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Re: links to mp3 files

From: Patrick H. Lauke <redux@splintered.co.uk>
Date: Thu, 13 Oct 2005 18:53:31 +0100
Message-ID: <434E9F1B.20107@splintered.co.uk>
To: tanguy lohéac <tanguy.loheac@snv.jussieu.fr>
CC: general WAI-TIES MAILING LIST <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>

tanguy lohéac wrote:
> Hi all,
> Just to ask if the w3c considers links to mp3 files as a standard 
> recommended format ?

Unless I'm misunderstanding the question, I'd hazard a guess that the
answers would be: MP3 is not a W3C technology; however, there is no 
equivalent format from the W3C that serves that purpose; this shoots 
down "11.1 Use W3C technologies when they are available and appropriate 
for a task". Therefore, following "11.4 If, after best efforts, you 
cannot create an accessible page, provide a link to an alternative page 
that uses W3C technologies, is accessible, has equivalent information 
(or functionality), and is updated as often as the inaccessible 
(original) page" you should ideally provide an alternative in a W3C 
format. What this alternative format is will depend on the nature of the 
MP3. If it's an audio version of a talk/presentation (a "podcast", 
though I hate this term "du jour"), you should for instance provide a 
web page - (X)HTML/CSS/etc) - with a transcript. Now, it obviously gets 
trickier if you're providing something like a piece of classical 
music...in a similar vein to choosing a good ALT attribute, you should 
think about the purpose of the audio file, why you're linking to it, and 
let that guide you to some sort of alternative.

Patrick H. Lauke
re·dux (adj.): brought back; returned. used postpositively
[latin : re-, re- + dux, leader; see duke.]
www.splintered.co.uk | www.photographia.co.uk
Web Standards Project (WaSP) Accessibility Task Force
Received on Thursday, 13 October 2005 17:53:47 UTC

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