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Compatible Streaming?

Following our last entry we refined the advice and put a banner on all the relevant pages to highlight the free update opportunities which are available to address the compatiblity issues we had identified.

The results over the weekend were not very encouraging - there is still an apparently low level of successful streaming of samples compared with the level of downloading we had been seeing before updating the site.

So we had another look at the compatibility testing options available to us - concluded that a days use of Browsercam would give us best value and acquired it.

The upshot is that there are nine browser / operating system combinations where we know there is a problem out of 26 tested - but they include 3 on Linux, one on a Mac, Opera 7 on Win2k and XP and 4 Netscape variants on Win2K.

We have also paid for the remote access service which is offered by Browsercam and have made several tests to see if we can get beyond the visual check. Unfortunately, although the buttons work, the system does not appear to play the MP3 files and so we cannot be 100% confident about their compatibility. From our PC's here we know that Firefox works well with our Flash player pages on both Win2K and XP and that IE6 also works well on XP.

So we are going to replace the banner with a low key informative link to a page which will provide operating system and browser specific options.

For the last couple of years website developers have got into the habit of ignoring browser compatibility provided the pages worked OK on a recent version of IE they could be reasonably confident that 95% plus of their audience would be able to see it as intended. With the upsurge of Firefox that has changed and it would appear that open source operating systems could introduce yet more opportunities for incompatibility.

We will also be making some cosmetic changes to try to encourage the use of streaming samples and strengthening the accessibility characteristics of all our pages.

In the meantime here is another delightful tune from Scott Joplin - a streaming sample from our arrangement of The Augustan Club Waltz

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