Sound clip?? : LUSENET : WebDevelopers : One Thread

Prev | Next | Reply | Reply All | Forward | Delete | Print From: "SCHROEDER, NATHAN E [FND/1000]" Save Address To: "''" Subject: RE: STLWEBDEV: Sound Clip???!! Date: Tue, 20 Mar 2001 17:41:43 -0600 Reply-To:


I'm on shaky territory too, but I doubt you can turn an arbitrary WAV file into a MIDI file. MIDI internal format compares somewhat to an orchestral score: this instrument plays this note at this time for this duration, etc. WAV internal format compares to a CD: at this instant the amplitude of the sound wave is this much. My son frequently saves disk space on his recorded-off-of-CDs music files by converting the WAV files into MP3 files. MP3 is basically a compressed WAV file. He tells me that he uses a free program called WinAmp, with a plug-in (also free) that allows WinAmp to re-encode whatever it's currently playing into an MP3 file. He gets pretty high compression ratios out of it. (I don't know if your typical browser can play an MP3, though -- this is left as a research exercise for the student!) HTH! Nate Schroeder -----Original Message----- From: Karen Stewart [] Sent: Tuesday, March 20, 2001 5:16 PM To: Subject: STLWEBDEV: Sound Clip???!!

A client of mine wants a sound byte to load with their home page (they won't be talked out of it!). I've only ever done this using the "OnLoad" command with a MIDI file, but she sent me the audio file on CD. I recorded it as a wave file, but a 32 second clip is 6MB! I'm in "unknown" territory here, so any suggestions on how to make a "quick" MIDI file, would be appreciated. Or is this something I should "contract" out? Thanks for any help :~}

-- Anonymous, March 21, 2001


You can convert the .wav to .mp3 and stream it using flash. Hope this helps! Matt Kaatman

From: Mike808 Save Address Date: Wed, 21 Mar 2001 02:18:51 -0600 To: Subject: Re: STLWEBDEV: Sound Clip???!! Reply-To:

---------------------------------------------------------------------- ---------- > She's trying to relate her product to her culture via the music...

Fair enough. But give the user the option. e.g. a "click _here_ to get you in the mood for buying my stuff with the soothing sounds of NIN..." link.

Then, you might have a JavaScript onload event fire off a timer that starts the loading the music 5 seconds (a reasonable delay) after the page loads. If you launch the sound in another window, you can give the user a "Mute" button that closes the other window where the sound is playing, giving them some control over the sound playing.

Or, if you need scripted music to a timeline, Flash is really your best option for media type. But, you need to make sure that the audience is going to have Flash (i.e. check in your webpage, and offer to send them to get it if they don't). Give users an option to "skip intro" on the Flash with some delay before the sound starts so that they can have some chance of deciding that they don't want sound to play by going straight to the HTML. And put a "Mute" trigger somewhere in the flash.

-- Anonymous, March 21, 2001

Prev | Next | Reply | Reply All | Forward | Delete | Print From: "Karen Stewart" Save Address To: Subject: Re: STLWEBDEV: Sound Clip???!! Date: Wed, 21 Mar 2001 01:24:04 -0600 Reply-To:

---------------------------------------------------------------------- ----------

From: Mike808 >Charge them double. Then triple. At least get paid handsomely for losing >your pride in this usability loser of a site. I wish I'd have been given this advice a few years ago! It would've saved me the embarassment of putting a site in my design portfolio for fear that a potential client, or employer, might think the "chartreuse background/fuschia font" ticker tape was MY idea!! I come from a large business background with a "customer is always right" mentality and it's taken me a few years in this business to be able to say "no" to silly design ideas from clients who think their web site pages load and run like TV ads! I tried to talk this gal out of it, but it's an "ethnic" thing. She's trying to relate her product to her culture via the music. I told her I'd try, if I could make it "small" enough, but offered no guarantees. Tomorrow's phone call will confirm I tried, but will have to make up the culture thing in design! Thanks, for the imput Mike, and everybody else!

-- Anonymous, March 21, 2001

From: Mike808 Save Address Date: Wed, 21 Mar 2001 00:18:19 -0600 To: Subject: Re: STLWEBDEV: Sound Clip???!! Reply-To:

---------------------------------------------------------------------- ---------- Karen Stewart asketh: > A client of mine wants a sound byte to load with their home page (they > won't be talked out of it!).

Charge them double. Then triple. At least get paid handsomely for losing your pride in this usability loser of a site. At some point stupidity loses to business sense.

> I recorded it as a wave file, but a 32 second clip is 6MB!

Subjecting visitors to a 6MB download *definately* creates a bad impression. They're probably not too inclined to buy whatever that website is selling either. If they ever return. And if they don't tell anyone else that the site is a dog to load and there's no added value. Where's the beef? is what the users will be asking after hearing this opus.

The problem with sound file downloads is that the browser is *forced* to download the sound file before playing. You could charge them exhorbitantly for installing an entire media streaming system, say, a RealNetworks server or Microsoft Media Server just so they can have their pretty sound play while the user is frozen in awe over the sights and sounds of this amazing web site - so much so that they want to buy whatever you are selling on the spot. You'll need to convert the .wav into the streaming media format, and pray all of your users have the plugin for that format.

You need to ask your client if the design element of the music is _really_ necessary to the purpose of the website? Is it going to make or break the deal? It absolutely has a chance to break the deal by its presence. Is that chance greater by its absence? (Lesser of two evils approach.)

If you need professional support for pitching the ditching of the sound, here's some helpful pointers:

Or Jakob Nielsen at:

Audio is Intrusive Alistair Nicholson, Principal Consultant with e-strategists, writes: Those designers that play a sound file without choice immediately a page is displayed lose traffic from every worker in an office situation with an advanced workstation with speakers. If my computer starts playing music, those around me are likely to assume that I am just playing games. At the very least, it lowers the credibility of the information, and in the increasingly common cubicle "farms" is disruptive to those around me. I immediately back out of such a site, and then consider if it seemed so valuable that I should adjust my sound level and re-enter, or just go somewhere else. The situation is quite different when a click is required to fire a sound file off, and I can make a choice.

Jakob's reply: Auditory interfaces differ from visual ones in many ways, including the fact that the ears are "always on," whereas the eyes may be directed elsewhere (not at the screen). This property makes sounds good for alarms and for subtly communicating progress on background tasks. Sound waves also have much further reach than screen images which can be used to interface with users who are in a different part of the room than the computer. All good things that should be employed more in user interfaces.

But these same fundamentals of sound also make it highly annoying and intrusive when played in a multi-person environment. The current use of sound files attached to Web pages typically has very little communicative value and I advise designers to take Alistair Nicholson's comments to heart and think of the poor cubicle-dwellers. [end quote]

-- Anonymous, March 21, 2001

Moderation questions? read the FAQ