HTML Multimedia

Multimedia on the web refers to sound effects, music, video, and animation.

Modern web browsers already support many multimedia formats.

What is Multimedia?

Multimedia comes in many different formats. It can be anything you hear or see, text, pictures, music, sound effects, recordings, movies, animations, etc.

On the Internet, you will often find multimedia elements embedded in web pages. Modern browsers already support multiple multimedia formats.

In this tutorial, you will learn about different multimedia formats and how to use them in your web pages.

Browser Supports

The first Internet browser only supports text, and even text support is limited to a single font and a single color. Then a browser supporting colors, fonts, and text styles was born, and image support was added.

Different browsers handle support for sound effects, animations, and videos in different ways. Some elements can be processed inline, while some require additional plug-ins.

You will learn more about plug-ins in the following chapters.

Multimedia Format

Format multimedia elements (such as video and audio) are stored in media files.

The most common way to determine the media type is to look at the file extension. When the browser gets the file extension .htm or .html, it will assume that the file is an HTML page. The .xml extension indicates the XML file, and the .css extension indicates the style sheet. The picture format is identified by .gif or .jpg.

Multimedia elements also have file formats with different extensions, such as .swf, .wmv, .mp3 and .mp4.

Video Format

pic_videoMP4 is a new video format introduced by the Internet.

YouTube recommends using MP4.

Flash Players support MP4

HTML5 supports MP4.
FormatFile TypeDescription
AVI.aviThe AVI (Audio Video Interleave) format was developed by Microsoft. All computers running Windows support the AVI format. It is a very common format on the Internet, but it is not always able to be played on non-Windows computers.
WMV.wmvThe Windows Media format was developed by Microsoft. Windows Media is very common on the Internet, but if you do not install additional (free) components, you cannot play Windows Media movies. Some late Windows Media movies cannot be played on all non-Windows computers because there is no suitable player.
  • .mpg

  • .mpeg

The MPEG (Moving Pictures Expert Group) format is the most popular format on the Internet. It is cross-platform and is supported by all the most popular browsers.
QuickTime.movThe QuickTime format was developed by Apple. QuickTime is a common format on the Internet, but QuickTime movies cannot be played on Windows computers without additional (free) components installed.
  • .rm

  • .ram

The RealVideo format was developed by Real Media for the Internet. This format allows video streaming under low bandwidth conditions (online video, Internet TV). Since low bandwidth is prioritized, the quality often decreases.
  • .swf

  • .flv

The Flash (Shockwave) format was developed by Macromedia. The Shockwave format requires additional components to play. But this component will be pre-installed on browsers such as Firefox or IE.
Mpeg-4.mp4Mpeg-4 (with H.264 video compression) is a new format for the Internet. In fact, YouTube recommends MP4. YouTube accepts multiple formats and then converts them all to .flv or .mp4 for distribution. More and more video publishers are turning to MP4 as an Internet sharing format for Flash players and HTML5.

NoteThe latest HTML5 standard only supports MP4, WebM, and Ogg video formats.

Sound Format

MP3 is an audio compression technology, its full name is Moving Picture Experts Group Audio Layer III (Moving Picture Experts Group Audio Layer III), referred to as MP3. It is designed to drastically reduce the amount of audio data. If your site is of music type, you can choose mp3 format.

FormatFile TypeDescription
  • .mid

  • .midi

MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) is a format for electronic music equipment (such as synthesizers and sound cards). MIDI files do not contain sound, but contain digital music instructions that can be played by electronic products (such as sound cards).

Because the MIDI format only contains commands, MIDI files are extremely small. The above example is only 23k in size, but it can be played for nearly 5 minutes. MIDI is supported by a large number of software on a wide range of platforms. Most popular web browsers support MIDI.

  • .rm

  • .ram

The RealAudio format was developed by Real Media for the Internet. This format also supports video. This format allows audio streaming (online music, network music) under low bandwidth conditions. Since low bandwidth is prioritized, the quality often decreases.
Wave.wavThe Wave (waveform) format was developed by IBM and Microsoft. All computers running Windows and all web browsers (except Google Chrome) support it.
WMA.wmaWMA format (Windows Media Audio), the quality is better than MP3, compatible with most players, except iPod. WMA files can be transmitted as a continuous data stream, which makes it very useful for Internet radio or online music.
  • .mp3

  • .mpga

MP3 files are actually the sound part of MPEG files. The MPEG format was originally developed by the Motion Picture Experts Group. MP3 is the most popular sound format for music. Expect future software systems to support it.

NoteThe latest HTML5 standard supports MP3, WAV, and Ogg audio formats.