Flash sonification examples


Since a few years, web pages are also beginning to be sonified.
Technically speaking, the most usual mean of sonifying web pages is the use of the Flash plug-in.


Flash is a small module developed by Macromedia, that enables multimedia animation inside a web page.
A Flash animation is based on vectorial drawing & animation, with the aid of "ActionScript", a simple scripting language.


Audio & music can also be included - supported formats : PCM, ADPCM &, MP3 up to 160kbs.
Two distinct handling of audio during the animation : "streaming" and "event".

Streaming audio is streamed (rather for music use), whereas event audio is loaded at the beginning of the movie display after the graphic elements, and can be accessible immediately and anytime afterwards. Thus, event audio can be integrated into interactive behaviour, usually sonifying button actions.

Another very common use on audio in Flash is the use of background audio (looped event audio).

Audio controls in Flash (v5) include automationable pan & volume.


Here is an example of simultaneous use of background & button associated audio :

- Front page from the Harry Potter site -

The following example only features button use, but in a slightly more complex way :

- Front page from the Lord of The Rings site -


It can be easily noticed how the web designers have tried to make sonification stick to the movie's indentity.
(mistery for Harry Potter and heroism for the Lord of the Rings)

You'll notice also the audio part's poor quality. To ensure compatibility with any kind of connections, audio seldom goes further than 22050kHz, even if mp3 compressed - which correspond to a maximum of 56kbs in stereo, 28kbs per channel.

Another example of simultaneous use of bakground & button associated audio, this time with a better audio quality - which causes the animation to weigh 3.3MB...

- Front page from vonglitschka.com -

An example of very well done web page sonification :

- Front page from Laps-design.com -

(for the complete page with working links, go to http://www.laps-design.com )