the encoderThe encoder

The encoder compresses an analogue audio signal into binary form and sends it 
to a server running audio streaming capability through a (hopefully) fat 
The encoder is the defining operation to 'webcasting', i.e webcasting IS encoding.
You will need a computer(cpu) with a sound card and RealAudio Encoder software
installed for audio streaming. This software is all downloadable from the
RealNetworks site

It helps if you use a PC to run the encoder software because
Real did not optimise it for Macs, so they tend to crash.
However, in the case of static file encoding (non-live) platform
is not so much of an issue - this also does not require  streaming
server software.

CPU specs:   - 32 MB RAM 
             - a 16 bit sound card (SoundBlaster is recommended)
             - with at least 1 Gig of free space available
Connectivity - 28. 8 modem or above
             - single isdn or above (preferable)

RealAudio Encoder specs:
             - RealProducer G2 is the latest 
	    free encoder but, for live streaming, you will require a server 
		installed with the G2 system. 
            Download for Windows 95/98/NT, Macintosh PowerPC & Linux 2.0/2.2. platforms
            Will encode video and audio.
             - RealEncoder 5.0 will work with the 
			Basic Server system for free live streaming. 
			Will encode audio and video.
             - RealEncoder 3.1 still works but the
            quality is fairly poor.

After you have installed your encoder of choice audio output must be encoded 
and compressed  as a .ra file type, or .rm for Windows. 
        Eg "myspeech.ra" or "myspeech.rm"

This simple operation is explained in the instructions with your Encoder software.
The Wizard lets you browse for your source file, then include copyright
and date info. It also lets you chose between SureStream and single bandwidth 
delivery. SureStream encodes the file at variable rates so that a user can click 
on one link and get streaming audio at the appropriate bandwidth. This can only 
be done on files that will be served from a Real Server. If you will be serving 
streaming audio from a regular web server, choose the single bandwidth stream. 
The next screen allows you to choose the bandwidth of the single file. 
Or go to the real.com audio hints page to read detailed instructions in advance

The .ra file(audio file) should then be referred to by a .ram file (text file)