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Real-time streaming audio tool for Windows and Macintosh platforms
TrueSpeech is similar to early releases of RealAudio and is competitive with that client (up to version 3.0) in terms of both audio quality and speed of playback. TrueSpeech offers versions for several platforms including Windows 3.x, 95, and NT as well as Macintosh and Power Mac. The Windows 95 and NT versions include both the TrueSpeech standalone player and a plug-in for Netscape 2.0 and higher. With respect to overall performance, TrueSpeech is slightly slower than RealAudio (again, v3.0 and earlier) when tested with a 14.4 Kbps connection, but with a 28.8 Kbps connection the differences in performance are virtually indistinquishable. Audio quality is slightly below that of RealAudio but ahead of clients like Internet Wave and is still quite exceptional considering the medium of transmission (the Internet).
Any audio file can be converted into a TrueSpeech WAV file for the Internet, but the file will first need to be encoded for use. The easiest way to get TrueSpeech-ready files is to use the Windows 95 or NT sound recorder to save your audio file as a DSP Group TrueSpeech WAV file. After this, you'll need to provide a link to the WAV file and configure your server to accept TrueSpeech files. No additional servers or encoders are required for hosting TrueSpeech files -- a big benefit to Web developers trying to keep costs down when designing Web sites with multimedia content. While clients like Audioactive and the latest releases of RealAudio (RealPlayer 4.0+) perform far better than TrueSpeech and are far more pervasive in terms of content providers, TrueSpeech does offer a competitive and inexpensive alternative for real-time streaming audio content on the Web. TrueSpeech is similar to early releases of RealAudio and is competitive with that client (up to version 3.0) in terms of both audio quality and speed of playback.
Pros: Real-time audio, inexpensive solution doesn't require additional encoder/server tools
Cons: Performance and audio quality pale in comparison to RealPlayer and Audioactive
Version Reviewed: 3.20b
Date of Review: 2/1/98
Reviewed by: Forrest Stroud
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