Thursday, March 1, 2001

Add sound to your Flashy Domino site

MACROMEDIA FLASH

By Razzak Khan

In the first article in this series, "Putting some Flash into your Domino applications" (at http://www.dominopower.com/issues/issue200101/flash001.html), I demonstrated how, by using simple Flash techniques, you, as a Domino developer, can create a more appealing Web site. Last month, in my article, " How to make your Flash site even flashier," (at http://www.dominopower.com/issues/issue200102/flash0201001.html) I showed you how you can use some Domino URL (Uniform Resource Locator) commands to control your site. I also showed you how to populate your Domino database from Flash-based user input.

By now, you've got animation on your Web site. You've got content. You've got frameset menus. You've got a search facility. You've got security. But why isn't it exciting? What's missing?

Sound!

Sound is great, we all agree. But you don't want to have your Web users left waiting to download a 12MB WAV file, given that on a standard 56K modem, this could take up to five minutes!

You can forget those long download days with Flash. Not only are you able to import WAV files into Flash, but you can also import MP3 files! In using the Flash Publishing feature, these sounds will be automatically embedded into your published Flash (SWF) File and compressed to a respectable size. A WAV file and Flash content produces only a 786K file once it's published!

[One comment about sound, which reflects one of my personal pet peeves. I truly, truly hate it when I just land on a page and some sound starts coming out of the speakers. It's usually loud and often disturbs both my train of thought and bothers co-workers in nearby offices. Sound on Web pages is nice, but make sure it happens when a visitor clicks a button or link consciously, rather than just assaulting an unsuspecting surfer who lands on your page. - DG]

The sound and the fury

Flash is one of the few products that allow Web designers to easily place sound onto their Web sites. Another reason Flash is popular is that sound can be "attached" to the timeline.

Animation in layers

I want to show how you can create animation using different layers. These layers contain a number of frames and key frames. We can attach sound to a particular frame or key frame, or start and stop sound based on certain events taking place.

You could have the sound stop when a certain object stops moving. You could also have multiple sounds, each controlled by the current animation within a layer. A particular sound could be linked to a particular animation within a Flash movie. A great example of this manipulation is at the site http://www.balthaser.com (be aware that if you click on this URL, you won't be able to get back to this article without typing in the http://www.dominopower.com URL by hand).