Larry Braud wrote to ask:
Terry, this site has a song in it, I can’t get it in Firefox, but it works in IE. Would you have any reason why?
The music on this web site did not play in Firefox because the web site owner is either inexperienced or doesn’t care about non-IE users. She created the site using Microsoft FrontPage, Microsoft’s web design product.
While FrontPage makes it easy to create web sites, you have to be careful because it includes a number of easy-to-insert web design features that only work in I.E. Many work in other browsers, but some of them HTML “tags” that only Microsoft uses or they might require ActiveX programs.
In this case, the web designer used the Internet-Explorer-only command BGSOUND to embed the sound file in the web page. The standard supported by everyone else is the EMBED command.
Similarly, if she had used .wma music files instead of .wav files, it would not play in anything but Internet Explorer, since wma files are “Windows Media Audio” files and are supported exclusively by Microsoft products.
Remember that, although every Windows PC has Internet Explorer installed, not all Windows users are willing to surf the web with IE. By using IE-only features, you lock out the users of Opera, Firefox, etc in the Windows world. You will also lock out anyone running a Mac or a Linux computer.
Finally, as a web site design issue: never design for automatic playing of sounds or music. Allow the visitor to click on a button to activate the sound. Otherwise, the website quickly becomes obnoxious to repeat visitors.
Music Once = cute. Music Twice = ANNOYANCE!