Sounds Formats Test Page on the Web

Sound Files Format
.au
(Sun)
No problems for any platform, as this format is very widely used. The most common sampling rate/bit depth is 8K, 8-bit (mono), which keeps the size of the files down, but the sound quality suffers (in some cases very badly--see the Blowtorch example).
.aiff
(Apple)
Any Mac user can hear this format, and I don't think it presents a problem for Windows users either, as long as they have the proper sound card. It is the standard for CD-quality sound, but of course, the files are huge. Which rules it out for WWWeb use. Test .aiff sounds
.wav
(Windows)
I can't think of a good reason to use this format, as it offers no advantage over .au, and it's less universally used. Besides, it's Microsoft, which gives me an instant problem with it. Test .wav sounds
.mid
.midi, .kar
(MIDI)
Musical Instrument Digitial Interface is primarily a standard for communication between musical instruments. General MIDI (GM) is a standard for storing compositions based on what events happened during the performance. It does not contain digitized audio data; instead, it stores only the information about which notes were played in a time-line format. This is similar to the MOD format but without the digitized instrument samples. QuickTime 2.0 and later supports General MIDI data in QuickTime movies. SoundApp can directly play type 0, 1 and 2 MIDI files using QuickTime or OMS 2.1 or later and can also play MIDI data embedded in QuickTime movies. Note that lyric information from karaoke files is not displayed. There are several extensions to the GM standard, including GS (Roland) and XG (Yahama). SoundApp supports both of these extensions. It will also send all System Exclusive data to the selected MIDI output device if you are using the OMS MDI driver. Test .mid sounds
.mp2
(MPEG)
This, in my opinion, is the only way to go if you want impressive sound quality. It's a flexible format, providing compression rates from moderate to amazingly tiny, and the sound quality (if done well) can be nearly indistinguishable from the comparable 44.1K, 16-bit .aiff file. It supports stereo files, which .ra doesn't, and the amount of compression is variable, which can come in handy with some particularly detailed sounds (see the Dream Tunnel example). The problem: real-time players are not readily available for the Mac (though this is changing--SoundApp now supports real-time play for PowerPCs, and the next release of QuickTime (2.5) supports MPEG--this is due out any day now. Last resort--a number of programs will decode .mp2s into playable .aiffs).
.ra
(RealAudio)

 
ra
An interesting one, this. Listen to the samples and see what you think. The 14.4K RealAudio files were pathetic. The 28.8K files can sound quite good, sometimes capturing more of the character of the sound than the corresponding .au file, and the compression is extreme (about 20:1). Playing the files is not a problem, as RealAudio makes their player available as freeware. It's perfectly easy to download the small files and have them played instantly from within Netscape (although it takes a tiny tweak on the server's part-- I don't think my server has taken care of it yet. It's not too serious, though. It just means that the file will be downloaded and saved as a text file, then you need to open the file from within the RealAudio Player to hear it).
.mov
(QuickTime)

qt
This is the Apple standard for time-based multimedia files. Versions 1.x support moving pictures, sound and later versions support text. QuickTime 2.0 added MIDI tracks via a software synthesizer or external synthesizer in 2.5 and later. QuickTime 2.0 or later and the QuickTime Musical Instruments extension must be installed in order to play QuickTime MIDI files. SoundApp can deal with MACE, IMA and µ-law compressed QuickTime sound tracks. Test .mow sounds
(LiveAudio) Netscape Navigator now includes native support for standard sound formats such as AIFF, AU, MIDI, and WAV. Windows and Macintosh users can play and hear sound files embedded in HTML documents with LiveAudio.
Sounds Test
Midi Files
need LiveAudio plugin
NewAgeForest.mid 42.5k
Fanfare.mid 5.4k
Fugue.mid 11.4k
kungfu.mid 3.2k
Passport.mid 2.7k
RapTrack.mid 24k
JazzFusion.mid 33.1k
Salsa.mid 35.2k
Movie Files
need QuickTime plugin
NewAgeForest.mov 37.2k
Fanfare.mov 4.9k
Fugue.mov 13.7k
kungfu.mov 3.3k
Passport.mov 4.9k
RapTrack.mov 23k
JazzFusion.mov 29.2k
Salsa.mov 29.3k
Wave Files
need xxx plugin
Airport.wav
Colorbut.wav
EXIT.wav
Fareast.wav
Intro.wav
m_chains.wav
m_kites.wav
m_logo.wav
m_park.wav
m_sailbt.wav
m_trivia.wav
m_otto.wav
AIFF Files
need xxx plugin

invader.aiff

More about Sound on the Web Links to Sound on the Web
Sound-Play-HowTo
Stub Files
Add bg music
SoundApp Formats
AddSound
What is Midi
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OK Sounds
Sounds T.Miller
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Netscape plugin




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