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Chapter 7. Inserting & Playing Media > Using Sound and Movie Files

Using Sound and Movie Files

Sound and movie files come in more flavors than ice cream (see the sidebar, Common Sound File Types, later in this chapter). Not all browsers support all sound files, but any browser that supports plug-ins or ActiveX (Navigator or Explorer versions 2 or later) should be able to play most sound files. Both Navigator and Explorer now generally come with helper applications such as WinAmp that can play most sound files. Macintosh browsers generally use QuickTime for Audio and movies, and the RealPlayer free edition is available for additional downloaded and streaming audio and movie files.

The Sound of Downloads

When linking to sound or movie files, it's a good idea to let your users know what they're in for.

Unless the file is very small, it's good practice to indicate the file type and file size so that users know whether to download them now or later, how long the download might take, and so on. A user might be at the office or the library and not want to play a sound file right now; or a visitor might be using a mobile device or other tool, wherein either the device can't play the file or the user might choose to skip it for now. And further, some older Mac browsers don't support .WAV files, and some older PC browsers don't support .AIFF files. And of course any user on a dialup modem wants advance notice before they start downloading a 100K-plus sound file.

A line like this near the link should do the trick:

They Killed Kenny! (10K .WAV)

or even better:

They Killed Kenny! (10K .WAV, 9K .AIFF)



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