Hear and Now

Noises Off

Although adding audio has many benefits, there are still some strikes against the concept. For instance, according to Charalambous, the original version of Voxxy.com had even more interactive sounds. Besides the sound of a revving car engine, it also included a ringing phone and party chatter when girls entered a chat room on the site, as well as a heavy guitar riff in another section. These sounds were put on hold because most visitors were using dial-up modems that just couldn't handle the transfer of data.

"There are still limitations that exist when trying to deliver TV-like content to an audience that does not have the connectivity yet," says Charalambous. This year, however, he'd like to add the elements again, because most modems can now handle it.

Of course, certain audio elements-and the time it takes to download the large audio files-may annoy some Web visitors, especially those trying to find what they're looking for in a snap. Says Charalambous, "If you can manage to sneak music in without making it a hindrance, then excellent."

Before adding audio to your site, make sure you know what you're trying to accomplish. More important, get to know your audience, because they may or may not care about audio elements.

Melissa Campanelli is a marketing and technology writer in Brooklyn, New York.

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Melissa Campanelli is a technology writer in Brooklyn, New York, who has covered technology for Mobile Computing & Communications and Sales & Marketing Management magazines. You can reach her at mcampanelli@earthlink.net.

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This article was originally published in the April 2002 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Hear and Now.

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