As use of the Internet continues to grow geometrically, we see an increased demand for information to be provided by a variety of media. Viewing options can range from simple text to PDF documents to video clips. Unfortunately, each option requires more and more resources and technological know-how. As convergence moves inexorably forward, we have to ask ourselves if there is a practical way to combine the best of this technology and still provide the user with a satisfying Internet experience.
The answer, at this stage of Internet evolution, is audio.
Voice, by itself, provides the means to enhance a user’s enjoyment of the Internet. Voice conveys many of the intangibles underlying the written word. A voice can touch the human spirit and deliver a message on its’ own merits. Audio can build community and maintain relationships.
Audio is the most mature of the streaming technologies and doesn’t have the bandwidth requirements associated with video. Any Internet user connecting at 28.8k or better can enjoy FM quality sound without experiencing buffering and other annoyances that can affect video at lower bit rates.
It is common knowledge that people only retain 20% of what they read, but they do remember 70% of what they see and hear. That fact in itself increases the value of an audio message delivered from a website for the typical user. And, the implications of how audio can increase Internet enjoyment for the handicapped are overwhelming.
Streaming audio provides Internet businesses with unlimited opportunities to reach their audience and to simplify their interactions. Streaming audio broadens a product’s appeal and helps to stimulate sales. People are comfortable with audio and have few qualms about using it in their day-to-day lives.
Retailers can integrate audio into their operations in several ways. Use it to enhance product descriptions and deliver product information in ways far more persuasive than plain text. Booksellers can have