Listening to Audio
The History Matters Archive features extensive audio holdings in addition
to its voluminous set of scanned documents. This page provides help in
accessing these "audio files."
Locating Audio Segments and Excerpts
Audio clips are contained on special pages in the archive. These pages
may be reached in either of two ways:
- Navigating to them via the audio icon
embedded at various places in the hierarchy of Archive contents pages
- Hyperlinking to them directly from an essay or other presentation.
This is also usually accompanied in the essay by the audio icon .
Current audio holdings include:
- Johnson Phone Calls. A selection of Lyndon Johnson recorded
phone calls, found under the LBJ Library main contents page.
- Medical Interviews. Interviews of medical witnesses taken by
the House Select Committee on Assassinations in the 1970s, and the Assassination
Records Review Board in the 1990s.
- CIA Interviews. Interviews of CIA employees and other witnesses
relevant to the story of Lee Oswald's sojourn to Mexico City in the
fall of 1963.
How to Use the Audio Pages
Audio pages look somewhat similar to Archive contents pages, featuring
the same familiar brown sidebar of menu items on the left side of the
page. The main content area consists of:
- Return to Link. A Return to link at top left.
This returns to the contents page above this audio page in the Archive
hierarchy. If you linked to the audio page from an essay, you need to
use the browser Back button to retrace your steps.
- Transcript. A full transcript of the audio segment is usually
available, both in scanned page form and PDF format.
- Summary. Next is a brief summary of the conversation or interview.
- Audio Segment. Embedded in a blue stripe are links which play
the complete audio segment, accompanied by a title and time in minutes
and seconds. Clicking on any of the 3 links will, if you have the proper
software installed, play the audio. See the next section of this help
page for more information on audio formats.
- Audio Excerpts. In some cases, excerpts from the complete audio
recording are also available. Each excerpt consists of a title, time,
summary, and links to play the audio in 3 formats.
Audio clips are each available for listening in the following 3 formats:
- WMA - Windows Media Audio. Windows Media Audio is a Microsoft
audio format playable via the Windows Media Player, which is built into
Microsoft Windows. It is a streaming format, meaning that you don't
have to wait for the audio to download before listening.
- MOV - Quicktime. Quicktime is a format developed by Apple Computer
which is built into all Macintosh computers and is also available for
Windows. It is pseudo-streaming, which allows you to listen without
waiting for a complete download.
- MP3. MP3 is a popular format for digital music. Depending on
the software used for playback, it typically requires complete downloading
of the clip before listening. To estimate download time, use the following
formula: 1 minute of audio = roughly 120K bytes. 120K bytes takes about
30-35 seconds to download using a 56K modem. Thus, a half-hour clip
may take more than 15 minutes to download on such a modem. Use the streaming
formats unless you simply wish to download the audio clip for later
To see if you have the proper software for playing any of these 3 audio
this link to navigate to a typical audio page, and try each of the
3 links: WMA, MOV, and MP3.
The Windows Media Audio Player is freely available from Microsoft at
the following address: http://windowsmedia.com/download/download.asp
Apple's Quicktime Player is available for free downloading at the following
A popular audio listening tool is WinAmp, produced by NullSoft. It handles
MP3 as well as many other audio formats. The home page for WinAmp is: