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Copyright © 1999 by Bonnie Skaalid



"The main benefit of audio is that it provides a channel that is separate from that of the display. Speech can be used to offer commentary or help without obscuring information on the screen." [1] Audio can add music to your site, evoking a mood or giving you a sample of what something sounds like. It can promote an artist, add interest to a text site by humanizing the author, or teach you how to pronounce words in another language. If audio is included, it should be produced on the best quality sound equipment you can obtain. Reeves and Nass [2] found that people will put up with poor video but are very affected by poor audio.

Care must be taken not to overload the user with competing visual and audio information. People cannot read text and listen to spoken audio at the same time - their brains cannot process the competing signals without tuning one or the other out. [3]

[1] Nielsen, J. (Dec. 1995). Guidelines for multimedia on the web. [Online]. Available: http://www.useit.com/alertbox/9512.html

[2] Reeves, B. & Nass, C. (1996). The media equation: How people treat computers, television, and new media like real people and places. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.

[3] Moore, D., Burton, J., & Myers, R. (1996) Multiple-channel communication: The theoretical and research foundations of multimedia. In D. H. Jonassen (Ed.), Handbook of Research for Educational Communications and Technology . New York: Simon and Schuster Macmillan.

Media:[Multimedia Research] [Using Graphics and Pictures] [Animation] [Video] [Audio] [Response Times]

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