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Sound

You can add sound to your Web page in two ways: either as a file that is downloaded all at once to your visitor's computer and then replayed, or as a streaming file that is downloaded little bits at a time, and that starts to play even as it continues downloading. Both systems have advantages and disadvantages.

Non-streaming sound files are good for short, discrete sounds—including noises, spoken phrases, and short music clips. They are simpler to use, easier to set up, and require less effort for your visitor, that is, no plug-in is usually required. When creating or choosing non-streaming audio files, you should consider the quality, size, compression, and format of the files. The higher the quality, the larger the size, which affects the time the files take to download. Compression can help get files back down to a reasonable size but may create compatibility problems on various platforms. Perhaps the most important issue is format. I recommend using WAV format for all your non-streaming sound files. They are readable by both Macs and Windows.


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