How to Create Flash Audio for a Web Page - dummies

By David Karlins, Doug Sahlin

Creating Flash audio isn’t rocket science, but you obviously need a copy of Flash unless you’re fortunate enough to have a client who sends you the sound file in the SWF format. To create Flash audio, follow these steps:

1Create a new Flash document.

Accept the default frame rate (24 fps), choose a color that matches the web page into which you’re adding the sound, and specify a size of 1 pixel x 1 pixel.

2Choose File→Import→Import to Library.

The Import to Library dialog box appears.

3Select the sound and then click Open.

Flash imports the sound to the document Library.

4Select the first keyframe on the timeline.

You only have one, so it shouldn’t be hard to find.

5Open the Properties Inspector and choose the imported sound from the Sound drop-down menu.

The filename of the sound file appears in the Name text field.

6Accept the default Sync options of Event and Repeat, but change the value of the last option to 0 (zero).

These settings play the sound once. If you have a quiet background sound, you might want to change the second option to Loop and then enter the number of times you want the sound to repeat. After you add a sound to a keyframe, your Properties Inspector should resemble the figure shown.

7Choose Window→Library.

The document Library opens.

8Select the sound file, right-click (Windows) or Control-click (Mac), and then choose Properties from the contextual menu.

The Sound Properties dialog box appears.

9Choose MP3 from the Compression drop-down menu.

The Sound Properties dialog box reconfigures.

10Choose an option from the Bit Rate drop-down menu.

This option appears only if you import a file other than an MP3 audio file.

The default option of 16 Kbps works well for simple background music with one or two instruments. However, if you use more complex music to entertain your viewers (or your client is a diva, an opera star, or a rock musician), you need to specify a higher bit rate to get a better-quality sound.

When the bit rate is less than 20 Kbps, the file is converted to monophonic (mono) by default. When you exceed 20 Kbps, the sound is still converted to mono, but, if desired, you can convert the sound to stereo by deselecting the Convert Stereo to Mono check box. A higher bit rate does increase the file size, so you can’t go too far unless you have a sound clip less than 30 seconds in duration.

11Choose an option from the Quality drop-down menu.

This option is available if the Use Imported MP3 quality option is not selected. The default option Fast renders the file quickly. However, you get better-quality sound if you choose Medium or Best. The latter options take a while longer to render the sound.

12Click the Test button to preview the sound clip with the current compression settings.

If the sound isn’t to your liking, choose a higher bit rate. If you choose a different bit rate, click the Update button to update the file, and then click the Test button to preview the file with the new settings.

13After modifying the sound to suit your web page, click OK.

The new settings are applied to the sound.

14Choose File→Publish Settings.

The Publish Settings dialog box appears.

15Deselect the HTML option.

All you need is the Flash SWF file.

16Choose File→Publish.

The SWF file awaits a web page.