[OT] Converting MP3s to SWF


#1

I’m working on a Rails app where one of the requirements is to convert
MP3s
to SWFs. The idea is the smaller filesize will lead to reduced
bandwidth
fees. This needs to be as close to real-time as possible, so I need a
command line program I can call from my Rails app rather than a GUI app.

After several hours on google, I’ve found multiple Windows-based
programs
that allow me to do this on the command line, but since we’re going to
be
deploying on LINUX, they aren’t much help. Anyone have any experience
in
this area, or suggestions on how to proceed?

Any advice is much appreciated.

Cheers,
Chris


#2

Re-encoding MP3’s to SWF files seems like more overhead than it’s
worth. The latest flash players can stream MP3’s and you can encode
any bitrate you want on the MP3 directly.

On 7/30/07, Chris S. removed_email_address@domain.invalid wrote:

Any advice is much appreciated.

Cheers,
Chris


Nathaniel Steven Henry Brown

Toll Free: 1-877-446-4647
Vancouver: 604-724-6624


#3

On Jul 30, 12:28 pm, “Chris S.” removed_email_address@domain.invalid wrote:

I’m working on a Rails app where one of the requirements is to convert MP3s
to SWFs. The idea is the smaller file size will lead to reduced bandwidth
fees. This needs to be as close to real-time as possible, so I need a
command line program I can call from my Rails app rather than a GUI app.

SWF isn’t an audio format. It is possible to embed audio inside an
SWF file, but the audio is probably still mp3 encoded. What makes you
think SWF is going to be less bandwidth?

If you want less bandwidth consider using lower bit-rates. AAC does
good at low bit-rates, and there are plenty of encoders available
(faac). Personally I prefer Vorbis so I don’t have to handle
licensing and patent fees.

~Rusty


#4

On Jul 30, 1:36 pm, “Chris S.” removed_email_address@domain.invalid wrote:

Thanks for your reply. I do realize that SWF isn’t an audio format. From
several items I’ve read, however, it appears that SWF offers better audio
compression that MP3s do, so converting to SWF should result in smaller file
sizes.

Since SWF isn’t an audio format, the embedded audio is encoded in some
other format. I would expect that format is MP3. So, if you are
seeing smaller file sizes it is because the SWF file is at a lower bit-
rate.

Would you suggest instead of converting to SWF instead re-encoding the MP3
with a lower bit-rate? The final format must be importable by a Flash
player.

By separating the player from the audio you will save bandwidth over
time as browsers cache your SWF player. In addition, MP3 leaves you
with a more portable format should you decide to use something other
than flash.

One problem that you are going to have either way if your source files
are MP3, is degradation. If you start with a CD quality wav file and
encode it to MP3 at 128bps, when you re-encode it down to 96bps you
will have less quality than if you went straight from original wav to
96bps. Maybe this is acceptable for your purpose, but you may want to
run some trials to see.

~Rusty


#5

Our whole site (www.prx.org) is about playing audio, and we use mp3 -
you
don’t want the swf format for audio - it’s proprietary so I didn’t find
a
great reference on how they do this, but dimes to dollars all they are
doing
is embedding the audio in the file. From what I can tell, this is not a
new
audio format or encoding, just a way to package it.

We also use a Flash player for our mp3s - Flash plays mp3 files, there
are
free/open source flash players you can use for this.

If you want to reduce bandwidth fees, I recommend (as did the other
responders) to use a reduced bit rate - keeps the files nice and small.
I wouldn’t go much below 96 myself, we use 128 for stereo mp3s.

You might also want to look at hosting your mp3s someplace with cheap
bandwidth and lots of disk - we use amazon s3 to host/serve our audio.

Another option is to buy the flash media server, which gives you tons of
control over the quality and size of streaming audio to flash clients,
but
this is not free, so do some research to figure out what you really
need.

-Andrew

On 7/30/07, Chris S. removed_email_address@domain.invalid wrote:

Thanks,

fees. This needs to be as close to real-time as possible, so I need a
licensing and patent fees.

~Rusty


Andrew K.


#6

Thanks for your reply. I do realize that SWF isn’t an audio format.
From
several items I’ve read, however, it appears that SWF offers better
audio
compression that MP3s do, so converting to SWF should result in smaller
file
sizes.

Would you suggest instead of converting to SWF instead re-encoding the
MP3
with a lower bit-rate? The final format must be importable by a Flash
player.

Thanks,
Chris


#7

Thanks for everyone’s suggestions. At this point it looks like going
the
Amazon S3 route is probably the best way to cut down on bandwidth while
also
keeping audio quality. We may look into the Flash Media Server at some
point, but that’s a bit too pricey right now.

Cheers,
Chris


#8

Just a point for clarification…

mp3 is also a proprietary format though it is so widely in use, people
often think that there isn’t a licensing requirement for its usage, but
alas there is.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MP3#Licensing_and_patent_issues

Craig

On Mon, 2007-07-30 at 14:57 -0400, Andrew K. wrote:

If you want to reduce bandwidth fees, I recommend (as did the other
you really need.
Would you suggest instead of converting to SWF instead
removed_email_address@domain.invalid wrote:
audio inside an
licensing and patent fees.


Andrew K.


Craig W. removed_email_address@domain.invalid