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.flv (Flash Video File). A Flash-compatible video file exported by the Adobe Flash
Video Exporter plug-in (or other application that supports FLV). This format is
commonly used on
.wmv (Windows Media Video). This is a streaming video technology developed by
Microsoft. The Windows Media Player supports this file format.
.mpg (MPEG). The MPEG technology standards were developed under the sponsor-
ship of the Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG),
mpeg. This format is supported on both Windows and Mac platforms.
.m4v and .mp4 (MPEG-4). This MPEG format is supported by Quicktime, iTunes,
and iPods.
.3gp (3GPP Multimedia File). Based on MPEG-4, this file format is a standard for
delivery of multimedia over 3rd generation, high-speed wireless networks.
Obtaining Multimedia Files
There are a number of ways that you can obtain audio files. You can record your own
sounds, download sounds or music from a free site, record music from a CD, or pur-
chase a CD of sounds.
There are some ethical issues related to using sounds and music created by others. You
may only publish sounds or music that you have created yourself or for which you have
obtained the rights (sometimes called a license) to publish.
The Windows and Mac operating systems contain audio recording utilities. You need a
sound card and microphone. If you are using Windows XP, launch the Sound Recorder
application by selecting Start, Programs, Accessories, Entertainment, Sound Recorder
(Window Vista users select Start, All Programs, Accessories, Sound Recorder). This will
allow you to create and edit sound files.
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Apple's Quicktime Pro (available at for both Windows and
Mac) is a low-cost application which can be used to record audio. If you are using a Mac,
another option is Apple's Garageband, which is a pre-installed music application that offers
a range of options for recording and editing audio. Apple provides tutorials and documen-
tation for Garageband (see
for a tutorial about podcasting with GarageBand). A variety of audio application tutorials
are available at
Audacity is a free cross-platform digital audio editor (available at http://audacity. for both Windows and Mac). You can use Audacity to record your voice
for a podcast and mix in music loops to add interest. Once the .wav file is created, the
LAME encoder ( or a similar application can be used to con-
vert to MP3 format.
A commercial CD can only be copied for personal use and not for publishing to the
Web. Contact the owner of the copyright to request permission to use the music.
There are many sources of audio files on the Web. Some offer free files, such as
Microsoft's Clip Art and Media (, Loopasonic
(, and (
Others, like SoundRangers (, may offer one or two free
sounds but ultimately are in the business of selling soundtracks and CDs. An interesting
resource for free sound is at the Flash Kit site ( ); click on the
Sound Loops link. While this site is intended for Adobe Flash developers, the sound
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