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

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Summary

In this chapter, we examined the Rich Music Format and Beatnik’s authoring tools to deliver interactive sound over the Web. While other audio delivery methods are currently more suitable to certain tasks, such as streaming audio, Beatnik has evolved into a capable toolset for interactive sound design on the Web. Its tools, especially the interactive command set via JavaScript, allow for a lot of creative freedom. The small file sizes and interactive capabilities make it an ideal format for bringing high-quality, fast-downloading audio to your web site.

Although learning the JavaScript language is not appealing to some audio professionals, there are some easier alternatives, including the availability of ActionSets for both Macromedia Dreamweaver and Adobe GoLive, which automate most of the coding process. There is also Beatnik’s online tool—the Methodizer—which can generate specific coding for most common functionalities.

As connection baud rates and Internet bandwidth increase, you can expect the software instrument sets to get fairly robust and audio fidelity to increase. There is the possibility of extending the standard instrument libraries now offered. And Beatnik is committed to building a comprehensive authoring platform for interactive audio. Audio design for the Web is still in a primordial stage. However, it is the type of skill that is likely to become an important component of web productions.

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