WAV files require a browser "Plugin" to play correctly. Users will have a different experience, depending on the users browser and what plugins they may or may not have installed. It can be a bit of a pain. We long for the day when all browsers will support the same audio/video encoding and will work without these annoying plugins.
The “default” media player for windows is Windows Media Player. The default player for apple products is Quicktime. However, if users have installed these or other media players, those defaults may have changed. For example, if I install Quicktime on my windows machine, it asks me to take over and be the default of all multi-media file types. Depending on my answer to that question at install, my default player may be changed.
I’ve created a test page with various methods of embedding the wave file at
From there you can choose the embed type:
For the first item, on the test page, I selected quicktime. For the second item, I selected Windows Media. Depending on the browser as to the behavior of these links. This basically sets up a “player” within the webpage.
You can also setup a normal hyperlink, which when clicked should open the file in the default player.
Typically, if there is not a plugin ready, browsers will prompt users with a yellow bar across the top, letting them know that additional software or plugins are required. They must then choose to install these.
In some cases, however, no prompt is displayed. For example, if I open the test page in Firefox, I just get a Quicktime questionmark…but no prompts to download quicktime.
Many sites will add instructions with a few graphics to help users through this process. Instructions for how to install the plugin and/or links to the various sites where the user can go grab the plugin for quicktime or windows media if their browser doesn’t prompt.