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Chapter 24. Audio on the Web > Choosing an Audio Format

24.6. Choosing an Audio Format

Which audio format or system you choose depends on your communication goals, the scale of your site, and your budget. Table 24-1 provides suggestions for some common scenarios. Consider them only as starting points for researching the solution that best meets your needs.

Table 24-1. Suggested audio formats
Audio needs Suggested formats
Short voice greetings WAV, AIFF, QuickTime (via regular HTTP server), MP3
Narration (news broadcasts, interviews, and other voice-only content) Streaming solutions such as RealAudio, Windows Media, or QuickTime for large audiences; RealAudio or QuickTime via HTTP server for limited traffic and few simultaneous listeners
Background music (ambient sound loops) MIDI, Beatnik, WAV
Short interactive sound effects (such as button rollover and transition sounds) Flash, Shockwave, Beatnik
Music samples for a limited audience MP3, RealMedia, or QuickTime via HTTP server
Music samples for a large-scale site with heavy traffic Complete streaming solution, such as RealSystem or Windows Streaming Media
Radio-style music broadcasting RealMedia System, streaming MP3s (via a streaming server such as SHOUTcast), Windows Media System
Distribution and sale of CD-quality audio MP3, Liquid Audio
Live broadcasting RealMedia System, QuickTime, Windows Media System
Musical e-greeting card Flash, Beatnik, MIDI or WAV background sound
Specialized audio applications (such as virtual CD players, mixers, etc.) Flash, Shockwave, Beatnik, QuickTime



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