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Adding Sounds, Java, Java Script, of ActiveX to your Web pages can makes them more exciting and interactive for visitors. What you decide to put on your page is up to you, but here are a few considerations to keep in mind:

Browser Considerations:

    A fair sized number of visitors to your page will be using a browser that is not capable of running Java applets, Java/VB scripts, and/or ActiveX - or even playing sound of any kind. Try to take these visitors into account by: (1) providing alternate versions of your page that don't contain these features, (2) making the use of these features optional (see below), or (3) at the very least, place a note on your main page letting visitors know why they're not seeing anything!

Size Considerations:

    The file size of any sounds or applets is once again the important consideration. You likely won't want visitors giving up on your site when they have to wait a long time for it to appear, but that will happen more often if the files are too large.

    • To keep file sizes at a minimum, use MIDI (.mid) sound files rather than digital sound files (such as .au, .wav, etc...). MIDI files are very compact compared to digital files.

    • Use Java Script where possible, and if you use Java Applets that must be download to your page a good rule of thumb is to make sure the total size of the applets you use doesn't exceed 30K (for general access).
    • Part of the reason for a suggested applet size limitation is that a visitor normally sees nothing happening on the screen when Java Applets are being downloaded. If you must use a large applet, provide notice to visitors that the applet will take some time to download.

Placement Considerations:

    Try to make sound files and plugins an option for your visitors. It's not very polite to cause a huge sound file or applet to autoload on a page without warning unless appropriate to do so, or unless their size makes them load and play quickly.

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