Foundations of Web Design
- General audio concepts - when you create, edit, or convert audio files, you have two choices that directly affect the quality and size of the audio file
- Two basic types of audio are downloaded audio and streaming audio
- Downloaded Audio
- Web browsers allow an author to embed audio into a Web page. However, the Web surfer may have to wait out a long download. Read this guide to browser supported audio MIME types. You can use the HTML EMBED tag to have downloaded audio play in a Web page.
- MP3 - MP3 is a very popular audio format. For example, music swapped with Napster is usually in the MP3 format. It is easy to obtain MP3 players for PC's & Mac's. See mp3.com for examples.
- WAV - .wav, de facto standard for PC's but works with QuickTime on Macs, see example answer machine messages in the .wav format here
- AIFF - .aif, de facto standard for Mac's
- u-law - .au, standard for Unix
- Streaming Audio
- RealAudio (part of RealMedia) by Real Networks - the Web surfer doesn't have to wait for the full audio file to download.
Listen to this demo if you have the proper RealPlayer plug-in . You will hear a streaming message from me as the page loads. Hear many other examples at real.com.
- Windows Media by Microsoft- competing with the popular RealAudio format, Windows Media is popular as well.
MIDI - MIDI is a special format that uses synthesized musical instrument sounds to create music. It's advantage is that it uses little bandwidth since a MIDI file is really just a text file. However, MIDI music doesn't sound too realistic in many cases since it does not include voice tracks. Check out www.mididb.com for many MIDI's.
Activity - Add an audio, mp3, or wav file to your home page by using the EMBED OBJECT HTML tag. Click here to visit a page with embedded audio.
Move your mouse here - You can obtain some sound clips at http://www.webplaces.com/html/sounds.htm and at echovibes.com
Integrated audio formats where sound is combined with animation.
- Shockwave - great animation and audio, requires the free Shockwave plug-in. Shockwave content is created with Macromedia Director. See the Music section at shockwave.com for examples.
- Flash - requires free plug-in, create Flash content with Macromedia Flash, examples (listen closely for the sounds).
Activity: Open Flash and use the Window/Common Libraries/Sounds menu commands to listen to sounds that come with Flash.
- Java- requires Java-enabled browser; there is a high learning curve to learning the Java language itself unless you can find a Java applet that is easy to use for sound