Once you've decided that you want to use sound in your Web page you need to think about the sounds availible to you.
Many people automatically think of music when thinking of sound on the Web. But music is just one type of sound. Here's a few types of sounds we're all familiar with (Click on the links and then hit the play button on the player to hear an example of that sound):
- Voice. Whether it be your 8-year-old niece's voice, your voice, your golden retriever's voice, or an entire choir, voices can add a nice affect. Voices work especially well for online "tours" of a company or a product.
- Voice over instrumental. Maybe you wouldn't want to hang out at a place that offers Kareokae nights, but it can add humor and a laid-back feeling to certain Web sites.
- Musical Instruments. Whether it's the sound of your brother playing the piano, or a clip of a rock concert, musical instruments work for many different sites.
- Sound Effects. Blips, bleeps, sounds of crashing and banging, or any burst of sound works well for onmouseover sounds, or onclick sounds.
When considering types of sounds, consider your audience, the rest of your site, and the goal of your site. Think about what you're trying to say and to whom.
You may find that voices work wonderfully for an online company training manual, but sound strange for the corporate Web page. Sounds of rippling water may work great on a page about rivers, but it's probably not the best sound for a page about how to stop your kid from wetting the bed. Test different types of sounds on different pages.
Pay as much attention to the types of sound you're using as you would with the type of images you're using.