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Audio QuickStart: Steps for Using Sound

There are three steps to consider when you think about adding audio to your site, how to create, distribute, and play your sound.




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teps for Using Sound
There are three steps to consider when you think about adding audio to your site:

First, how will you create the sound? Before you add a sound element, that element needs to be created or found, and edited, compressed, or otherwise packaged for your use.

Second, how will you distribute the sound? You'll be incorporating the sound into your Web site, but through what method? Will you be offering a directly-embedded audio file or will you use a streaming method of distribution and will you require an audio server?

Finally, how will your readers play the sound? Will your readers have what they need to play the sound? Will their platforms support it? Will they need to download a special plug-in before they can hear it?

All three factors impact the way audio enhances—or detracts—from your site. Give some thought to these issues before you begin to add audio elements to the page.

Step 1: Making Sound
The sounds you hear on a Web site don't just happen spontaneously. Someone created them or pulled them off a sound clip collection. Or, too often on the Web, someone "borrowed" sounds that belong to someone else. (Please, don't use sounds that don't belong to you!)

The creation of sound is somewhat analogous to the creation of graphics. At one end of the scale, it is a simple process that anyone can do. For some uses, a simple sound recording program and your computer's microphone might be all you need to capture the perfect coo of your newborn.

At the other end of the scale are professional recordings of your a capella chorus in full throat; for best effect, these audio files will be created by audio experts with high quality sound recording and editing devices.

You'll also want to save the audio files in a format that best matches the type of sound and your audience's capabilities.

Creation issues you should consider:

  • Quality of recording
  • Type of editing needed
  • Best file format to use
  • Size of file
  • Compression options for making the file size smaller

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