HTML and CSS Reference
5.6.2. Referencing Audio, Video, and Images
You reference any external document, regardless of type or format, via
a conventional anchor ( <a> ) link:
The <a href="sounds/anthem.au">Kumquat Grower's Anthem</a> is a rousing tribute to
the thousands of 'quat growers around the world.
Just like any referenced document, the server delivers the desired mul-
timedia object to the browser when the user selects the link. If the
browser finds that the document is not HTML or XHTML, but rather some
other format, it automatically invokes an appropriate rendering tool to
display or otherwise convey the contents of the object to the user.
You can configure your browser with special helper applications that
handle different document formats in different ways. Audio files, for ex-
ample, might be passed to an audio-processing tool, and video files are
given to a video-playing tool. If a browser has not been configured to
handle a particular document format, the browser will inform you and
offer to simply save the document to disk. You can later use an appro-
priate viewing tool to examine the document.
Browsers identify and specially handle multimedia files from one of two
different hints: either from the file's Multipurpose Internet Mail Exten-
sion (MIME) type, provided by the server, or from a special suffix in the
file's name. The browser prefers MIME because of its richer description
of the file and its contents, but it will infer the file's contents (type and
format) from the file suffix: .gif or .jpg , for GIF or JPEG encoded images,
for example, or .au for a special sound file.
Because not all browsers look for a MIME type or are necessarily cor-
rectly configured with helper applications by their users, you should al-
ways use the correct file suffix in the names of multimedia objects. Re-
fer to Table 5-1 for more information.