Bio 2900 Computer Applications in Biology

Dr. Frank Osborne

Multimedia

Contents

Many sites enhance their Web Pages with images, audio and video.  Some say that this makes them more attractive and more entertaining.  HTML permits you to add these items to your Web Page.  Various techniques and ways of doing these things are found in the Pertinent Links section below.  When you add do-dads to your Web Page, try to remember that many folks do not have new browsers or some of the programs required to play audio and video.  Also, multimedia files, especially video, are very large.  A seven-second video clip may take several minutes to download over a modem.  Not everyone has DSL or cable Internet service.  If you feel it is really that important to incorporate audio or video clips, try to keep them short, sweet and small so that their long loading times do not detract from the overall effect you want on the Web Page. 

As an example, here is a picture of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge that was built across Puget Sound in Washington. The design was very flawed and it collapsed after being subjected to strong winds. Here are video clips in mpg and avi formats.

 

Be cautious when downloading materials of this nature (images, audio, video) from the Internet, especially if you plan to use them on a Web Page that is placed on the Web. Be sure to read and understand the Terms or Conditions of Use that each site has for their material. Assume that the material is copyright protected and that you do not have permission to use it unless the website expressly says otherwise. If you are in doubt, send an email to the owner of the material and ask their permission to use it.

Pertinent Links

There are tons of sites out there offering all sorts of multimedia stuff for money. In preparing the list below, I tried to stick to those that are free or low-cost, as much as possible.

The Scala Multimedia Directory
The Scala-Multimedia Directory is one of the largest on the Internet. It has extensive listings of sources of various multimedia products.
Animation factory
Animation factory offers thousands of animations, tiled backgrounds, 3D clipart, PowerPoint templates and other multimedia items, many of them are free for use.
Animations.com
Another site offering royalty-free animated gifs, templates and flash components.
Discovery School.com
Discovery School.com offers free educational clip art and other related multimedia from Discovery Channel.
Shock Zone
The Shock Zone: Free animations, backgrounds, clipart, javascript and games.
GIF Builder
MAC: Build your own animated gif files on Macintosh.
GIF Builder
Another gif builder for MAC.
GIF Construction Set
Windows: Build your own animated gif files on Windows.
WebFX
WebFX is a web-based graphic effects generator.
Digital Audio Formats
An explanation of the different Digital Audio Formats that can be used on the Internet.
HTML Video Tags
A Tutorial about incorporating video into a Web Page.
Sound Formats
Walt Howe's Audio Guide for Web Developers.

A number of tutorials are put out by Jupiter Images on a website called htmlgoodies.com. Here are a few of them.

Image Formats
Thorough discussion of different types of image formats.
Banners: Animated Images
Steps on creating an animated image banner.
Real Audio
Brief introduction to Real Audio.
Embedded Sound
Instructions for embedding sound in a web page.
Transparent Images
How to create a transparent image using GIF89a format.
Animated .gif
Another tutorial on making animated .gif images.
Embedded Video
Embedding video in a web page.

Take the quiz for this unit.

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