you are using Netscape, here is a guide to setting up helper applications.

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