Adding Sound to Your Pages
There are several different types of sound files you can add to your webpages to make them come alive. Sounds, used in moderation and relevance, enhance and improve the quality of your webpages. However, over use of sound can be annoying and slow your site down considerably.

The table below shows different types of sound files and details their use.

File Type Size Description
Midi (.mid) small Used for playing instrumental music only. Huge range available, file size usually between 8K and 100K. Browsers have a default midi plugin to play them, but, MUCH better plugins can be purchased. Newer players will play the midi as it downloads. This is known as 'streaming'.
Wav (.wav) large Used for short clips of 'real' sound. File size ranges, usually,  from 20k to 2MB. Large files  SLOW down your load time! The entire file must be down loaded before any sound is heard. Easy to record your own, but, be careful they sound good but can be HUGE in size.
Audio (.au) large Similar to wav files - some Java applets demand .au files for their sound files. 
Real Audio (.ra) large Sounds very realistic, but, not quite CD quality. Requires a Real Audio player and a plugin to use them on a webpage. Sounds will play while they are still downloading, and traffic on the net affect their quality.
MP3's  HUGE Often used to pirate a CD and as such, completely illegal. Many free servers will not allow you to store this file type.
How to add sound to your pages
Adding a midi or .mid sound file to your webpage is simple and can be used to achieve a number of effects. By rule of thumb, we have learned, most visitors like the option of turning the music off. If you choose not to give them this option, then at least, either keep the volume low, or do not make the midi loop more than 3 times on pages that contain a lot of text. Trying to read your information while listening to a midi file over and over and over, can become quite annoying. The tag used is as follows:

<embed src="fcontact.mid" autostart=true loop=true width="200" height="55" volume=20>

Using the above code, we have told my page to do as follows:

  • embed - attaches the midi to our page.
  • src - sets the midi file fcontact.mid as the screen source for the sound file.
  • autostart - can be true or false, true in this case, tells the midi to load and automatically start. If you set this to false, you will have to push the play button on the midi player.
  • loop - can be true or false or a number, in this case true, tells the midi to play over and over until the visitor turns it off. If it's set to a number, the midi will play thorough completely that number of times and shut off automatically.
  • width - sets the width of display allotted for the midi player
  • height - sets the height of display allotted for the midi player
  • volume - allows you to set a value from 1 to 100. We have found that 15-40 is ample, but, this depends on the quality of the midi.
Wav files and Au

This type of file can add 'real sound' to your webpages. For example, if you are doing a virtual tour website these would come in handy. Suppose you want to take the visitor down a classroom hall. Listening to footsteps as you tour a school can make a dramatic change. We will show you two different websites, basically the same, but, one has sound effect and the other does not. Judge for yourself and when you've tried them, come back and we will show you how it's done.

JayDax Virtual School - with sound - Be patient, it takes a while to load, but makes all the difference.
Virtual Blakeston School - without sound

Ok, which one was more fun? Why not e-mail us with your vote :)
The tag used is as follows:

<embed src="bird.wav" volume=20 autostart=true loop=false hidden=true> Explanation is the same as for midis. Unless you are using an older version of IE, in which case you would use this tag
<BGsound="bird.wav" etc.....


Page design by:JayDaxDesigns
© 2000 JayDax Designs