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

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SMIL

A SMIL file takes the place of a RealSystem 5.0 .ram file and has three main purposes:

  • It describes the overall layout of the presentation.

  • It serves as the macro metafile for the presentation, sourcing media and data files, as well as other, more specific metafiles.

  • It establishes the overall presentation timeline.

Because each element in a SMIL-based presentation can be encoded and transmitted separately with synchronization control, content creators can optimize their presentations by choosing the least bandwidth-intensive format necessary to transmit data. This reduces the bandwidth required to stream the whole package and makes it easier to edit the presentation later.

A powerful advantage to encoding pieces of the presentation in separate files and using SMIL to control their interaction is the increased ease and flexibility over editing presentations encoded together in a single file. For example, if you decide after finishing the presentation that you would like the audio portion of a presentation to begin five seconds after the rest of the presentation begins, you can use SMIL to set a start time for the audio track at five seconds, without having to edit the audio file itself.

SMIL syntax

In general, SMIL is a tag-based markup language similar to HTML. A few basic syntax rules to remember in SMIL are: ...

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