Open Hypermedia and Streaming Audio.
: University of Southampton,
Audio media is one of the most neglected areas in the Hypermedia / Multimedia domain. To play sound files in traditional hypermedia systems, for example the World Wide Web (WWW), users click upon links (or hyperlinks) within a browser. This action will download the sound file to the local machine and then activate an application to play the file. More recently however, applications can stream the file over the network instead, thus reducing the overhead of having to download it first. In multimedia applications such as Microsoft Encarta, users click on areas of the screen called ``hot-spots'' that will cause an event to occur. This event could cause an audio file to be played, a picture to be displayed or it could cause some other event. In both of these systems audio is usually just the result or side-effect of some action caused by the user. In the Hypermedia domain the information required to traverse the links is embedded within the document using the HyperText Markup Language (HTML). In multimedia systems the link information is stored in an internal format, which the user does not have access to. This creates problems because only the original author of the hypertext or multimedia document can modify, edit or create new links. Therefore because this link information is difficult to modify, these systems are known as ``closed'' systems. The aim of this research is to investigate how audio could be used in Open Hypermedia Systems, specifically how links can be used with streaming audio.
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