What happened to the Real Audio player?
Over the years, we’ve had a love-hate relationship with the Real Audio player. We stuck with it as long as we did because it provided good audio quality across a variety of connections, and included embedded real-time scrolling playlists. We kept hoping that there would be support for mobile devices, but that never came, or doesn’t dowhat we need. More important: listeners often had trouble getting the software installed, or complained that Real Audio took over their computers. So, at last, we’ve left Real Audio behind, and now use an embedded audio format that should play directly from your web browser. You don’t need to install anything, it should just play
Audio isn’t playing:
After you hit a “listen” link, audio should start playing automatically in most cases. There may be a short delay as data streams to your device and creates a small “buffer” to prevent dropout. Many smartphones do not support the autoplay function, so you will need to click the triangle play button. If you only see a gray rectangle, and/or text saying “Your browser does not support Flash or iPhone/iPad streaming.” you may need to update your browser. Please see our Technical FAQ here>>. If you see the counter moving but do not hear any sound, click the small speaker icon in the lower right corner of the player window and make sure that the volume is turned up. Similarly, check your computer, or tablet or phone (or external speakers if you’re using them) to make sure they’re on, and volume is turned up.
Hey, what happened to all those Beyond Echoes streams?
Over the many years of Echoes On Line, we built up a large collection of “Beyond Echoes” streams and other special features. Not all of those were intended to be permanent, but even for those that are: it’s taking a lot of time to re-encode so much audio in our new format. We didn’t want to wait any longer to provide this service, so we’ll be adding many of those older streams back as we get them converted, and creating new ones. If there’s one you particularly miss, please drop us a line and let us know, and we’ll try to get to it sooner!
What happened to the weekly stream?
We used to make a separate stream with all five days playing in sequence. Now, the audio player builds that series of programs automatically. As new shows get uploaded throughout the week, they get added to a playlist of all that week’s shows. To listen to more than one day’s program continuously, click on the any day’s link, and all shows that follow in that week (if they’ve been produced and uploaded yet) will play in-sequence automatically.
What happened to the scrolling playlist?
That real-time track listing was one of our favorite features of the Real Audio player, and we’re still working on returning that functionality. Please stand by! In the interim, all streams will have links to a playlist, which includes start times, so check the elapsed time as shown on the progress bar of the audio player, and that should tell you where to look on the playlist for a particular track. (Of course, the times shift a little bit in the real-world, so those start times might not be exact…)
Levels of Access
There is now only one level of Echoes On-Line subscriptions. The Echoes “Program of the Week” level has been phased-out due to low subscription levels.
“Full Service” subscribers have access to our complete archive, accessed at: Subscribers: Full Service.
There’s also a special one-week trial subscription for only $2.99: Details here>>.
If you can’t access the Echoes Online programs, first, do the basics. Look at your log-in and password. We all scramble letters, use incorrect upper or lower cases, and have those Homer Simpson moments. Your log-in and password need to be exactly the same as when you signed up for Echoes On-Line. Be sure to check that you typed your login name correctly, as well as your password.
If you forget your Log-in or Password, please do not contact Echoes. Instead, please contact our transaction service provider, Epoch. They manage your passwords and billing, so that you can get access 24-hours-a-day. They can help you more quickly, and at more times of the day, than we can here at Echoes.
You can retrieve the information on-line from Epoch here.
Or, if you need personal assistance, you can call them 24-hours-a-day: 800-893-8871 (if you are in the U.S. or Canada), 310-664-5810 (if you are anywhere else): E-mail Epoch.
The wrong program, feature or concert is playing instead of the one I selected
If you find a show that does not seem to be playing correctly, please let us know and we’ll fix it as soon as possible. E-Mail Echoes On-Line.
Downloading Echoes to an MP3 player, computer or device to be named later
We’re not allowed to provide downloads: that would be illegal. Even before the Digital Millenium Copyright Act, copyright law did not allow us to offer music on-line in a downloadable format. The reason for this is the legal difference between broadcasting music, and selling copies of music. Downloads are considered copies, just like a CD. The Echoes On-Line service can only legally provide streaming, not downloading. There are many options for purchasing downloads of the individual tracks we play (click the Amazon and iTunes links from our playlists) but not the complete programs.
There are playlists associated with all programs, and they all have start times for each track. While they may not be exact to the second, they should give a good idea of which song you are hearing. We’re currently working on restoring the real-time scrolling playlists that were part of the Real Player, we hope to have that feature back in place soon.
For more information about the songs, and purchasing options, go to the playlist and click the album title, or the iTunes button, or a “buy it” button if it’s there.
Accessing specific shows
Individual shows are arranged by week, by hours, searching the playlists may help locate specific features.
With sixteen years (over 5,000 original hours!) of Echoes programs, interview features and Living Room Concerts in our tape archive, we can’t have it all available on-line all the time, the bandwidth storage costs would be astronomical. So we’ve designed the Echoes Online service to offer an ever-changing array of programs, features and concerts from our archive. You can check the schedule to see what’s coming up at echoes.org.
We certainly want to provide the programs and features our subscribers want, so if there’s a particular program, feature, concert, artist or topic you’d like to hear, please make a suggestion at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll be sure to consider your suggestions.
The cost of on-line streaming
Providing on-demand audio is expensive, and Echoes On-Line does not have any advertisements or pleas for donations. The majority of your subscription fee goes to the costs of storage and streaming, music rights and royalties, processing and customer-service fees. In return for your subscription, you can listen to the shows you want, when you want, and don’t forget: no annoying ads!
Our “Program of the Week” subscription costs only about $2.52 a week and provides a high-quality audio stream. For an additional 48 cents each week, you can subscribe to the full service and archive.
The cost of preparing, storing and delivering content to you on-demand is still quite high, so in exchange for your subscription, we think we’ve put together a unique, growing and ever-changing service of the best music, features and concerts anywhere. And it’s available whenever you want to listen, and without those pesky pop-ups or banner ads. We hope you’ll appreciate the quality of our service. Access to hours of Echoes and extended features still work out to less than the cost of one new CD every month.
We’ll continue to pass on cost savings to you as the price of bandwidth goes down. And when you subscribe quarterly instead of monthly, we pass the savings from credit card transactions directly to you.
Vacations, leaves of absence, military service, planetary departures
Are you going where Echoes On-Line doesn’t? Don’t worry. Monthly subscribers can cancel their subscription and then re-up upon return. But remember, the Internet is everywhere and so is Echoes. If you’re traveling in Europe or the Caribbean, Asia or Africa, as long as you have a laptop computer and an Internet connection, you can hear Echoes anywhere, anytime. In fact, you can be an ambassador of Echoes around the world.
To make changes to your Echoes On-Line Subscription, such as upgrading, canceling, or using a different credit card, contact our billing service provider, Epoch.com by e-mail at: email@example.com or by phone, 24 hours a day, at 800-893-8871, or 310-664-5810. If you need to cancel your subscription you can do that here.
If changes to your subscription are made mid-month, charges will be prorated.
Renewal is automatic, until you tell Epoch to stop, so you don’t need to worry that you’ll be cut-off because you forgot to pay the Echoes bill!
RealAudio vs. Other File-Types
This area of the technology is changing every day, and we will be keeping an eye on future developments. We switched from Real Player to a more universal format, and then to a cloud-based player, so that users could listen on more devices, including smart phones and tablet computers. We’ll continue to assess the best formats that can provide good audio quality to the widest variety of listening devices. Please let us know if you’re having trouble playing the programs on your favorite device.