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Web Design in a Nutshell by Jennifer Niederst

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Nonstreaming (Static) Audio

This section looks at static audio file formats, tips for optimizing audio files for download, and how audio files can be linked to HTML documents.

File Formats

A multitude of audio file formats exist for use on computers today. The following list represents just those that are widely used on the Web because of their cross-platform and cross-browser support.

WAVE (.wav)

The Waveform Audio File Format was originally developed as the standard audio format for the Microsoft Windows operating system, however, it is now supported on the Macintosh as well. WAVE files can support arbitrary sampling rates and bit depths, although 8 KHz and 11.025 KHz at 8- or 16-bit are most common. Its performance is similar to AIFF.

AIFF (.aif, .aiff)

The Audio Interchange File Format was developed as the standard audio format for the Macintosh platform, however, it is now supported by Windows and other platforms. It can support up to six channels and arbitrary sampling rates and bit depths, with 8 KHz and 11.127 KHz at 8-, 16- and 32-bits being the most common. Its performance is similar to WAVE.

μ-LAW (.au)

-Law (pronounced myoo-law) is the Unix standard audio format. .au files support mono or stereo channels, variable bit depths, and the following sampling rates: 8.013, 22.05, and 44.1 KHz. Its popularity as an Internet file format is waning because Unix platforms have become a small minority on the Web and because other cross-platform audio formats offer better sound quality. ...

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