HTML and CSS Reference
The next step is to make the podcast available. The most straightforward method is to
code a hyperlink to the audio file (see Section 11.3). The hyperlink allows Web site
visitors to access the podcast MP3 file but does not make the podcast available for
subscription. An RSS feed must be created in order for your visitors to subscribe to
your current and future podcasts. An RSS feed for a podcast is an XML file that lists
information about your podcast. With a bit of patience, you can code your own RSS
feed using a text editor (see http://www.downes.ca/cgi-bin/page.cgi?post = 56 or
http://rss.icerocket.com) provide a service that generates and hosts the RSS feed for you.
After the RSS feed is uploaded to the Web (either your own or the RSS feed generator's
site), code a link to the file. Apple provides instructions for submitting your podcast to
iTunes at http://apple.com/itunes/whatson/podcasts/specs.html. Web visitors using soft-
ware such as Apple's iTunes or a free RSS feed reader Web site ( http://feedreader.com)
can locate and automatically download your podcast.
The next section introduces the use of video on Web pages. Download time issues
become even more important when video is included because both images and sounds
are stored in the video file.
The simplest method to give your Web page visitors access to a video is to create a
hyperlink that references the video file. The XHTML code to link to a .mov video
about my dog, Sparky, follows:
<a href=“sparky.mov” title=“Barking Dog Video”>Sparky(.mov,1.2MB)</a>
If your Web site visitor clicks on the link, the plug-in associated with.mov files installed
on the computer (probably QuickTime, Windows Media Player, or Real Player) will dis-
play. He or she will have the option of playing the video. It's a good practice to include
the file type and file size in the link (as shown in the previous code sample). There are
other methods available for including videos directly on your Web page: the <object>
tag and using the dynsrc attribute on an <img /> tag (Internet Explorer only). These
methods are discussed next. Just as with audio files, testing in your target audience's
environment is crucial to the successful use of video on the Web.
Focus on Accessibility
Remember to supply text descriptions of videos in order to provide accessible pages for
your Web site visitors. Visit http://www.webaim.org/techniques/captions for information
about video captioning—creating synchronous text descriptions/transcripts for your
The <object> element can also be used to embed video files in Web pages. As indicated
earlier in the chapter, it is a container tag and should be closed with an </object> tag.
The attributes used by the <object> tag are listed in Table 11.1. Use both the <object>
and <param /> elements to display a video on a Web page. Refer to Table 11.2 for
commonly used attribute values of the <param /> tag.