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Adding Multimedia Objects to your Page using the <object> tag

Note: The <embed> tag was used in the past for this but the <object> tag works for browsers after IE4 and Nav 4, is standards compliant, and so is recommended. Users of browsers earlier than IE4 and Nav 4 probably cannot manage objects that would be embedded anyway. If objects are properly developed and entered into resources, they will work for all users.

Objects can be things that are native to the device being used, such as a graphical browser, or they may be things that need particular software to make them work - eg Java applets, etc. that require plug-ins. All such objects are recommended to be placed in a web resource using the <object> tag. The <object> tag allows for graceful cascading of objects until one is reached that is suitable for the user.

Imagine a typical video with full sound:

Rather than predict what the user needs, it is better to provide for all users and let their access agents determine what to use. If appropriate forms are available, thay can all be combined suitably with a single <object> tag.

<object data="MyFavouriteMovie.mpeg" type ="application/mpeg">
<object data="MyFavouritePicture.jpg" type="image/jpeg">
The Fabulous Film of Mine!

Note also the use of the <param> tag to set parameters for the object:

<param name="bgcolor" value="green">

The <object> tag can also be used for the equivalent of image maps (see O'Reilly object).

<object data=" ....?????????????????????

Adding Scripts to the Page using the <script> tag

The <script> tag appears in the head of the resource. It can be applied immediately, as the file loads, or loaded and used when an event on the page calls it into action. There is a problem with different access agents working differently on <script> tags so care should be taken.

Note that Real is good for many people start to use SMIL format for audio etc files.


Magpie is a Windows based tool that provides captioning that can be accessed on any computer platform. It requires the Real plug-in and so should be accompanied by clear instruction on how to get access to the Real Player. Magpie is the recommended captioning tool. It is freely available from

"Using MAGpie, authors can add captions to three multimedia formats: Apple's QuickTime, the World Wide Web Consortium's Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language (SMIL) and Microsoft's Synchronized Accessible Media Interchange (SAMI) format.  MAGpie can also integrate audio descriptions into SMIL."


Microsoft has a captioning tool that can be used in association with other resources, especially multimedia resources, but the captions are only usable on the Windows platform. Information about this is available at

Last updated: 8 March 2002