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Chapter 27. Multimedia

Ever since the Web has become a predominant medium, the big promise has been "in a few months, we'll have multimedia just like CD-ROMs." And after a few months, the promise was still "in a few months, we'll have multimedia just like CD-ROMs." And after a few more months…

Today, we still don't have anything approaching the performance of multimedia delivered on CD-ROM. Although Macromedia Flash can do some impressive things, video and sound still lag far behind.

Sound and moving images, collectively referred to as multimedia, come at a high price for the amount of information conveyed. Due to their raw size, multimedia files can take a large chunk of time to move across the Web, even over the fastest Internet connections. In addition, they usually deliver subpar results compared with other media, such as TV, CD, and DVD. Still, multimedia promises new levels of dynamic interactivity on the Web—after the bandwidth dilemma is sorted out.

In this chapter, I'll introduce some of the top contenders for adding multimedia to your Web site. This chapter does not examine each topic thoroughly; instead, it tells you about some of the possibilities.


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