With Cascading Style Sheets (Chapter 6), Dreamweaver behaviors (Chapter 11), and images (Chapter 5), you can bring your Web pages to life with interactivity and animation. But as you may have noticed, more and more Web pages these days blink, sing, and dance with sound, video, and advanced animation.
You can create these effects too, but you’ll need outside help from programs like Flash (see Figure 12-1), Director, or Java, all of which are designed to create complex multimedia presentations. Dreamweaver provides powerful tools for adding these external media files and embedding them within your Web pages.
Four warnings, however. First, while all of the technologies discussed in this chapter let you expand your Web pages into new and exciting territory, they also require that your site visitors have external applications (not just a Web browser). These programs, usually called plug-ins, are controversial in the Web development community, mainly because they limit your audience. Not all Web site visitors have the necessary plug-ins installed on their computers. Those guests must choose from three equally unpalatable options: go to a different Web site to download the plug-in, skip the multimedia show (if you’ve built a second, plug-in–free version of your site), or skip your Web site entirely. All media types in this chapter require a plug-in of some kind; see each section for more detail.
Second, it’s worth noting that these effects ...