18. Video, Audio, and Other Multimedia
One of the things that has made the Web so popular is the fact that you can add graphics, sound, animations, and movies to your Web pages. While in the past the prohibitive size of such files limited their effectiveness, newer technologies, like streaming audio and video, along with broadband Internet connections have opened the door for multimedia Web pages.
Some of those multimedia Web pages may serve as a base for an audio or video podcast, others may be advertisements or interactive displays. Still other Web pages may take advantage of occasional multimedia files in order to provide a richer experience to their visitors. This chapter will show you how to add multimedia to your Web pages for all these purposes and more.
Because the Web population is so diverse, it can sometimes be tricky ensuring that the files you provide can be viewed and heard by your visitors (or the largest number of them possible). You need to think about the files' format as well as the applicationor playernecessary for viewing or listening. The fact that the developers of multimedia technologies can't seem to agree on standards makes it a bit more complicated.
Please note that this chapter is meant to be an introduction to multimedia Web files, with a strong emphasis on the (X)HTML code you need. It does not teach you how to create Flash animations or QuickTime movies, only how to make them available to your visitors.