Why are soundclips at A Magpie's Nest zipped?:
This is a lot of work to be able to
listen to a 20 second soundclip.
Why the bother?
ZIP is mainly used for two reason:
I don't need either of these features.
There is only one file in each of my ZIP files... not a bundle...
and MP3s are highly compressed files to begin with and only minimal
reduction in size is achieved by zipping.
My biggest concern with offering
soundclips (besides staying inside the fair use boundaries) is
bandwidth. My site allows for a certain amount of information to be
downloaded (displayed, listened to) - whether that be text, images
or sound. Displaying text doesn't require a lot of bandwidth.
Playing sound requires more. If I exhaust my allotted bandwidth, the
site goes offline. I don't know how quickly that would happen but I
know I don't want it to happen. There were two things I was
especially concerned would drive up my bandwidth usage:
Hotlinking - Hotlinking is when
someone finds an image or soundclip they like on a site...
decide they want it for their own site... and they write a code
such that their site displays that image (or plays that
soundclip), leaving the original site to supply the storage area
and the bandwidth. It costs money to host a website (yes... it
costs me money and I have been the victim of hotlinking).
Hotlinking is theft. The material on a site is there to support
that site. If you want someone to see a picture or hear a sound,
send them to the original site. Then that site reaps the
benefits from the visitor.
Multiple listens - If someone is
interested in a theme, they might listen. But what if they
didn't quite get it? Perhaps they'll listen again. Maybe they
want to compare that music to something else. They might listen
a few more times. Every time they listen, they have used
bandwidth. If they download the clip onto their harddrive, they
can listen as often as they like and it costs me nothing beyond
the initial download.
I'm more worried about hotlinking than I
am multiple listens. But preventing one prevents both. By zipping
the soundfiles, one is forced to download the clip onto their own
harddrive and then listen from there and prevented from hotlinking
to the file on my site.