Sound File Import Formats Flash

Prior versions of Flash could import several different file formats but the format you chose depended primarily on the platform you were using to develop your content. Flash still supports those formats and, regardless of whether a sound file was imported on a Mac or PC, the resulting .FLA file can still be edited on either platform. The big news with Flash 5 is that it imports MP3.

Flash supports more than just MP3 files. Here’s the entire list:

  • MP3 (MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3): Among the many advantages of MP3 sound files for Flash 5 users, the most obvious is that they are cross-platform. Flash 5 can import MP3 sound on either the PC or the Mac. This single advantage improves Flash workflow in cross platform environment. Other advantages are the efficiency of MP3 compression and the resultant wealth of sound files that are increasingly available in this format. For more information about MP3’s please seen the sidebar at the end of the section.
  • .WAV (Windows Wave): Until the recent support for MP3, .WAV files reigned for nearly a decade as the standard for digital audio on Windows PCs. Flash can import .WAV files created in sound applications and editors such as Rebirth, SoundForge, and Acid. The imported .WAV files can be either stereo or mono, and can support varying bit and frequency rates. Unassisted, Flash 5 for Macintosh cannot import this file format. But with QuickTime 4 installed, .WAV files can be imported into Flash 5 on a Mac. Flash 5 recognizes, properly opens, and can edit .FLA files created on a Windows PC that contain .WAV sounds with the limitation that any previously imported .WAV sound cannot be updated or edited.
  • .AIFF or .AIF (Audio Interchange File format): Much like .WAV on the PC, prior to the success of the MP3 format, the .AIFF format was the most commonly used digital audio format for the Mac. Flash can import .AIFF sounds created in sound applications and editors such as PEAK, DECK II or Rebirth. Like .WAV, .AIFF supports stereo and mono, variable bit, and frequency rates.
  • Unassisted, Flash 5 for PC cannot import this file format. But with QuickTime 4 installed, .AIFF files can be imported into Flash 5 on the PC. Flash 5 recognizes, properly opens, and can edit .FLA files created on the Mac that contain .AIFF sounds with the limitation that any previously imported .AIFF sound cannot be updated or edited.

  • QuickTime: Unfortunately QuickTime Audio files (.QTA or .MOV files) cannot be imported directly into Flash. However, QuickTime audio files can be prepared for import into Flash by saving them as either .WAV or .AIFF files. This requires that you have QuickTime Pro 4.0 (or greater) installed. QuickTime Pro is available from Apple.


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