A picture of Ted Leath Ted Leath 
Room MG126 
Faculty of Informatics
University of Ulster, Magee College
Northland Road, Londonderry, Co. Londonderry 
BT48 7JL, Northern Ireland 
Email: ta.leath@ulst.ac.uk

The Internet Radio

The Internet Radio - Click on the image to begin To use the Internet Radio you must have Netscape Navigator and the latest plug-ins for Flash (Shockwave) and RealAudio. Click on the image to begin.

There is also an A4 description sheet available on-line.

Introduction

"The Internet Radio" was produced as coursework for the Design Application module of the PGDip/MSc Computing and Design course at the University of Ulster, Magee College. The brief incorporated the New Media Project Competition with the additional requirement of incorporating Macromedia's Flash 3.

Background

The first iteration of the Internet Radio had a very simple interface - 4 buttons representing search backward, search forward, volume up and volume down. At this point it was not known what was functionally possible to perform in Flash 3. As it turned out, the volume control interface for streaming audio was not appropriate. The dial performed no function, other than to provide visual confirmation of the radio metaphor. The top view area changed with each station to provide a visual cue to the user's position within the station list (representing frequency in the radio metaphor). This iteration demonstrated the technical possibility of interaction between a Flash 3 (Shockwave) movie and external JavaScript methods - in this case, methods within the RealPlayer plug-in.

Iteration 1

Iteration 1 of Internet Radio

More thought was given to the interface, and how functions should be partitioned between HTML, JavaScript, RealPlayer plug-in and Flash 3/Shockwave. The following interface was developed:

Iteration 2

Iteration 2 of Internet Radio

The dial was discarded, as was the notion of a positional indicator. The positional indicator was replaced by an animation for each station. The interface now consisted of:

These various elements were presented in an HTML table via a size constrained JavaScript window.

Iteration 3

Upon further reflection, it was decided that fuller advantage should be taken of the rich features provided by the RealPlayer plug-in. The interface now consisted of:

Current and Potential Future Features

In it's current iteration The Internet Radio could be provided by web sites which would like to communicate their message (or advertiser's messages) via the Flash 3/Shockwave movies associated with each station. The station list is a simple sequential text file which contains the URLs of the radio stations. The full range of Flash 3/Shockwave features are available, and some of them are demonstrated. The demonstration consists of 5 stations, but there is no effective limit known for the number of stations which could be implemented.

Further developments might include:

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Ted Leath - last modified March 8th, 1999