Multimedia/Help:Listening to sounds
Note: this page is a working sketch of what such a page might look like. This is not the final version, and information here should not necessarily be relied upon. Plans for future improvements are on Talk:Multimedia/Help:Listening to sounds. See also the parent page, which also discusses other aspects of multimedia policy.
This page is aimed at users wishing to playback existing audio content; if you are interested in adding more such files to Meta, please see Help:Adding sounds.
Sounds on Meta are stored in a format called Ogg Vorbis, which is a form of compression which makes them faster to download. It is similar to the popular format known as MP3, but there are legal issues associated with that format that make it undesirable for our use.
Unfortunately, the Ogg Vorbis format is not yet as common as some others, so you may find that you have no software that can play these files. Below is a list of programs which either will already play these files, or which can easily be extended to do so. None of these pieces of software cost anything, but some may require you to agree to a license on installation, and may advertise a paid version with extra features.
TODO: work through and incorporate software from w:en:Ogg_Vorbis#Software
- JOrbisPlayer and jOggPlayer:
- VLC plays almost everything except Real. Free as in speech
- TO-DO: check these out a bit more; they could be an interesting thing for us to build on / support
- Popular media player supporting many formats of audio and video, and many useful features. The latest version can be downloaded from the Nullsoft official website.
- Ogg Vorbis support is included in full installs of versions 2.80 and later.
- If you have an earlier version, or downloaded the "lite" installer, you may need to install this plugin TODO: Find a better download than that; English would be nice, and a URL with no IP numbers in would be reassuring
- Windows Media Player:
- Media player from Apple; can be configured to play sounds inside your web browser. You can download the latest version from the Apple official website.
- Ogg Vorbis support can be added by installing a plugin, which is still being improved (Project homepage | Download latest version for MacOS 9.x | Download latest version for MacOS X)
- Good results from "VLC" - details here
- TO-DO: extend this list; what media players do people use on MacOS?
Linux, UNIX and similar systems 
- XMMS (X Multimedia System):
- TO-DO: extend this list