For embedding streaming audio into webpages, I prefer to use a Flash music player. The main reason for this is compatibility; I don’t have to worry that the listener doesn’t have a particular audio player installed, and the Flash plug-in is installed in approximately 98% of browsers out there.
I’m not a Flash programming guru, but fortunately there’s a number of free Flash players out on the web. Here’s a list of free players I found today. (Warning: that page is translated from (I believe) Chinese; here’s the original version.) Some players are more configurable than others and have different features, so be sure to experiment.
And don’t forget: for that 2% of visitors who may not have Flash installed, be sure to provide a link to the Flash plugin download page.
In an upcoming post, we’ll review how to handle browsers that can’t/don’t support Flash, and some changes you may need to make to your Flash player in order for it to work in the soon-to-be-released Internet Explorer 7 .