In the early days of the Internet, websites were about as jazzy as an IRS form. You’d see pages filled with an assortment of plain text, links, and more plain text. Over time, the Web matured, and web pages started to change as designers embraced the joys of color, pictures, and tacky clip art. But when that excitement started to wear off, it was time for a new trick—multimedia.
Multimedia is a catch-all term for a variety of technologies and file types, which have different computer requirements and pose different web design challenges. Multimedia includes everything from the irritating jingle that plays in the background of your best friend’s home page to the wildly popular video clip of a cat playing the piano. (Depressing fact: That cat has over 40 million views, and you’re unlikely to ever create a web page that’s half as popular.)
In this chapter, you’ll learn how to put audio players and video playback windows into your web pages. You’ll also learn to overcome the limitations of old browsers by using a Flash fallback system, which ensures that pretty much any web-connected computer can listen to your music and watch your videos. And finally, once you’ve learned how to do all this on your own, you’ll see how to simplify your life by hosting your video files on YouTube.
There comes a point when all new web designers want more than mere text and pictures on their pages. Even spruced-up fonts and elegant page layouts don’t satisfy ...