Types of Sound Sources - Music Formats
On the internet, you will find 4 different types of sound sources (music formats), with 3 sounding very much alike.
* Midi (Musical Instrument Digital Interface). Midi sounds are the smallest files and load very quickly on a
website. They can utilize the soundcard's built in sound bank or
Edirol's Virtual Sound Canvas. File extension: .mid
* Audio File Next to midis, the most common audio file on the internet as it is supported by all browsers with sound, and all servers.
Basically a decent sound, but large files make page loading very slow. File extension: .au
* Wave A Wave file is a high quality, uncompressed audio file format, created by Microsoft, that has become a standard PC audio file format (also supported by MAC) for everything from system and game sounds to CD-quality audio. You will find wav files used for everything from music to sound effects and are used in chat rooms that support sounds. These are quite large in size, and music will take a very long time to load. Most people will not remain on a website that takes more than 30 seconds to load.
File extension: .wav
Some links to free audio
* MP3 (MPEG-1 Audio Layer-3) is the standard format for compression of a sound or music selection into a very small file (about one-tenth to one-twelfth the size of the original file) without sacrificing sound quality. Most
systems have a player built in (Windows Media Player - Quicktime). For those who need a player there are several free ones offered on the Internet including
Quicktime, WinAmp, RealPlayer, and Crescendo. File extension: .mp3
Some links to free .mp3 converters:
How To Put Sounds On Your Page
Now that you know the types of sound files that you can use on your page, the question remains, "HOW?"
It's actually very easy to do. Your first step is to upload the file from your hard drive to your server. There are 2 codes in html that you can use, both of which are browser specific. Netscape uses the embed tag, while Internet Explorer uses the background sound source tag. Older tutorials on html will tell you to include both tags to ensure that the 2 major browsers will be able to handle your sounds. However, Internet Explorer now recognizes the embed tag.
Most of the average Internet users have only one sound player, the one that was built into their system. Many have downloaded
Real Player as well, as many sites use streaming media which has been created in RealAudio format (.ra or .ram). Then there are other people, like me, who use several players, all for different purposes. I have found that when you have more than one player, if you use both the embed tag and the background sound tag, the music will load twice, at differing intervals.
The code is:
standby="Loading Windows Media Player
If you want the sound to be played in Internet Explorer, the code is <BGSOUND SRC="nameofyourfile" LOOP="number of times you want it played">. It is my opinion that the best way to use sounds is to give your readers a choice from the very beginning. Instead of forcing them to listen or to shut off the sound once it starts, you can make the sound a link, just as you would link to anything else. To listen to my music, click here. This will result in the opening of a small download window. Your viewers can choose to open the file from the present location, in which case it's only temporary, or they can save the file to disk.
You have another option that works instead of using html code. You can use a java applet found at:
Player. This works in other formats besides midi.
FREE SOUNDS - Click
Here To Download Free Music For Your Website.