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Chapter 13. Adding Multimedia Effects to... > Adding Sound Effects to a Page

Adding Sound Effects to a Page

Adding sound effects to a Web page certainly enhances the page’s appeal. However, sound needs to be used with discretion, because it has its inherent drawbacks. Sound effects can sometimes be distracting and might not appeal to everybody’s tastes. Audio files take a long time to download, and most audio file formats require a plug-in to be installed. Moreover, different browsers handle audio files differently, resulting in inconsistencies in sound quality.

There are ways to overcome the problems associated with audio files. The problem of slow downloads can be addressed by compression and streaming techniques. Using compression formats such as MPEG (Motion Picture Experts Group) and AIFF (Apple Audio Interchange File Format) results in smaller file sizes that download faster than uncompressed formats. Streaming is a technique that allows playback of sound even before the file is completely downloaded. When you use nonstreaming audio, the sound file must download completely before it can start playing. However, when you use streaming audio, the sound player that comes with the browser starts playing the sound even before the file is completely downloaded.


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