05 Feb 2005
Link to Audio Excerpts With ‘quoteplay’
quoteplay is the project that’s been keeping me busy recently. It’s my attempt at solving the problem of linking to specific segments of audio content (e.g. when quoting from a podcast); many people have discussed this problem, and a few have hacked together their own workarounds, but no one seems to be offering a packaged solution for non-programmers.
I’d pondered the problem for a while, but was partly prompted into action by John Dowdell’s question and the Jon Udell script mentioned. Combining and improving upon the two approaches seemed an obvious thing to do.
The first part of quoteplay is a Flash MP3 player which a site owner installs to let anyone select audio clips and generate URLs to play them back. It seems to work OK but downloads the entire file beforehand, which is a major limitation. No server-side scripting is needed though, so it works with any hosting and requires minimal technical knowledge to install.
The second part of quoteplay (due whenever I can find the time) consists of a PHP script to slice audio files, which will solve the download problem and allow playback via the user’s own audio player. Initially it’ll probably be crude (simple slicing via HTTP and local file access), but eventually I’d like it to create valid MP3s, handle ID3 data, and not require duration in the link.
It’s up to the owner of the audio content to offer quoteplay, rather than the person doing the linking. In a world of lawsuits over deep-linking and framing that seemed sensible, and Flash won’t load data across domains without permission.
Anyway, please give it a try and do comment on the idea and implementation (bearing in mind it’s only at v0.1 !).