Putting MP3 audio files on the Internet isn’t something new or recently invented, technology, it has been making noise online for quite a number of years, but has never had been quite so popular and talked about as it is in today’s internet market. There is definitely a buzz around it today.

When I first started multimedia design seven years ago, MP3 audio files were already spread around the Internet. MP3’s popularity rose rapidly after Napster released their P2P file sharing network program in 1999.

Because the MP3 file size is much smaller then “MOV”, “WAV” audio format, and has better sound quality, it didn’t take too long for MP3 to become a major digital audio format of Internet.

Today, it continues to dominate the Internet’s audio market, and has remained unchanged as the best choice among digital audio music formats.

Historically, there was a lack of Internet speed and the size of computer hard disks and ROM’s were relatively small and expensive. Especially MP3 files had to be converted from “MOV” or “WAV” file formats and the audio recording, editing hardware and software was very complicated to use, as well as very expensive and only professional studios had deep enough pockets to purchase.

Therefore, it had never been an easy tool for Internet marketers and web developers to use to their advantage. I can still remember the struggles to compress the audio files, and balancing the quality of the sound, to make it 28.8kbps modem compatible.

Very few business websites had web audio in their website, and the ones who did were only there as background music. There wasn’t any marketing purpose or strategy behind it. It was largely designers showing off their “advanced tricks”, trying to impress their employers, essentially an “e-toy” for website designers.

Today, the Internet bandwidth is no longer a major impediment to Internet multimedia data transferring. Technology continues to evolve at lightning speed, computers now have massive capacities and the price of hardware has dramatically dropped, making it possible for web hosting company to provide a large amount of server space for website owners to store and transfer audio and video content, at an enormously low cost.

But the price of audio editing software remained relatively high, with more advanced features, but still posed a barrier to Internet marketers who intended to make audio a part of their Internet marketing.

This presented an opportunity for Internet Marketers and software developers. Together, they have worked out these issues, limiting seldom used advanced features, keeping only the most utilized, and developed a much more simple software for web audio recording.

This new web audio software and related services has been sold and used by Internet marketers and online business owners throughout the past few years and the results are quite convincing.

Some have claimed their sales conversion rate to have increased by 40% (even 400%) just by adding the audio sales litter on their web page. Can this be true? I will discuss this in more depth in another issue, but absolutely, web audio and video added a new “depth”, a new dimension to Internet marketing. It is mainly used for audio newsletters, web audio sales letters, audio testimonials, recorded tele-seminars, raining materials and more.

It is a very simple piece of software. If you know how to talk, and how to click, you can record your message and put it online. No experiences or technical know-how necessary, no special equipment needed, except a microphone connected to your computer.

I still use the advanced Pro version audio/video production software for my complicated projects, but I like to use this small, and feature-focused software for the smaller single task projects, because of the simplicity and the time saving. And the price of the software is so cheep!

For those who don’t have a computer, can’t figure out how to plug in the microphone into their computer, or are too lazy to do so, some marketers have even designed a telephone system for recording audio files for them.
You simply pick up phone, dial their number, record your message on their system, and they will deliver your audio file to your website. But you have to pay a monthly fee for your laziness, and you still have to pick up your phone and dial the number.

Some dedicated web hosting companies, such as the one I use, ThirdSphere, also jumped onto this new trend, including related features in their service package to gain sales. It provides Flash Audio Generator, Flash Video Generator software, and helps web designers to convert their pre-recorded audio and video file to a lightweight FLV file to be put online.

As a new highly effective Internet marketing method, streaming web audio and video will continue to grow in the Internet marketing realm and continue to grasp at Internet marketers and visitors’ attention for a number of yeas, until the day when all sites on Internet have a voice and talk to us.

Ying is a founder of Stimulus Communications a Montreal based marketing company. He is a street-smart about marketing and advertising strategic planning, experienced in the production of both traditional and digital marketing media. Ying was awarded a Masters of Art History and Art Technology from the National University of Kobe, Japan, and was also awarded a professional degree in Multimedia Design from Montreal’s International Academy of Design.