U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
EERE Communication Standards & Guidelines
Audio-only files, whether they are linked directly on a page or distributed via a podcast, must be accessible to all visitors of the EERE Web site. Here you'll find the requirements and best practices for developing and posting audio-only files on your Web site.
If you want to distribute your audio-only files via podcast, see our podcast standards.
All audio-only files on the EERE Web site must follow these requirements.
All audio files should be in MP3 or Flash (.FLV) format.
All audio files must be located in your site's /media/ directory.
Linking to Audio-only Files
Links to audio files should follow the native file format linking requirements. When linking to an audio file, you must provide a link to download BOTH Windows Media Player and iTunes. This link must be placed near the audio file, and is often placed directly after the file.
A link to an audio file will follow this format:
Name of File (MP3 Size of File MB). Download Windows Media Player or iTunes.
For an example of how to link to an audio file, see the Solar Decathlon 2007 Podcasts.
All audio files require a text version. See the page on writing a text version for a media file for instructions.
These best practices are optional, but can lead to better quality content.
Embedded Audio Players
You may embed an audio file directly onto your Web site. This allows users to listen to your audio file directly on your Web site.
Embedded audio files should use the EERE Audio Skin. In order to use this skin, your audio file must be in FLV format. The skin determines the visual appearance of your file, such as the "play" and volume buttons, and is used to provide a singular, unified appearance for all embedded EERE Audio Files. Download the EERE Audio File skin (FLA 2 MB). Some knowledge of Flash is required to use this file.
You should not code an audio file so it automatically starts when you enter a page.
It is a best practice to always provide a link to download an audio file, even if you embed the audio file on the page. This allows users to download your audio file and listen to it on a portable music device.