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Multimedia Publishing Help
Embedding Media Clips in Your Web Page

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There are many types of media clips that can be embedded in a web page: Real Media, Windows Media, QuickTime, Flash, and background sounds.   While most sites use a hyperlink to open clips in a separate page, it is possible to embed some media directly in the page as a background sound and to embed animation or video as part of the page itself.  Embedded clips produce a professional-looking page that does not require a separate download for the media.

This help page will discuss how to embed background sounds and QuickTime files only.  QuickTime files can contain audio, video, text movies, subtitles, alternate audio tracks, and animation. Although the media is embedded, client computers must still have the appropriate browser plug-in installed (except embedded audio which is discussed below).

These instructions presume a certain level of familiarity with HTML tags.


Embedded Audio   


Embedded background audio does not require a browser plug-in to play.  When the page is opened by the browser, the audio file automatically begins to play through the computer's built in sound system.  The file will play again whenever the page is reloaded.

Embedded background audio will play only on Internet Explorer 4 and above. All other browsers ignore the HTML tag. Embedded audio plays only on Macintoshes systems 8.5 and above.

To embed an audio file, it should be in the .wav format. (Internet Explorer also supports .au and .midi files but the .wav format is native to Windows.)  

1. Embedded background audio uses the <bgsound> HTML tag to tell the computer to play an audio file in the background. This code occurs in a pair, so don't forget the </bgsound>.

2. Insert the following HTML tag in your source code (it does not need to be in the <HEAD>, but should be at the start of the <BODY>.


<bgsound src="yourfilenamehere.wav">
3.  You need to amend this code to tell the computer how many times to play the audio source.  You can choose between any specific number of times for the file to play or an infinite loop. To play the track once, your code should look like this:

<bgsound src="yourfilenamehere.wav" loop=1>

or to play the track ten times, your code should look like this:

<bgsound src="yourfilenamehere.wav" loop=10>

or to play the track infinitely (until the user closes the page), your code should look like this:

<bgsound src="yourfilenamehere.wav" loop=infinite>



Embedding QuickTime Clips   


Internet Explorer 5.2 and above will try to open the QuickTime  files in Windows Media Player (WMP).  However, WMP cannot play these files adequately. You
should warn your users that they need to reinstall QuickTime after any browser upgrade.

The <EMBED> tag is used to reference a plug-in application and a specific file for that application to play.  The <EMBED> tag has a set of predefined attributes that allow the web author to set parameters and modify the plug-in's behavior. Some of these tags are acted on by the browser and others are processed by the plug-in itself. 

The basic <EMBED> tag must include the source name (file) and HEIGHT and WIDTH for the plug-in.  For example:

<EMBED SRC="filename.mov" HEIGHT=150 WIDTH=120>

It is the file extension (in this case .mov) that tells the browser which plug-in to use. The SRC= directs the browser to a specific file on a server.  HEIGHT and WIDTH tells the browser what size to render the plug-in. (For more info on this, see HEIGHT and WIDTH below).

Certain features of the embedded source can be adjusted.  These include autoplay, cache, controller,  hidden, kioskmode, loop, and volume.  Some of these have defaults if they are not defined by the web author.  These defaults are:

Kioskmode - FALSE

Autoplay - TRUE

Controller - TRUE

Loop - TRUE

Volume - 100


The AUTOPLAY attribute tells the plug-in whether to start playing the movie automatically. To start playing automatically, use AUTOPLAY= FALSE.  If you don't want the movie to start playing automatically, use AUTOPLAY= TRUE.

N.B. If AUTOPLAY is not defined, the plug-in will default to the QuickTime preferences set by the user. 


The CACHE attribute determines whether the file will begin to play before it is fully downloaded. Use CACHE = TRUE, to enable the entire movie to be downloaded into memory before it starts to play. Choose this option if the majority of your users have a slow connection speed.

Use CACHE= FALSE, to enable the movie to start playing without waiting to be completely downloaded. This is the best setting to use if the users have a fast connection. 

N.B. If CACHE is not defined, the plug-in will default to the QuickTime preferences set by the user. 


The CONTROLLER attribute enables the QuickTime controls to be either hidden or displayed.   Use CONTROLLER=TRUE if  you want the controller to be accessible by the user. Use CONTROLLER=FALSE if you want the user to have no access to the QuickTime controls.

Height and Width

HEIGHT and WIDTH control the size of the viewing region.  The default is to specify the height and width in pixels.  If you wish to use another unit of measure it must be specified. 

N.B. Add 16 pixels to the actual height of the movie if you want the controller to be visible.


This attribute makes an object invisible to the user, forcing it to have a height and width of 0.  The browser will not display an empty region where the plug-in should be, instead it completely removes the plug-in from the surrounding text/graphics.  

N.B. If the plug-in is hidden, the user has no control over volume, reverse, forward or stop.


The KIOSKMODE tag allows the web author to specify whether the file can be copied by a client. If you don't want anyone to be able copy the file, use KIOSKMODE= TRUE. If you want to allow the movie to be copied, use KIOSKMODE= FALSE.


The LOOP attribute allows the web author to have the file play repeatedly. If you want the movie to loop  (repeat), use LOOP=TRUE.  If you don't want the movie to loop, use LOOP = FALSE.


The VOLUME  tag is used to preset the Use  the starting volume of the file. The default value is 100; a setting of "0" will silence the movie.  Having the loudest volume enables the user to get the loudest volume possible and to "turn it down" using a combination of the sound settings and the QuickTime volume control. 

Netscape also supports ALIGN, BORDER, HSPACE and VSPACE attributes but Explorer does not.

 For more tags and details, see The Apple web site, Embedding QuickTime for Web Delivery 



This page last updated:04/25/2003


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Page last revised on Friday, April 25, 2003.