I found out about this service from PodcastNYC, a great place for podsafe music.
One of the very cool benefits that Big Contact gives you is a web-based MP3 player, what they call a channel player. It aggregates all your blog posts that link to MP3 files and gives you a playlist of those MP3 files with the content of your blog posts as the sort of show notes for reach MP3. This means you can get a sense of what each MP3 is about, whether it's a podcast or just music, before you click on that play button.
Once you launch the player (it appears in a pop-up window or new tab), it starts streaming the first MP3 file (so broadband is a good idea) and starts playing it. Pretty neat.
There is some code on the Big Contact site that I can include here so that you can directly launch the player. Unfortunately, that code doesn't work. I've emailed Big Contact about it and I hope to get it up here at some point.
I also discovered a rather neat Flash-based MP3 player. Produced by Jeroen Wijering, it's very nicely put together and dead easy to add your own list of MP3 content to the XML-based playlist. Take a look at my little experiment - this lists some of the For Immediate Release: The Hobson & Holtz Report podcasts we've done this month that you can play with this player.
Similar concept to Big Contact's channel player - when it loads, it starts streaming the first MP3. You can configure it to start playing automatically or wait for a click.
Go on, give it a go!
[UPDATE 29/5/05] I had a detailed and very helpful reply from Nat at Big Contact about launching the MP3 player, as well as resolving an issue with MP3 sampling rates (separate post).
The link for the player works fine. You can try it here -
Why didn't it work yesterday? Not sure. I wrote this original post offline in ecto for Windows and tested the link in ecto's preview window. That's when it didn't work. But it works fine now.