Why Sound?

Developing web content with Flash can be tricky sometimes. You walk a fine line where on one side you must conform to good usability standards, design, and form, which many standard HTML websites accomplish. But what separates them from Flash content is Flash's inherent capability to engage the end user in a way that is not possible through standard HTML, even with the aid of JavaScript. And adding sound to your websites or applications is one of the quickest and easiest ways to engage the user.

Because sound is practically all around us, it is almost unnatural when we go to interactive places on the web for them not to have sound. This is not to say that in certain cases, adding sound can be both intrusive and obnoxious, but when it is done well, sound can add to the experience a user gets when viewing your work.

A great example of well-thought-out audio for a site is a site designed to teach young children about different animals in their various environments. For instance, if they were learning about animals in the rain forest, some subtle noises in the background would add a great deal of immersion to the learning environment.

As you go through this section, you will learn how to add sound to your movie, as well as some ways in which to manipulate it within Flash. As you are building your own projects, you will have to decide when and where sounds will be appropriate, but here are a few good general rules:

  • If you add music tracks or add ambient sound to be audible throughout your entire site, always give the user the option to turn it off.

  • For accessibility, sometimes narration is a great way to add the sense of someone being there with you, especially when working in e-learning situations.

  • Know your end user. If you are building a site for the new rave club downtown, classical music is probably not your best choice.

  • Add subtle sounds to your interaction that go with the overall design. If you are building a site to view used cars, you might have the sound of an engine starting or a car door opening.

  • Use original sound. There are so many great free programs out there that can help you build your own tracks or sounds, you should have plenty to choose from.

    And it will make your site that much more original.

Some great places to find free sounds are

  • http://www.findsounds.com/

  • http://www.flashkit.com/soundfx/

And to find some free or almost-free software to work with sound, try here:

  • http://www.download.com/

Macromedia Flash Professional 8 Unleashed
Macromedia Flash Professional 8 Unleashed
ISBN: 0672327619
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2005
Pages: 319

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