Publishers of technology books, eBooks, and videos for creative people

Home > Articles

Adding Sound to Macromedia Director MX Movies

  • Print
  • + Share This
Once you've prepared your sound files for Director, this sample chapter will show you how to import them, synchronize them to animation in the Score, and compress them for faster download. You'll also learn how certain sound files can be streamed over the Web.
This chapter is from the book

Sounds—including music, narration, and sound effects—can bring your Director movie to life. Adding sounds to Director movies is easy: You simply import a sound file and place it in one of the two sound channels in the Score (Figure 13.1).

13fig01.gifFigure 13.1. The Score has two channels intended only for sound sprites.

Director offers very limited sound-recording capability (on the Mac only) and no sound-editing capability. In most cases, you’ll want to use a third-party sound-editing program to record and edit the sound before you bring it into Director. If you’re serious about sound, you’ll probably want professional-level recording and editing software such as Digidesign’s Pro Tools. In the middle range, there are capable sound-editing programs such as Sonic Foundry’s Sound Forge, Bias’s Peak LE, and SoundEdit 16 (a Macromedia product that’s no longer being developed but is still on the market). In a pinch, you can use the Sound Recorder application that comes with Windows for rudimentary sound editing. You can also find a variety of inexpensive or free sound-editing programs on the Web.

Once you’ve prepared your sound files, this chapter will show you how to import them, synchronize them to animation in the Score, and compress them for faster download. You’ll also learn how certain sound files can be streamed over the Web.

Importing and Previewing Sound Files

You can import most commonly used sound file formats into Director, including AIFF, WAV, AU, Shockwave Audio, and MP3 (Figure 13.2). Macromedia recommends using sounds with an 8- or 16-bit depth and with a sampling rate of 11.025 kHz, 22.050 kHz, or 44.1 kHz.

13fig02.gifFigure 13.2. No matter what their original file format, sound cast members all look the same in the Cast window. (The cast member on the left is an AIFF file; the one on the right is an MP3 file.)

To import a sound file:

  • Follow the same procedure that you use to import other kinds of cast members. (See “Importing Cast Members” in Chapter 2.)

    Director handles internal and external sounds differently when a movie is played, so keep the following guidelines in mind when deciding whether to choose Standard Import or Link to External File:

    • Standard Import embeds the sound file in your Director movie. When you play a movie that contains an embedded sound file, Director must load the entire sound into memory before playing it. If the sound file is large, the loading time may produce a pause in the playback of your movie. Therefore, it’s best to use Standard Import only for small sound files.

    • Link to External File allows a sound file to be streamed—that is, the beginning of the sound file starts to play even while the rest of the sound is loading. Streaming allows a sound to play without delay and is therefore appropriate for larger files. However, the playback of linked external sounds may not be as smooth as that of embedded sounds.

  • When you’re importing a sound as a linked external file, don’t use the Internet button in the Import Files dialog box (Figure 13.3). If you do, Director will import the file but will lose the link when the movie is closed. Instead, to use an external sound file located at a URL, follow the instructions in “Using Streaming Sounds” later in this chapter.

    13fig03.gifFigure 13.3. When importing a sound as a linked external file, don’t use the Internet button.

Inserted and Streaming Sounds

Before we go any further, it’s important to sort out some confusing terminology—specifically, Director’s use of inserted and streaming in regard to its handling of sounds.

An inserted sound is any sound file imported by means of the standard import procedure noted on the previous page and described thoroughly in Chapter 2. An inserted sound may be either embedded in the Director movie file or linked to an external file. If it’s linked to an external file, the file must be local—that is, directly accessible via a relative path (in practice, this usually means that it’s somewhere on the same computer).

A streaming sound is a Shockwave Audio or MP3 file that Director accesses from a URL or via an absolute path. That means the file may be anywhere—on the same computer or halfway around the world. The file is imported by a special procedure described in “Using Streaming Sound,” later in this chapter.

Despite the difference in their names, both kinds of sound files may, in fact, stream. If an inserted sound is linked to an external file on a local disk, it will stream from the disk. If it’s part of a streaming Shockwave movie (see Chapter 17, “Making Movies for the Web”), it will stream along with the rest of the movie.

What’s different about the type of sound that Director refers to as a streaming sound is that it streams directly from the specified URL, independent of the streaming of the rest of the Director movie.

In general, when we talk about sound in this book, we’re talking about inserted sound files. Streaming sound, in Director’s use of the term, is a special case that will be discussed in “Using Streaming Sound,” later in this chapter.

To preview a sound:

  1. In the Cast window, select a sound cast member.

  2. Click the Sound tab in the Property Inspector (Figure 13.4).

    13fig04.gifFigure 13.4. The Sound tab in the Property Inspector.

  3. Click the Play button in the Property Inspector.

  4. To stop the preview, click the Stop button in the Property Inspector.

  • In addition to letting you preview the sound, the Property Inspector gives you information about its duration, sampling rate, and bit depth, and whether it’s a stereo or mono sound.

To set the playback volume of a sound:

  1. On the Control Panel (or on the secondary control panel attached to the bottom of the Stage), click the Volume button (Figure 13.5).

    13fig05.gifFigure 13.5. The Volume control on the Control Panel.

  2. Select a volume level from the pop-up menu.

  • The volume setting in the Control Panel applies to the entire movie, including sounds played on the Stage and previewed in the Property Inspector. It applies only at the time the movie is being played. If you want to apply volume settings that “stick” when the movie is saved, you must use Lingo.

  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account

Peachpit Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from Peachpit and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.

Overview


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about Peachpit products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information


To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.

Surveys

Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites; develop new products and services; conduct educational research; and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.

Newsletters

If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email ask@peachpit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information


Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.

Security


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.

Children


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.

Marketing


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information


If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.

Choice/Opt-out


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by Adobe Press. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.peachpit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information


Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents


California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure


Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.

Links


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact


Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice


We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020