You can have several file formats available to be viewed or opened on your Web site. Typical files available on Web sites include Microsoft Windows Media Player, Word or PowerPoint files; Adobe Acrobat PDF documents; Macromedia Flash or Shockwave; RealPlayer; and QuickTime multi-media applications.
The catch? Visitors to your Web site must have applications on their computers in order to open these file. For example, to view a Windows Media Player or Quick Time multi-media presentation, one needs these applications loaded in his/her computer. In order to open a Word document, that person will require a current version of Word loaded in his/her 'machine'. Adobe software makes it very easy to download a current version of their Reader application to view PDF files.
The good news? More and more computers have plug-ins. For example, Macromedia (software developer of the "Flash" technology) notes that there are 537,653,046 Macromedia Flash users worldwide as of June 24, 2003 (view some interesting Flash use statistics.) Thatâ€™s a lot of users!
Several applications provide â€˜playerâ€™ files, where you donâ€™t need to have a full version of an application loaded in your computer in order to view it. For example, PowerPoint Player has a version that can be downloaded, which is much smaller in size than the full application.
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