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Designing Web Audio & CD-ROM by Dylan Thede, Josh Beggs

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WAV and AIFF

Capability

Rating

Browser compatibility and percent of browsers with Plug-in

Excellent.

Interactive sound design capabilities

Limited. Simply a file format for playback over PC (WAV) and Macintosh (AIFF).

Button rollovers.

Software cost for encoding and streaming

Free.

Can export WAV or AIFF files from any standard audio editing application including free Open Source audio editing applications.

Level of documentation and support

Limited/None.

Audio encoding and content generation

Easy.

Easy to export AIFF or WAV files from any standard audio editing application.

Audio authoring and delivery

Easy.

Easy to place WAV or AIFF files on a standard web server for downloading.

Audio fidelity and compression

Poor/None.

Large WAV and AIFF sound files sound good when uncompressed. Neither offer elegant compression for high fidelity with small file sizes over limited bandwidths.

Low-bandwidth performance

Poor.

WAV and AIFF work best as uncompressed 16-bit 44.1 kHz or 22.5 kHz sound files and are thus not suited for playback in low-bandwidth environments.

Server performance and quality of software tools for large-scale streaming

Poor/None.

WAV and AIFF are merely audio file types—not proprietary formats such as RealMedia that include server-side technologies.

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