All about Rich Media

by Amjad - Date: 2007-10-21 - Word Count: 536 Share This!

All about Rich Media

The term Rich Media refers to a broad range of digital interactive media that can

either be downloadable or embedded in a webpage. When downloaded, it can be used or viewed

offline using media players such as Microsoft Media Player, Real Networks' RealPlayer, or Apple's


For distance learning through the Web as in e-learning, rich media must be an integral

part of the courseware. It should comprise animation, interactivities to various levels of

sophistication, visuals and narration. These components make your training programs more

effective and your company sees a significant Return on Investment (ROI).

Other components of Rich Media:
File sizes: File sizes must always be small. To minimize delays in file

transfer, use file formats that make the best use of Rich Media and are of good quality. These

include Microsoft Media Player, GIF, JPG, Real Networks' RealPlayer, or Apple's QuickTime,

Macromedia Flash (SWF), MP3, Shockwave Audio (SWA), Animated GIF, Macromedia Authorware (AAM) and


If there are delays in self-paced interactive course programs, students can be very

frustrated as it interferes with understanding and retention. So, file sizes must be small and

very streamable to slow modems. By streamable is meant that as bits of the digital video are

downloaded, the movie starts to play, until the entire download is complete.
Image formats: If you use lesser than 256 colors, sharp colors and small file

sizes, the GIF format is ideal. These include screen grabs, clipart, drawings and


JPGs are better for photographs and illustrations with over 256 colors. If you use JPGs

for screen captures, it will cause blurring of colors and the file size will be larger because

the colors are averaged.
Animation: Macromedia Flash is best for animation on the Web. Not only can you

increase the Flash movie to 1024 x 768 from 640 x 480, but you don't lose any picture quality nor

do you increase the file size. Alternatively, you can use animated GIF format.
Movies and digital video: The most popular streamable formats for digital

video are Windows Media Player, Apple QuickTime and RealVideo.
Sound files: Of the many formats for sound compression available, MP3 is the

most popular and has excellent quality. If you use Real Audio and Windows Media Player 5.0, you

can safely use MP3.

One of the best ways of using sound on the Web is to use Macromedia Flash 4.0 and higher

which convert WAV files to the Shockwave format it has internally. If you use Macromedia

Authorware with its 800kbps plug-in, you can either use SWA (Shockwave Audio) or VOX

Authoring software: You could give your learners a "no plug-in" option by

using Macromedia Dreamweaver with Course Builder. It creates good interactive learning, is

compliant with AICC norms and can import all kinds of media, among other benefits.

Pratibha R. S.

Executive - Instructional Designer


About CommLab India
CommLab India ( is a Custom

eLearning Solutions Company based in India. Since 2000, it has been providing state-of-the-art

eLearning services to organizations across the world in the areas of Learning Consultancy, Custom

Courseware and Learning Technology. Some of our reputed clients are BC Hydro, George Washington

University, Kawasaki and Deloitte. We are preferred vendors to some of the Fortune 500 companies

like Alcoa and Hill-Rom.

Related Tags: web based training, instructional approach, course development process, technology expertise, samples of our work, avail our latest offers

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