Shockwave is the Web delivery mechanism and technology that Macromedia created to distribute Director productions over the Internet. Macromedia Directory is the premier multimedia interactive CD-ROM authoring tool. With Shockwave, Web authors can add many special effects, interactive applications, and multimedia excitement to their Web sites. Shockwave presentations often include audio, video, animations, interaction, and more.

To create a Shockwave file, you must have the Director authoring studio. Unfortunately, this bad boy costs more than $2,000. But if you are a multimedia genius or an artistic sensation, you may find this price tag reasonable. After the initial sticker shock and the intense learning curve for creating worthwhile Director presentations, creating a Shockwave version is simple — just run it through a converter and presto! It's ready for Web consumption.

After you have a Shockwave presentation, you don't need anything other than a Web server and a properly defined MIME extension to serve them over your site. However, your viewers still need to get the Shockwave plug-in from Macromedia to see your heartfelt presentations. To learn more about Shockwave and Directory, visit the Macromedia Web site:

While you are there, be sure to download the Shockwave plug-in and then go exploring in the Gallery to see what others are doing with Shockwave.

We discuss Shockwave and how you can use it to enhance your site in greater detail in the companion book, MORE HTML For Dummies, 2nd Edition.

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