Playing Sounds in ActionScript 1 by
kirupa | 16 February 2003
During your course of Flashing,
you may have added sounds the old-fashioned way. You would
probably have added the sounds by adding them to a frame and
looping them 999 times. You are no longer a beginner
Flasher. You have to move away from relying on frames and,
instead, rely on using ActionScript for your sound needs.
Note: This tutorial covers how to play sounds using
ActionScript 2. For playing sounds using ActionScript 3,
Why use ActionScript when
frame based sounds work perfectly? While sounds controlled
by frames work perfectly also, you do not get the level of
control over the sound as you would when using ActionScript.
By using ActionScript, you are able to change the sound's
speaker directions, pans, volume, and more. Best of all, you
can create virtual sound environments by using various
random numbers and values that change how your sound feels
throughout your animation.
The following example is a
basic setting in which a sound plays when a button is
clicked. The sound is entirely controlled by ActionScript!
[ hint: press the 'play sound' button to hear
the sound :) ]
Because this tutorial
requires the use of sounds, I will provide you with a sound
file that you can download and use in your animations.
Make sure you unzip the
world.zip file you downloaded (WinZip
is a good program to unzip files). Create a new
document in Flash.
Go to File | Import. The Import dialog box will appear.
Browse for and select the sound file you unzipped and
press the Open button. The sound file has been imported
into your Flash movie.
Press Ctrl + L or go to Window | Library. The Flash
Library will appear. You will notice the sound file you
just imported contained in the Library. Right click on the
sound file's name 'world' and select Linkage. The
Symbol Linkage Properties dialog box will appear:
[ the symbol linkage
properties dialog box ]
In the Symbol Linkage Properties dialog box, select the
"Export this symbol" option. Once you select the Export
this symbol option, the Identifier field will be enabled.
You should enter a name that will uniquely identify this
sound file. Let's simply identify the sound file as "coolsound".
Enter coolsound in the Identifier field:
[ the sound file has been
given a unique identifier name ]
Once you entered coolsound for the Identifier value, press
OK to close the Symbol Linkage Properties dialog box.
Let's go back to the main timeline. Draw a button. To
create a button, simply draw a circle. Select the circle,
press F8 or go to Insert | Convert to Symbol, and select
the option for Button and press OK. You should know how to
create a button by now...because you are a Masta
Once you have created the button, right click on the
button and select Actions. Copy and paste the following
section of code:
Save the FLA and preview the animation. Click the button
you just created. If all went well, you should hear the
How Does the
Code Work? The following section will basically
deconstruct how the code you copied and pasted enables sound
to come out of your PC's speakers.
The first line is the On
handler for the button. The code following this statement
will be enabled and executed when the mouse clicks on the
button and releases the button. You can access these options
by going to Basic Actions | On Mouse Event from the
Object Actions window.
In this line, I am creating a
new sound object. I'm calling the sound object I am creating
"kirupaSound". The words
telling flash to create a new sound object. This line of
code is very similar to declaring a variable and giving it a
value. Of course, in Flash, you don't have to declare
variables before using them.
Remember the name you gave to
the sound file in the Symbol Linkage Properties dialog box?
Well, here is where you actually use that Identifier name
you entered. You are telling Flash to attach the sound file
identified as "coolsound" to the kirupaSound sound object
you created in the previous line.
This line tells Flash to
actually play the sound. The original syntax is
am I not using the original syntax? The original form of the
start sound control,
very limited in its use. The sound starts, plays once, and
stops. That method is great for short bursts of sounds. What
if you have a loop?
The expanded version is
is the number of the seconds in the sound file that Flash
will start from. The
is the number of times the sound will continue playing. In
my example, the sound will start from its default position
of 0 and loop 99 times before stopping.
Downloads Never to leave you surprised or confused,
I have provided the final source file for this tutorial. If
you still have questions, you can post them in the forum by
clicking the Message Board link near the bottom of the
Conclusion This is just the beginning of your
journey to using sound in Flash. In corollary tutorials that
I will create, you will expand upon this method of adding
sounds. You will learn how to control the sound volume
coming from each individual speaker and more! Before I
forget, I'd like to give credit to Asim Khan
for creating the Asian sound loops used in both the tutorial
and in my example.
If you have a question about this or any other topic, the easiest thing is to drop by our forums where a bunch of the friendliest people you'll ever run into will be happy to help you out!