Real-time streaming of MIDI audio files for Windows & Macintosh platforms

By ServerWatch Staff (Send Email)
Posted Jun 5, 2002


The Crescendo line of products makes it possible for users to listen to background MIDI music while browsing Web sites. Any Web site can add its own MIDI music by using the embed HTML tag, but only Crescendo makes it possible to stream MIDI music over the Web. Streaming refers to the ability to listen to audio content while it is being downloaded as opposed to having to wait until after the file has been completely downloaded. On the client side there are actually two ways to realize the streaming benefits of Crescendo.

The first option is to download the freeware Crescendo plug-in. The standard Crescendo plug-in is available for both Netscape and Internet Explorer and can run on Windows 3.x, Windows 95/NT, and Macintosh platforms. It allows you to play any MIDI file encountered on the web, but it can only stream MIDI files on sites that use Crescendo StreamSite. The second method for utilizing Crescendo's MIDI streaming technology requires the purchase of Crescendo Plus. This $19.95 plug-in will stream all MIDI files on the 'net regardless of whether the site you're visiting uses Crescendo StreamSite. The deluxe plug-in also offers free upgrades and technical support from Live Update. Any Web site can add its own MIDI music by using the embed HTML tag, but only Crescendo makes it possible to stream MIDI music over the Web.

Crescendo StreamSite covers the server side of the MIDI streaming technology by enabling Web sites to serve their own streamed MIDI files to users of the Crescendo plug-in modules. StreamSite isn't exactly an encoder or server for your Web site; rather it's a site-specific "key-file" on your Web site that enables the streaming of MIDI files when played with either of the two plug-ins. The cost of StreamSite ranges from $49.95 for personal use to $395+ for small business use and larger enterprises.

While the Crescendo technology is limited to only MIDI music (i.e. it won't work with WAV, AU, and RealPlayer files), it is the only app currently available that does offer MIDI streaming support. If you have a Web site and want to serve streamed MIDI content, StreamSite is an application you won't want to do without, and if you regularly visit Web sites that offer background MIDI music, you'll definitely want to check out the freeware plug-in and perhaps the more advanced Crescendo Plus as well.

Pros: Plug-in plays streamed MIDI files on the Web, StreamSite serves streamed MIDI content
Cons: Limited to MIDI audio content, plug-in can only play streamed content on StreamSite sites

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