Allan Steed aedigital on 9 Jan 2001 17:20:54 -0000

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Re: <nettime> Frictions.. (fwd)

Greetings from Black Ball Radio.

Mike Weisman forwarded me this email.  I thought I'd reply, sharing what
little I've learned on ths subject of playlist files for mpeg1 distribution.

Most of this info is sitting up on our web server at  Here I call this the (/tv)
directory..  Since that server allows directory browsing, you should be able
to access all relevant files there.

On the subject of playlists, I have come to believe that more is actually
better.  While it's simple to just list a bunch of URLs in a text file, and
call it a playlist - most of the applications that will stream mpeg1 REQUIRE
extended information in order to process it correctly.  Here is an example
of a .M3U file that will play quite seemlessly in Winamp, Real, and Windows
Media players..  And presumeably on Real Player under Macintosh.

#EXTINF:63,Black Ball Radio
#EXTINF:138,Fritz Donnelly - Blue Lobster 1
#EXTINF:47,Black Ball Lotto - 1
#EXTINF:173,Fritz Donnelly - Blue Lobster 2

.. The extended information is really quite simple to enter.  The first line
identifies the file to the player as an extended .M3U file.  The next line
provides the player with the clip length in seconds, and the clip title.
The URL provided in the third line must be fully qualified for this file to

You can launch this playlist now by clicking here..

Note the following points, they are important..

File names must not contain blank spaces, or Real Player will usually kick
them out (depends on version).  Windows Media Player requires all extended
info be included, or it will not know what kind of stream it is fetching,
Winamp will play this file nicely, with the addition of the in_video plugin,
available on the Winamp Web site, and also in the aforementioned master
(/tv) directory.  Using Winamp exclusively during testing will assure that
both Real and Windows Media players will choke on the results - TEST ALL
PLAYERS!  Winamp will write an M3U file that can be easily modified to point
to http:// serviced media.

On the subject of encoding, note that these are all (roughly) 256kbps files.
Imagine our surprise when we discovered that these were THE SAME SIZE as the
256kbps Real Media files we generated for the same clips!  They were all
produced with the freeware TMPG encoder for Windows.  You can download the
TMPG mpeg encoder for windows from the (/tv) directory also.  This nice
Win32 application allows custom setting of almost every variable - it's a

I would be interested to hear any bug reports, especially from Mac platform
users, as we are continuing development of our mpeg1 programming.  Please
address any replies to

I hope this helps.

Allan Steed
AEDigital Media Networks

----- Original Message -----
From: Mike Weisman <>
To: <>
Sent: Monday, January 08, 2001 8:20 AM
Subject: <nettime> Frictions.. (fwd)

> Allan, FYI. I have not checked the program to see what it looks like.
> Michael J. Weisman
> Seattle WA
> please respond to
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> Date: Mon, 8 Jan 2001 13:47:18 +0100 (CET)
> From: Heiko Recktenwald <>
> To: "" <>
> Subject: <nettime> Frictions..
> I elaborated this here, in responses to B92s suggestions for streaming
> networks. Many ways lead to Rome. And the aspect of simplicity, you can
> write those filelists without knowing any special syntax on every notpad
> or whatever simple plain text editor. Without a special application
> between, that must be mastered, which is bad for the occasional user.
> Might fit into what Geert observed.

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