Music to Your Web site The good, the bad and the ugly
webmasters like the idea of adding background music to their web sites but most
shy away from doing it worrying about slow loading pages and large file sizes.
There are many different ways to add background music to your site and some of
them don't require large files to achieve professional results. Let's examine
all the different ways to add background music to your site and rate them to find
the best solution for you.
MIDI Files MIDI files are very small because they actually use your
sound card's built-in instruments to create the sounds. The problem is that most
sound cards don't have any decent sounds to start with, plus no two sound cards
sound alike and therefore the results are very unpredictable. MIDI files usually
sound like they're coming from one of those cheap Casio keyboards. Using MIDI
for background music is very likely to make your site seem amateurish.
to know how to do it anyway? Just add the <embed src=xyz.mid autostart=true>
line to your site. (Replace xyz with the name of the MIDI file you want to use!)
The Autostart command will play the file automatically when the page is loaded.
PROS; Very small file size, easy to implement CONS: Unpredictable results,
WAV Files Using the WAV file format allows you to add professional
sounding recordings to your site but the problem is that even if you use a low
quality setting like 11k/8bit, the file sizes are still very large and it will
take a long time for your music to load. And slow loading pages are the worst
thing that can happen to a site.
a WAV file on a web page is easy. Just add the line <embed src=xyz.wav autostart=true>
to your page's HTML code. There's an additional command to loop the WAV file but
WAV files do not loop cleanly with the embed command.
PROS: Many Quality
Levels, Easy to implement CONS: Large File Sizes, WAV Files do not loop
MP3 Files MP3 files are highly compressed and don't take that long
to load but the problem is that MP3s need to bring up an external player program
and which in some cases takes your visitors away from your site altogether. Also,
MP3 files don't loop cleanly.
PROS: Smaller File Sizes, Good Quality
Possible CONS: Needs external player software, not loopable
Flash If you own a program that can create Flash files, you will have
lots of flexibility in adding sound to your site. Flash lets you import WAV as
well as MP3 Files and then creates quite small files from these sounds that will
load automatically on your site. You can set the quality level and therefore decide
how large you want the Flash file to be. Flash also allows you to loop short pieces
of sound to create 'continuous' background music files that can be quite small.
But please note that only imported WAV files can be looped in Flash, MP3 files
will not loop cleanly.
PROS: Great Flexibility, Small File Sizes, expecially
when looping sounds CONS: You need to buy expensive Flash software to create
Pre-Made Flash Loops The newest thing on the market are pre-built Flash
Music Loops. These files are professionally recorded, loop almost indefinitely
and most of these Flash Music Loops are only about 20k in size so they load almost
instantly. Flash Music Loops are available at http://www.flashmusictracks.com
and currently there are three different loop packages available in all kinds of
music styles from classical to techno. Using these pre-built Flash files is easy.
Simply upload the "xyz.swf" Flash file to your server and add a few
lines from the corresponding "xyz.html" file to your web page and presto...instant
professional sounding background music.
PROS: Extremely small file size,
professional quality music CONS: None
you can see there are many different ways to add background music to your web
pages and you don't have to worry about slow loading pages if you choose the right