Nothing spices up a website like a cool sound effect (think ker-thunk as a visitor presses a button) or an embedded video. In this Mini Missing Manual, you’ll learn how to add several kinds of media files to your site: background music, a MIDI player, sound effects, and videos.
You’ll also find out where you can download free multimedia files to get you started, and learn how to prepare homegrown videos for quick, seamless playback. And if you don’t have the storagespace (or the desire) to host your own movies, you can embed them on your site but host them on YouTube.
In the early days of the Internet, websites were about as jazzy as an IRS form. You’d see pages filled with an assortment of plain text, links, and more plain text. Over time, the Web matured, and web pages started to change as designers embraced the joys of color, pictures, and tacky clip-art. But when that excitement started to wear off, it was time for a new trick—multimedia.
Multimedia is a catchall term for a variety of technologies and file types, all of which have dramatically different PC requirements and pose different web-design challenges. Multimedia includes everything from the irritating jingle that plays in the background of your best friend’s homepage to the wildly popular movie clip of a cat playing the piano. (Depressing fact: with over 10 million views, it’s unlikely you’ll ever create web page that’s half as popular.)
In this Mini Missing Manual, you’ll consider how to use several types of multimedia. First, you’ll learn to play background music and sound effects. Then you’ll use Flash to put a real music player in your web page. Finally, you’ll see how to use YouTube to popularize your own movie clips, and take a shot at becoming the center of attention.