Crossway has implemented several changes to the audio at the ESV Online Edition.
Flash is now the default audio format
The former default audio type, RealAudio, was painful for everyone involved. Crossway’s tested their Flash solution for five months and have found it to work (and scale) well. You click the “Listen” link, and it plays the audio without an external player.
All the other audio types (MP3, WMA, Real) will remain available indefinitely. Both the Marquis Laughlin and Max McLean recordings are available in Flash and MP3. We expect to make any future recordings available in these two formats.
Only the Marquis Laughlin recording is available in WMA and Real formats.
Go to the Options page to set your audio preferences.
The Max McLean recording will become the default on July 10, 2006
Our goal is to provide continuity between the Old and New Testaments. Max McLean’s recording is the only one currently available for the entire ESV.
You can change your preferences to use the Marquis Laughlin recording for the New Testament and the Max McLean recording for the Old Testament.
All Daily Verse and Memory Verse RSS feeds are now podcasts
Previously, only New Testament verses were podcasts. Now, every verse has both text and audio available. All RSS feeds.
Web Service changes
Related to the above changes, Crossway has added a new, optional parameter to the web service and changed an existing parameter.
The audio-format parameter now takes four possible values instead of two: flash, mp3, real, or wma.
On July 10, 2006, the default value of audio-format will change from real to flash. You should set this parameter explicitly if you prefer a particular format.
(Why not make mp3 the default? The links to the MP3s expire after about 24 hours, making them unsuitable for caching. In addition, you can hear gaps between verses. But MP3 might be your best bet if you cache your web service queries for one day or less.)
There is a new audio-version parameter that takes one of three values: mm (Max McLean), ml (Marquis Laughlin, New Testament only), and ml-mm (Max McLean for the Old Testament, Marquis Laughlin for the New Testament). This parameter only affects the output if the audio-format is either flash or mp3.
The default value of audio-version is ml-mm and is subject to change. If you prefer a particular recording, you should explicitly set this parameter.
Finally, and unrelated to the audio changes, a <unit> element in the response of getQueryInfo numerically identifies verses to assist automated processing.
See the API page for more details.