How To Add Music And Video To Your Website


Adding music and video to your website was quite difficult to do many years ago if you wanted to do it correctly, ensuring that your multimedia files worked properly in every browser. But thanks to the way technology has evolved over the years, enhancing the web experience with music and video has become much easier to do. There are lots of different options available now for adding MP3 music files and videos to your website.

Premiumbeat has a great selection of Flash Music Players for creating single-file and multiple-file MP3 playlists (and they also have a wonderful selection of Royalty Free Music if you're looking for that perfect background tune for a particular project). You can use their music players for free or you can license them for use on your website (licensing them removes the Premiumbeat link which is visible on the player itself). You can check out the various versions of their players here (see update below):

Some music players simply allow you to play a standard MP3 music file as-is while others require that you convert your file to a Flash format, particularly if you want to play a continuous "loop" of music on your website.

Adding video is a bit more complex. QuickTime is a very popular (and easy to use) video format but unfortunately, not everyone has the QuickTime plug-in installed on their computer. Obviously, this creates a big problem for your audience. We love Apple's QuickTime technology because it offers such crystal clear playback over the Internet but we've experienced the odd compatibility issue, particularly with the newest version of Internet Explorer.

The best way to add video to your website is by converting your video to a Flash format. Even though people sometimes like to tinker around and disable Flash, Flash has become such a widely-accepted, universal format for video playback which now works in almost every browser you can shake a stick at. In much the same way you listen to music files on a website, you'll need an actual video player which adds playback and volume controls, acting as a "screen" for your audience. Once again, Premiumbeat has a great selection of Flash Video Players which can be used for free. Their video players can also be licensed to remove the Premiumbeat watermark from the video screen itself (see update below):

JW Player from Longtail Video is another great option for adding video to your website although it is a little more difficult to configure than the Premiumbeat players. You can download a free version or a licensed version (JW Player Pro, the licensed version, removes the watermark and even allows you to add your own watermark):

Both Premiumbeat and Longtail VIdeo include step by step instructions with their players to assist you with the initial setup and configuration on your website. We've used different versions of the above players on many of the websites we've designed, all with great results.

So the next question is — how do you convert music and video files to Flash format? We'll talk about a number of different software utilities which can do this for you in a forthcoming article. Stay "tuned".

[Updated 07.13.11] Note that Premiumbeat Flash Music and Flash Video Players are no longer available. There is no official announcement or statement on the company's website or blog as to why the media players were discontinued.

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