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Audio can be very useful for emergent readers, people who speak or are learning foreign languages, or those learning new vocabulary.

There are many ways to integrate audio clips into web pages.

Audio Clips

You can record sounds, save them as separate files, upload the files, then create links on your web page. Although various file formats can be used such as .wav, .au, and .midi files, the MP3 file format has become very popular.

Podcasts

Podcasts have become a popular use for audio on the web. A podcast is a media file that is housed on a web server. End users can then subscribe to the syndication feeds for playback on the computer or a handheld device such as an iPod. Since they are designed for playback on a portable device, most are MP3 files. Learn more about podcasts at wikipedia.

listenListen to podcasts at National Public Radio.

Skim the Podcasting from Multimedia Seeds page.

Software

Audacity is an easy-to-use open source sound editor that works great for creating audio clips. Be sure to download the software extension that allows saving for MP3 files.

Examples

Explore some examples of podcasts.

Inserting Sounds into Web Pages

It's easy to insert sounds into web pages.

For audio clips, you can use a text or graphic link such as sound soundsound

For podcasts, consider the following icons: podcastpodcast

Example

<p>Click the sound icon <a href="lumberjack.wav">
<img src="sound.jpg" alt="plays a line from the television show Monty Python's Flying Circus" width="20" height="20" border="0" /></a>. Can you name the television show? </p>

Result

Click the sound icon plays a line from the television show Monty Python's Flying Circus. Can you name the television show?

You can also choose Insert>Media>Plugin to embed an audio. Then add controls such as autostart="true" (tells to start the sound immediately) or controls="console" to display a console.

You can also put audio in a page background. Be careful when using audio because it can be VERY annoying when played in the background! Use <bgsound src="lumberjack.wav"> to add a sound to the background of the page. You can add the loop attribute such as loop="3" to indicate how many times you wish to loop the sound.

Here's an example that validates:

<object type="audio/x-wav" data="frog.wav" width="200" height="20">
<param name="src" value="frog.wav"/>
<param name="autoplay" value="false"/>
<param name="autoStart" value="0"/>
alt : <a href="frog.wav">frog.wav</a>
</object>

Sound Sources

There are many sources for online sounds. Use the Remote Audio Collections page from Multimedia Seeds for lots of example sounds. Try adding a sound to your practice page.

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