Audio on the Web

Author:  Nola Young

Does your Web site talk to you?

More and more Web sites are using sound as a means to promote an image, present a point or to just plain entertain you.  Should you consider sound for your Web site?

Here are a few examples of the use of sound on Web sites:

  • On-line music sellers can present audio samples of their products,
  • New musicians can provide samples of their music to attract new customers,
  • Businesses can provide interviews with employees or customer testimonials,
  • On-line merchants can use sound to illicit a particular emotion to aid in the sale of their product or service

There are 2 ways to add sound to your page.  One way is to link to the sound file, so that the user downloads and plays it when they click on a link.   The other way is to embed the sound file so that it begins to load when the page loads.

When linking to sound files it’s a good idea to let your users know what they are in for.  It’s a good practice to indicate the file type and file size of sound files.    If you choose to embed sound files into your web sites, remember that a sound playing over and over can get annoying.  It may be better idea to set the maximum times a sound will loop to something like 3 rather than looping continuously.

The real advantage of adding sound to your Web site is it’s ability to provide a more interesting multimedia experience for visitors to your site.  In the Internet world, as in all other forms of marketing, it is crucial to attract and hold the attention of potential customers.  Audio (sound) can cause visitors to your Web site to remain for a longer time, making them more likely to take the action that you hope they will take.

Tips:

  1. If you choose to add sounds to your Web sites, remember that a sound playing over and over can get annoying.
  1. Sounds can take a long time to download over a slow internet connection, so think carefully about your target market before you add large sound files to your site.
  1. When linking to sound files, it’s a good idea to let your users know what they are in for. It’s a good practice to indicate the file type and file size of sound files.