Tips for Listening to Audio or Video Clips from the Web

December 14, 2003

When you want to listen to an audio or video clip from the web, the usual way is to enter such a link into your browser, or, click on a web page that has a clickable reference to that link. The browser is supposed to inspect the filename extension, such as ".mp3", ".rm", ".wma" and so forth, and select one of the audio players (pieces of software designed for that purpose) on your PC to play it.

That doesn't always work. Sometimes instead, the contents of the audio or video file are painted into the browser screen as hieroglyphics. Other times, the browser's choice of audio player just refuses to play the file.

There is an alternate way.

First, COPY the FULL LINK, starting with "http://" from your browser by highlighting it (click-hold-drag) and either doing a Control-C or Edit, Copy.

From your Start, Programs menus, you can locate the available players on your PC. Here are some common ones (which can also play VIDEO as well):

- Windows Media Player
- RealPlayer
- QuickTime
- Winamp

You can start each one, and under File, you will see an option like "Open LOCATION" (link on the web) or "Open FILE" (an audio/video file saved on your PC) or "Open URL" (a link on the web.)

When you click on the link on the web option, you can DIRECTLY PASTE (Control-V or Edit, Paste) the link into your player's location field.

If your version of the player can play the particular type of audio clip, this will be your most direct way to get an audio or video file to play. If it doesn't work, try another player if you have more than one.

If you want to get additional players on your PC, you can put the software's name into, say, and find their web site. Those above have all downloaded FREE for me.

I find RealPlayer the most reliable.

I find ENDLESS failures to work and other headaches with WINAMP, which seems as if it's been written by very immature youngsters who are more interested with "cool" than "reliable". I believe I've only had it play something ONCE out of at least a hundred tries.

Eleanor White