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Using Streaming Sounds

As explained in the “Inserted and Streaming Sounds” sidebar at the beginning of this chapter, any externally linked sound file can be streamed. However, only some sounds can be streamed over the Web, directly from their source files, independent of the streaming of the rest of the Director movie. These are the files that Director refers to as streaming sounds.

Only Shockwave Audio (SWA) or MP3 files may be treated as streaming sounds.

To set a linked SWA or MP3 sound to stream:

  1. In Director, choose Insert > Media Element > Shockwave Audio.

    The SWA Cast Member Properties dialog box opens (Figure 13.35).

    13fig35.gifFigure 13.35. The SWA Cast Member Properties dialog box. Despite its name, it applies to both SWA and MP3 cast members.

  2. Click Browse and select a local SWA or MP3 file.

    or

    Type a URL in the Link Address field (Figure 13.36).

    13fig36.gifFigure 13.36. By default, the Link Address field contains the URL of a sample SWA file on Macromedia’s Web site.

  3. Set the volume of the sound (a value between 0 and 15) with the Volume slider or the adjacent arrows.

  4. From the Sound Channel pop-up menu, choose Any (Figure 13.37).

    13fig37.gifFigure 13.37. The Sound Channel pop-up menu lists eight channels, but pick Any for best results.

    The menu lists eight sound channels (including the six accessible only through Lingo), but choosing Any automatically prevents conflicts with other sounds.

  5. Use the Preload Time pop-up menu to specify how many seconds of sound Director should store in a buffer as it plays the sound file (Figure 13.38).

    13fig38.gifFigure 13.38. The numbers on the Preload Time pop-up menu represent the number of seconds of sound that Director will store in a buffer.

    A longer preload time causes a longer delay before the sound begins to play but results in smoother playback of the sound.

  6. If you wish, click Play to preview the linked sound file.

    If the file is in a remote location, you must be connected to the Internet (or another network) to preview the file.

  7. Click OK to close the dialog box.

    The linked sound file appears in the Cast window (Figure 13.39).

    13fig39.gifFigure 13.39. A streaming sound has a slightly different icon in the Cast window.

To include a streaming sound in your movie:

  • Drag the cast member to a sprite channel (not a sound channel) in the Score (Figure 13.40).

    13fig40.gifFigure 13.40. Streaming sounds go in the regular sprite channels of the Score, not the sound channels.

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