HTML and CSS Reference
Creating or Finding Multimedia Files
You can obtain multimedia files by creating them yourself or finding files that are
already available. The good thing about creating your own multimedia files is that you do
not have to be concerned with copyright or licensing agreements. The bad thing about
creating your own multimedia files is that they may not be the same quality as those
that are created professionally. You can create your own audio files using a microphone
and software designed to edit digital files. Many software options are available today for
audio and video creation and editing. If you do use any portion of files that have been
professionally developed, be certain that you understand and follow the copyright and
For video files, a digital camcorder, a digital camera, or even a smartphone, allow
you to create clips that can be used on a Web page. This is what has made video Web
sites such as YouTube so popular. For the Windows environment, Windows Live Movie
Maker is available for download from the Microsoft Web site as part of Windows Live
Essentials. MAGIX Movie Edit Pro software and training is available for a fee, with an
active online community for additional support. Corel VideoStudio Pro has simple and
more advanced menu system options that novice movie editors and professionals alike can
utilize comfortably. Roxio Creator is another software option that allows you to create
For Mac users, iMovie, part of the iLife software suite, is installed on most new
computers and is an excellent option. Final Cut Pro X offers professional-level editing
with a new interface and file import and organization features. Many other multimedia
software products are available for the Mac operating system as well.
Adobe Premiere Elements is another highly rated software solution for movie
editing that can be used on either the Mac or Windows operating systems. As with
many multimedia software products, Premier Elements provides the capability to create
professional-quality video as a novice user.
Many of these application offer a free trial period. You might try downloading a
free trial of the software, if available, and using it to edit a movie that you have made. You
could even try a few different programs to see how they work. Most multimedia software
operates in a similar fashion and has a user-friendly help utility that you can use to guide
you through the process of editing. Most products also provide templates and effects that
you can use to enhance the creative aspects of presenting multimedia.
To find multimedia resources on the Web, search for “public domain audio or video.”
Many Web sites contain these types of multimedia files. Again, be certain to understand
and follow the copyright license agreements that accompany any multimedia content that
you find on the Web.
Search the Web for public
domain sources of audio
and video clips that you
can use in your projects.
Determine a way to
keep track of the site,
the specific copyright
and licensing language,
and the clips that you
download. This is a great
way to make sure that
you follow the guidelines
required by creators of the
audio and video clips.
Embedded vs. External Multimedia
Embedding media is similar in concept to inserting inline images. The embedded
media files appear within the Web page and users have access to the audio or video player
controls right on the page. Because the media file is embedded directly into the Web page,
you can complement the audio or video clip resource with surrounding text or graphical
images. The <object> tag was used to insert embedded content prior to HTML5.
HTML5 introduces two new tags, <audio> and <video>, to use as an alternative to the
<object> tag. However, as of the writing of this topic, not all browsers support the new
tags. All three tags—<object>, <audio>, and <video>—will be discussed in this chapter.
This gives you more flexibility to incorporate audio and video into your Web pages.
External media files are accessed through a link that your Web site visitor clicks.
This gives your visitors the option of linking directly to the external source or choosing
to download or not download the file. Unlike embedded media, the external media is
displayed out of context with the Web page that calls it. The <embed> tag is used to place