web site was by using the meta refresh tags or employing a Java applet. The meta refresh tag’s reliability is highly dependent on connection speed, and the Java applet is very picky when it comes to choosing the browser with which it likes to work. And, more importantly, neither one of these can handle audio. Now, however, by using the technology developed by RealNetworks, any number of images can be added to your audio presentations and streamed from your site. Visitors to your site are now able to view high resolution, quality pictures while enjoying near CD quality sound. Best of all, it streams smoothly over a 28.8 connection.
I have to issue a word of caution here. Don’t confuse streaming slides with streaming video. There is a big difference! (Streaming video will be the topic of Part III of this series.) Streaming slides consist of still images that can change over time or in sync with an audio script. You can utilize existing photos, graphic images, and quality line art for your slide show. (Most encoding companies will also be able to supply television type still graphics at a very low cost if you need assistance in that regard.) Due to the flexibility of streaming slides, your sales presentations take on a whole new look and give your web site personality.
You can now show your products in an entirely different light. Instead of trying to describe unique and/or desirable features with only text or audio, you can actually zero in on those important selling points with pictures! (The old adage “A picture is worth a thousand words” takes on new meaning on the Internet.) Prospective buyers can now more closely examine products that are usually difficult to sell over the web, due to the desire of consumers to “touch and feel.” This adds a great deal of credibility to your sales pitch and to your web based business. (Items like antiques, furniture, sporting goods, and apparel fall easily into this category.)