Shockwave and Video on the WWW
As you are reading this you are perhaps still loading a soundfile which will soon provide you with soothing melodic comfort and will have been worth the two minute wait to have it download. This is value added by the fact that the sound is infinitely long (i.e. far longer than your patience...). If the sound loads at all ( a very touchy matter as it involves cross browser and platform differences) it will make the transition from "ah.. some sound" to"how do I turn this off " fairly quickly. I have embedded a control panel but if you're in front of a Mac you will be unlikely to see it. In cold fury (sound can have that effect) you finally click your way out of this page..
I wanted to make this point: in an era where we still lack the lightening fast transport speeds that the popular media seems firmly convinced we have, waiting and waiting for sound or video files to load, having to download a new plug-in after all that and then finding the result challenged by the local ice-cream van jingle or a relative's videoooo-making skills leaves you in a less than favorable disposition towards the designer and the site itself.
At the risk of sounding "unprogressive" my advice is simple: be sure the end justifies the means when it involves sound, animation or video on the web.
As I hinted above, sound on the web can be problematic. It can also be great but there are potential problems lurking everywhere. First of all I must highlight the compatibilty situation
In order to appeal to the great population of web users who are on 56K connections or lower, keep your shockwave movies under 50k. That means the director file before you use afterburner should not exceed 200k I know that's pretty small but that's the reality rather than the media-hype.
The same is true for Flash.
This site features shockwave examples that are small, simple, but often very clever. It was left on the server of the University of New England (up north) by my mate Ross Hinckley before he resigned as techie.http://metz.une.edu.au/~rhinckle/ check it out!
Flash is of course one way around some of the problems that director/shockwave files potentially come up against. The vector-based animation capacity of Flash make it an attractive alternative for designers who wish to use animated content.
This is typically the code that Flash inserts in its export function:
Previous versions of HTML allowed authors to include images (via IMG)
and applets (via APPLET).
The "classid" attribute specifies the location of this element:
< OBJECT classid="clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000" codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=5,0,0,0" WIDTH=550 HEIGHT=400></OBJECT>
The Flash movie will be rendered as soon as the user agent interprets this OBJECT declaration. It is possible to delay rendering of an object by first declaring the object. Authors should complete this declaration by including alternate text as the contents of OBJECT in case the user agent cannot render the movie.
One significant consequence of the OBJECT elementŐs design is that it offers a mechanism for specifying alternate object renderings; each embedded OBJECT declaration may specify alternate content types. If a user agent cannot render the outermost OBJECT, it tries to render the contents, which may be another OBJECT element, etc.
html code for video