Frequently Asked Audio Questions (Audio FAQs)

Q: When I click on the RealAudio link, I get a dialog box saying "Open With ." and telling me to "Click the program you want to use to open 'somefilename.ram'". Which program should I select? If I pick Microsoft Windows Media Player, I get a dialog box saying "The data is invalid."
A: The audio excerpts labeled as "RealAudio" are in RealAudio format, which Windows Media Player doesn't recognize. To play them, install the free RealPlayer from Installing it will register RealPlayer to handle files ending with the extension ".ram", and this should eliminate the appearance of the dialog box in the question.
Q: Your RealAudio excerpts from the CD sound kind of strange. Does the CD sound better?
A: Yes --- much better! The excerpts that you can find on this web site (for example by following the "Songs" link below) do not even begin to show you the excellent sound quality on the CD and cassette tape, Concert in the Park.
Q: Which RealAudio player do you recommend?
A: The free RealPlayer is sufficient. Furthermore, you only need the basic minimum player to hear our audio excerpts. You don't need SPINNER or the RealPlayer Plus. You don't even need the Basic Standard version. Anything beyond the basic minimum player will give you extra features, but it won't change the way our music sounds. Before downloading the latest RealPlayer, make sure your system meets the minimum requirements. If it does not, then use an earlier version of RealPlayer from the site; earlier versions have more modest requirements for your computer.
Q: I got a message saying the RealAudio excerpt was not a RealAudio file. What does that mean?

It means that the RealAudio player you are using is too old to recognize the format of the file. To solve the problem, install a later version of the RealAudio player (version 5.0 or later).

Q: What settings did you use for creating the audio excerpts on the Roseville Big Band web site?

To help the RealAudio files stream on congested networks, they have been created with 8-bit stereo samples and a data compression scheme that gives about a 4kHz frequency response, somewhat like the quality of a very inexpensive AM radio.

The Windows Media Audio files have been created with a format that gives about a 22kHz frequency response, similar to the quality of an inexpensive FM radio. In addition, the Windows Media Audio files have been "normalized" to make maximum use of the bandwidth, so in some cases they sound better than the corresponding RealAudio files.

Furthermore, the MP3 file for "My Little Girl" on this web site has also been created using higher than normal compression to reduce the required download time; this still lets you hear the notes and the lyrics, but, like the RealAudio and Windows Media Audio compressed files, it lacks the sparkle and presence of the CD version.

Q: I can listen to CDs using my PC, but I can't hear your audio excerpts through the headphones. Why?
A: Some PCs have a CD player with a headphone jack and electronics that lets them only hear sounds coming from the CD player. (PCs used in a business workplace are often configured this way.) In this case, you need to add a sound card to your PC and plug your speakers or headphone into the jack on the card (in back of the PC) to hear the audio excerpts. If, on the other hand, you can hear other sounds from web sites, then you do have a sound card and the problem lies elsewhere.
Q: When I click on the RealAudio excerpt, I see a file being downloaded to my computer, but I don't hear anything. Why?
A: This behavior indicates that you probably do not have the RealPlayer installed on your system. After you download RealPlayer from and install it, you might still see a file downloaded, but it will be a small .ram file (fewer than 100 bytes) that gives the URL for the .rm file that contains the music; your web browser should launch the RealPlayer in a separate window and give it the URL of the music to play.
Q: I can see the RealPlayer window, and it looks like the audio excerpt is playing, but I still can't hear anything. What should I do?
A: First, check the connections between your computer and speakers. Then try turning your speakers off, then on again. If that doesn't make the music sound, check the hardware volume controls on the speaker and the software volume controls for "wave audio". Make sure that none of the controls have wave output muted or turned down to the minimum volume.

This page was last updated
Friday, February 07, 2020.

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