Both IMS Web Engine and IMS Web Spinner support audio. Both
programs include a Page Background dialog from the Page
Toolbar and Menu. IMS Web Engine also includes a Sound
Editor from the Object Menu and Components toolbar. Since I
have been discussing Multi Media in the newsletter over the
last few weeks, I thought that it would be helpful to
quickly mention how these operations may be used with the
IMS software and what their limitations are.
Background Music can be added to any Web Page using the Page
Music Dialog from the Page Menu or toolbar. The Dialog only
has three options. These are the path to the file and check
boxes to enable the music and select continuous or single
play. Be sure to check the Enable Music boxes since this
will not be enabled automatically.
The "Select Now" button will allow you to browse to find an
audio file. The default format will load a midi file. This
is the most compact option for playing music and will add
the smallest download penalty.
In IMS Web Engine you can also add audio through the Sound
Effects dialog. This essentially works the same way as the
Page Music dialog but it can also be controlled by a
Behavior. Like the Page Music dialog, you can browse to an
audio file but in this instance it will default to load a
The primary disadvantage with Sound Effects is that they are
not supported by Netscape. This is due to Netscape's use of
the EMBED tag which launches an external plug-in to play the
sound effect. In Internet Explorer, a sound effect is
attached to an Object in the same manner as Shading, Actions
and Behaviors. By adding both a Sound Effect and a Behavior
to an Object, it is possible to control the sound effect.
The Behavior Action Dialog includes a Sound Check Box so
that you can turn the sound effect On and Off as the
Behavior switches between Active and Inactive.
You can use any audio file that is supported by your system.
Generally MIDI, WAVE and MP3 are the most common. If you
want to mix both a Sound Effect and Background Music as in
the example, you will have to use two different formats.
As you will note, neither the Page Music dialog nor the
Sound Effect dialog includes a volume control. This is
because there is no way to adjust the playback volume from
within the HTML document. You will have to rely on the
listeners to adjust the volume themselves.
A fairly complex example of controlling sound effects can be
viewed at: http://www.virtualmechanics.com/demos/P&GWake.htm
Unfortunately it will only work in Internet Explorer.