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Fonts and Media Players

August 28th, 2009 · No Comments

Two of the most confusing issues in web design for new customers are Fonts and Media Players.

Customers have occasionally asked for fonts that they have on their computer that they really like.  If it’s a common font like Arial or Times, no problem.  If it’s an uncommon font like Jester or Narnia BLL, most other people won’t have it on their computer which means that their browser can’t use it to display your page.

Now we can use your font in an image but that has it’s problems too.  If you want your text to be found by Google and the other search engines, they can’t read images.  They only read text.  We could convert the text to images each time someone asks for your page but if you have a lot of content, that can take a long time to process which makes your page take a long time to load, both because of processing and because the images are larger files than the text version.

Most of my customers believe without thinking about it that their computer is ‘normal’, just like everyone else’s.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Different people use different software.  I have on my computers here Windows Media Player, Real Player, WinAmp, Mplayer, iTunes, Quicktime, and I think Creative’s Realsound player.  Others I know of include InterActual Player, VLC media player,  Adobe Media Player, and Songbird.

When it comes to Media Players and media content on web sites, that’s important.  Though some players will play many different kinds of files, there is no ‘universal’ media player.  In addition, people setup their media players differently.  Audio and Video files are played on your computer or in your browser by the program that ‘you’ have designated to handle that file type.  And if you have not designated a program for a particular file type, it won’t play at all.

I try to encourage my customers to use common formats as much as possible so they can reach the widest audience.

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