Cash In On The Online Audio Boom With Audio Blogs

Do you know there is currently a great demand for online audio content?

This shouldn’t come as a surprise. After all, the number of people who own mp3 players has been on the rise.

The most popular and best selling digital mp3 player has to be Apple’s iPod.

I’ll discuss more about how the rise in mp3 ownership concerns online business owners and affiliate marketers like yourself.

For now, let me give you some proof and examples of the boom in online audio content.

Some of these figures might shock you.

According to the Pew Internet & American Life Project,

– close to 30 million American adults have downloaded music files over the Internet; and
– more than 22 million American adults own mp3 players

Besides these statistical data, you might even have heard of the word “audio books”, or “podcasts”. Do a search on these two keywords on Google or Yahoo and you’ll come up with at least a few million sites on them.

Another proof of the high demand for audio, otherwise, why would there be such a high supply of websites catering to these audio hungry folks?

What are some of the reasons for the boom in online audio content, you might ask?

a) Firstly, the experience of downloading the audio content quickly, hassle-free and in many cases at very low cost or even free makes it attractive for any online user.

Besides using the Internet to do research, the average Internet user basically looks for entertainment in the form of audio and video online.

Nowadays, dial-ups are a thing of the past. With more households connected via broadband, downloading huge audio files become a fast and easy task that takes just few seconds.

This makes audio a viable medium that can be stored online for downloading by users and customers alike, making it an enjoyable experience to be repeated again and again.

b) Secondly, with the increase in the number of mp3 owners, naturally people are looking for audio content to download.

After all, what better place to search for audio content than the Internet?

Besides, people who own mp3 players are most often than not, IT savvy individuals.

The boom in online audio content does not seem to abate, on the other hand, it is increasing each day.

How can you take advantage of this growing trend and even cash-in on it?

The answer: Audio Blogs

Audio blogs, an innovative and creative marketing concept combining the syndication power of blogs
with the demand for audio. The result? A sure knock-out winner.

But first…what exactly are Audio Blogs and secondly, how exactly can Audio Blogs help you make more money?

Audio blogs, or audio niche blogs are just like any regular blog. It contains material or content specific to that particular niche market; for example, you can have an audio blog on dieting, parenting, gardening and so on.

However, what differentiates audio blogs from your normal blog is that audio blogs, as the name suggests, contain audio or mp3 files that readers can download. These audio files are hosted by the audio blog owner and posted as links, which will point to a particular audio recording that can be downloaded by readers and visitors.

Now let’s answer the second question. How exactly can you make use of Audio Blogs to help grow and expand your online business?

One of the critical success factor of any online business is to ensure there is enough website traffic going to a particular site. Website traffic remains the lifeblood of any online business. Without visitors to your site, there will be no subscribers, no customers and naturally no profits.

This is where Audio Blogs can help.

Since most blogs have in-built syndication power through the use of rss feeds, what this means is that the audio content can be syndicated as podcasts. Put it very simply, the audio content on the blog can be broadcast to new and alternative target markets, consisting of people who subscribe to feeds or podcasts.

These same people are your potential subscribers and customers, and people whom you might not be able to reach using traditional methods of online traffic generation such as pay-per-click, article writing, search engine optimization and so on.

In short, audio blogs allow you to generate additional traffic to your site without additional expense.

Did you know that even search engines like audio? Top search engine like Yahoo has an audio search facility called Yahoo Audio Search. With Audio Blogs, you can submit your audio blog feed to Yahoo Audio Search and list in Yahoo for free. And it’s entirely legal.

If you’d like to know how you set up your own audio blog, drive more traffic to your site and let it run on auto-pilot, visit http://www.audionicheblogs.com immediately.

Audio Books – 10 Frequently Asked Questions – Part 2

The audio books era is already here. I keep hearing phrases like: Audio book rental, free audio books, audio book club, audio books on CD, online audio book rental services etc.

Here are the next five frequently asked questions about audio books (and the answers of course):

6. What kinds of audio books do you recommend to listen to?

Listen to audio books that you would read. Meaning, if you like thrillers, listen to thriller audio books, if you are looking for children books, get children audio books etc.
Yet, I suggest you get to know more other successful audio books kinds such as language tutorials and motivation audio books.

7. Are the old fashioned books going to disappear?

I don’t think so. In fact, I still prefer reading books before I’m going to sleep. The experience is a different one, and some people still prefer the old books. Yet, I believe that the reading habits of most of the world’s population will change in the next century thanks to audio books.

8. Can I find any book in an audio book format?

Unfortunately not any book could be found as an audio book. Yet, almost any new book and any bestseller from the last century are getting published as an audio book. Most of the old books could be found in the format of books on tape and the new ones as downloadable audio books and audio books on CD.

9. How can I listen to downloadable audio books?

You could listen to downloadable audio books using a media player on your desk top or your note book computer. However, most people use audio players like iPod to listen to downloadable audio books.

10. Where should I get my audio books?

The best place to get audio books from would be one of the online audio book services.

Demystifying Audio Formats: What Format Should You Record In?

There are so many audio formats out there, which ones should you choose to record your audio in? An audio format is a file format through which music is stored on your computer. There are a wide variety of formats, like wav, mp3, aiff, wma etc. To understand the difference between various formats, we need to first understand terms compressed and uncompressed formats.

Uncompressed Audio Formats

Uncompressed audio formats are bulky files and take up considerable space on your hard disk or storage drive. The advantage of uncompressed audio formats is that the quality of the digital audio remains intact, as it is unchanged. It provides exactly the same quality; no matter how many times you process or re encode it.

Compressed Audio Format

Compressed audio formats compress the digital audio data, resulting in smaller files. You can free up valuable space on your hard disk by using compressed audio formats.

Compressed audio formats are further categorized into 2 two groups:

Lossless Compressed Audio Formats

These audio formats compress digital audio data, but there is no loss of data or degradation of audio quality during the compression process. The finest example of such format is flac.

Lossy Compressed Audio Formats

These audio formats compress digital audio data, but are known to eliminate certain information and frequencies to reduce the file size. lossy compressed audio formats causes degradation in audio quality. The difference in audio quality can be large or small, depending upon how much data has been removed. Also, each subsequent processing or re encoding will result in more quality loss. The classic example of lossy compression is MP3.

Which recording Format is the best for me?

To choose the best recording format, we need to understand 2 more terms, Sampling and bit rate. Digital audio has two primary qualities that compose the way the audio is described. – sampling rate and bit rate.

Sampling Rate

When you are recording audio digitally, the device (say, your computer) receives the audio signal, by breaking it up into “snapshots” or samples. In recording technology, the number of samples received per second is called the sampling rate. The concept is comparable to a digital movie camera that records a number of image frames per second and plays it back as a continuous moving image. Similarly, you listen to uninterrupted audio playback. Sampling rate is measured in hertz and represents the sound frequency range. Higher the sampling rate greater is the audio quality and ensures greater precision in your high notes and low notes. Standard CD quality incorporates a sampling rate of 44, 100Hz or 44.1 KHz. Sampling rates start from 8000hz(very low quality) to 196,000(very high quality, with extreme huge files).

Bit Rate

In digital multimedia, bit rate often refers to the number of bits used per unit of playback time to represent a continuous medium such as audio. Let us understand what the bit rate actually represents. While sampling rate is number of samples recorded per second, bit rate refers to the characteristics of each individual sample recorded. Going back to the digital camera example, bit rate is the equivalent of pixels in digital images. Higher the pixels, better is the image quality. Similarly, higher the bit rate (also called bit depth), better is the audio quality. For instance an 8 bit audio will sound grainy and harsh, while a 16 bit audio sounds much better. Standard CD format has 44.1k sampling rate combined with 16 bit rate.

Naturally a 24 bit audio will offer the highest quality, but such files occupy more space and require greater computing power to process and may not be really necessary for the purpose of your audio. For FM transmission or internet streaming 16 bit rates are perfect. Professional audio studios opt for 24 or 32 bit rates, because the higher accuracy it offers is useful in the recording, mixing and mastering process.

Bit Rate in MP3

The MP3 format is lossy audio format that compresses audio files to reduce size by eliminating redundant data. You can choose how much information an MP3 file will retain or lose during the encoding and compression process by tweaking the bit rate. Lower bit rate means that the encoder will discard more information during the compression process, which may affect the audio quality on playback. Bit rates for MP3 encoders range from 16 kilobytes per second (kbps) to 320 kbps. A bit rate of 320 kbps gives CD quality audio and is similar to what you’d hear on the radio. A higher MP3 bit rate provides better audio quality but produces larger files.

So what do you choose for recording your audio? For pristine quality, always record in uncompressed formats like wav or aiff, at atleast 44,100 khz and 16 bit. This has 2 advantages. First, the audio will be recorded in cd quality. Secondly any subsequent processing like mixing, editing etc will not result in any degradation of the quality. If you need to encode/record in mp3, at least 196kbps is minimum for a decent quality, though 320 kbps is always the best.

Some of the commonly used audio formats include the following:

1. WAV Format

The Wavform or wav audio format stores uncompressed audio data on Windows computers. It is based on the RIFF bit stream format method of storing data. Since it stores uncompressed audio data, it retains the 100% original audio quality and is popular amongst audio experts. The WAV format can be easily edited using software. (Always record in 44,100 Khz and 16 bit(minimum) for studio grade recordings)

2. AIFF Format

The Audio Interchange File Format (AIFF) developed by Apple Computers is an uncompressed audio format commonly used for storing audio data on Apple Macintosh systems. Because it stores uncompressed audio data, the AIFF format is also commonly used for professional audio applications. (Always record in 44,100 Khz and 16 bit (minimum) for studio grade recordings)

3. MP3 Format

The MP3 format is a commonly used lossy compression audio format. It essentially reduces the file size by omitting data in the file. By using perceptive audio coding and psychoacoustic compression, the MP3 format retains the quality as close to the original as possible. Therefore MP3 is the commonly used audio format for storing large number of songs on your computer without taking up too much space with acceptable quality. Never record in MP3, unless you have no other option. Always record in uncompressed formats like wav/aiff and THEN CONVERT to mp3 file of desired size.

4. AAC Format

The Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) format, another lossy compression audio format was developed to be the successor of the MP3, as it offers better audio quality than the MP3 at lower sizes. It is the standard audio format in Apple’s i-Tunes and i-pods.

5. WMA Format

The Windows Media Audio (WMA) format is a lossy compression audio format designed by Microsoft to compete against the MP3. However the MP3 stills retains the top spot in popularity. The lossless compressed version of the WMA format called WMA lossless is also available that reproduces the original audio quality, with zero elimination on decompression and play back, similar to wav or aiff.