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Sound in Web Pages
     Sound is one of the parts of the web that is still not even close to being standardized. There are dozens of formats, and more coming all the time. One of the popular things now is "Streaming audio" which starts playing the sound file as it is still being downloaded, or a special connection sends information to the player without ever actually sending the sound file. Usually requires a plug in or even special software to set things up. Examples are Real Audio/Video, Quicktime 3.0, Shockwave among others.

     Nonstreaming audio is a bit easier to set up on your web page, though you still have to be careful as different browsers, operating systems support different types of sound files. There are a few links to supposedly "copyright free" sounds, but beware. TV shows, movies etc are defending their copyrights on the internet quite vigorously. Also note, sound, like anything else on a web page, should serve a purpose, so don't put in a 2 minute real audio file saying "welcome to my webpage", unless you want to be immortalized at Web Pages That Suck.

     Ok, you've read the stuff above, and you want to know, "HOW DO I PUT THE SOUND ON THE PAGE, DARN IT".

The best way, that should insure it working on the greatest number of browsers is to use the <embed> tag.

Assuming that the mozart midi file (a computer generated sound file) started playing when you opened the page, the code for that was
<embed src="internet/mozart.mid" hidden=true autostart=true loop=false> </embed>

  • hidden=true - prevents the small "console" from showing up.
  • autostart=true/false - True it starts on loading the page, False, you have to click 'play' first.
  • loop=true/false/number - True, plays constantly, false plays 1 time, number plays that number of times
NOTE: If you use hidden=true and autostart=true it's basically the same as <bgsound> that is only supported in Internet Explorer. To use that, you would type
<bgsound src="mozart.mid" Loop=3 >

Additionally, you can just have direct links to a sound, which is no different than a link to another web page, a picture, whatever. This is a nice option, because the user can always save the file for later if his browser doesn't support that sound format. Try these two out for size.

Just a few links so far