Thursday, March 1, 2001

Add sound to your Flashy Domino site

Flash offers a number of ways to use sounds. You can make sounds that play continuously, independent of the timeline, or you can synchronize sound to your animation or objects (buttons or user's actions).

There are two types of sounds in Flash, event sounds and stream sounds. An event sound must download completely before it begins playing, and it continues playing until explicitly stopped. Stream sounds begin playing as soon as enough data for the first few frames has been downloaded.

Three easy steps to adding sound

There are three easy steps to adding sound. First, you should create a layer for the sound. This is optional but advisable. Next, go to the Frame Properties dialog box in the frame where you wish to start your sound. Finally, select the Sound tab, pictured in Figure A, and assign the sound from the drop-down menu.

FIGURE A

Select the Sound tab.

If there's no sound to select, then import the sound by selecting Import from the File menu.

Flash can import not only WAV format files but also MP3 format files. If you import WAV files, Flash will automatically convert these into compressed MP3 format.

The sampling rate and degree of compression significantly alters the quality and size of sounds in exported movies. You can control the exported quality and size of individual sounds with the Sound Properties dialog box, or you can define settings for all sounds in the Publish Settings dialog box.

It's that simple!

You can even add sound to buttons. Creating a simple Menu Navigational Pane in Flash and attaching streaming sound could definitely give your site that extra touch not available on other sites. And given the small download size of Flash .SWF files and the streaming functionality, your Web users won't be left waiting for large embedded WAV files to be completely downloaded.

If you're stuck for some sound ideas, why not pop over to http://www.flashplanet.com or http://www.flashkit.com and download some great hip, rocky, funky, soul, and pop royalty-free sounds!