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Flash 101 (part 6): The Final Countdown
Add sound to your Flash movie, organize your movie into scenes, and share symbols across different movie clips.

| The Wave |

Just as you can create symbols and use them over and over again, Flash allows you to import sound files into the Library and use them at different places in your Flash movie. You can import sound files in WAV and MP3 format via the File -> Import command. Once you've imported a sound file into your Flash movie, it will show up in the Library.

Output image

Adding a sound file to your Flash movie is simplicity itself - create a new layer, select the frame where you would like the sound to begin playing, and drag the sound file from the Library on to the Stage. A graphical representation of the waveform will appear in the Timeline.

Output image

Flash allows you to add as many sound files as you like to Flash movie; keep in mind, however, that all these sound files are mixed together when the final movie is played back. It's also a good idea to place each sound file on a separate layer, so that you can easily manipulate the various files in a movie.

You can control attributes of the sound clip, or add effects to it via the Window -> Panels -> Sound panel. With the frame containing the sound clip selected, pop open this panel and take a look at the options available.

Output image

The most important of the various options available is the Sync option - it allows you to specify whether the sound file is synchronized with the rest of the animation or not. To synchronize the sound clip with the different frames of the animation, choose the Stream option. Streamed sounds begin playing while they are downloading, and automatically stop at the end of the movie.

If, instead, you'd prefer your sound clip to play throughout the movie independent of the animation, select the Event option. In this case, the sound clip plays independent of the frames in the Timeline, and may continue even after the movie ends. The Event option is most commonly used to link sounds to a Flash event, such as clicking a button.

If you'd like the sound clip to play more than once, you can enter a number into the Loop field, and you can also add sound effects like fades and channel shifts using the Effects drop-down menu.

Finally, you can stop the sound at a specific point by inserting a keyframe at that point in the sound layer, and selecting Stop from the Sync menu option for that keyframe.

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