Multimedia Bells and Whistles
If this is your first Web site, it would probably be wise to wait until the second orthird generation of your site before you add "bells and whistles" such asmultimedia. An exception to these words of caution: you might want to consider some formsof multimedia technology if the sales of your products will be enhanced. For example, ifyou sell CDs, you'll want to provide sample sound files to compete with the othersites that already offer sample files to prospective customers.
- Convert existing video and sound files to Web-ready formats. Determine if the files will stream (play as they are downloaded to the user's computer), or be downloaded and then played. The difference: Each system requires different server software and different end user browser types or plug-ins.
- Test the download times and quality of transmission on various connection speeds.
- Provide end user installation information, coordinating its inclusion on the site with the Customer Service Lead.
- Consider a browser version detection script that steers those with older browsers away from a multimedia-heavy page and gives them an alternative.
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