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Coming Soon! Streaming Audio

By Rick Taube - May 16, 2018

We are excited to announce a brand-new audio-streaming service, which we plan to roll out in Fall 2018 as part of our upcoming Harmonia 3.0 release (much more on that later!) Our new streaming audio service will allow teachers to embed high-quality audio in their Harmonia lessons and homework assignments without needing to attach audio files to their documents and control exactly how the media is used by students.

The impetus for our new service arose from the fact that a number of schools have started to use Harmonia to deliver entrance and proficiency exams with audio clips for instructions and examples for assignments. In addition, teachers have asked us for the ability to incorporate aural-skills assessments into Harmonia assignments, and our new streaming playback features will enable teachers to build and deliver aural skills content with ease. Follow the steps below to get started and visit our website this summer to find "how to" videos and sample ear training exercises.

How does it work?

You only need to take three simple steps to get great sounding audio streaming inside your Harmonia documents:

1. Upload audio files to your Harmonia account.

When you log into the Harmonia 3 server (to be released Fall 2018), you will find a new "My Media" area in your teacher account. This area will allow you to upload audio files and organize them into different "Collections". For example, you may want to create a collection for each class you teach, or you may want collections to represent specific types or kinds of music. Once an audio file is uploaded, you can label it, listen to it, move it from one collection to another, or delete it. We can support all the current audio formats so there will be no need to convert your favorite files.

2. Add streaming audio to your assignments.

As soon as you start up Harmonia and log in to your teacher account, Harmonia will automatically download your media collections and make them available for selection inside the app’s Media Attachments menu. To add audio to a page, first click on the object you want to attach audio to and then select the audio resource from the Media Attachment menu. Once the resource is added to the page, it will appear as a headphone icon in the left margin of the document. Note that a single streaming audio resource can be added multiple times across different documents or even within the same document; each individual instance of the audio can be customized as described in step three.

3. Configure the attached audio for student to use.

This step allows you to add or remove playback constraints for a given audio attachment. By default there are no restrictions: students may listen to an audio attachment as many times as desired, pause, fast-forward or rewind as needed. However, we have built our system to enable teachers to restrict playback to a certain number of repetitions, and to "disable" the rewind and/or pause button. These restrictions are managed by the audio server so even if a student quits and restarts the app, the limits established by the teacher will remain in effect. All playback limits placed on an attachment are displayed on the audio transport so students can always be aware of how many times they can play an example and whether or not they can pause or rewind. The transport also provides a handy “Test Audio” button enabling students to test their equipment before playing a constrained audio example.

That’s it! Although easy to use, it is quite powerful and is certain to improve the learning experience for all your music students. We know this service has many possible uses beyond what we have thought of and we look forward to learning about how you use it in your teaching.