The AudioNewsgroup uses a type of software known as RealAudio. RealAudio is a fast and growing Internet standard for playing sounds in real time. Basically, you aren't stuck downloading the entire sound file onto your machine to play it...rather RealAudio plays the sound as it's receiving it. RealAudio can play sounds in the background, that is you can do other work like typing your term paper that's due on Friday at the same time you're listening to the audio messages from the AudioNewsgroup.

I chose RealAudio for the implementation of the AudioNewsgroup because of the fact that you don't need to download the audio file to listen to it. In other words, without RealAudio you would have to wait until your computer received the entire file (and with files that can be upwards of 9 megabytes in size, this is a LONG time), you would have to have enough disk space to store the file (which many people don't have to spare), and you would have to be able to convert it into the native format of the machine (WAV, snd, etc). RealAudio avoids all of this, and allows you to have the pleasurable experience of using the AudioNewsgroup much like you would an answering machine.

Setting up the RealAudio software not only allows you to gain access to the AudioNewsgroup, but also a whole host of other RealAudio sites out on the Internet. Listen to jukebox music piped in while you work! Get updated news broadcasts 24 hours a day! Listen to one of the Internet radio stations! Listen to live broadcasts of NBA games! And there's much much more!

To use RealAudio, you need:

You can download the RealAudio Player Software from Installation instructions are also available on the RealAudio website.

After you install the software, come back here to learn how to post to the first ever Audio Internet Newsgroup!!