I am trying to find a way of delivering audio files in an e-learning course without the use of flash and that will work across several versions of windows media player. avi & wav have been ruled out but any suggestions for the compression format that will work across most platforms would be very useful, or suggestions where I might look for answers.
MP3 will work across all platforms. If it is simple narration then you could easily get away with the following settings:
11Khz MONO or 22Khz if too harsh. (CD quality is 44Khz).
You really dont need to produce in stereo for simple narration and voiceover.
If you are looking for a tool, Audacity is a free open source compression/recording suite for MP3.
What Lee said!
MP3 is already compressed and is interoperable accross different platforms.
As Lee says, the best format to use is MP3. You can then either leave it for people to download and play in their preferred player, or, if they're using an HTML5 capable browser (eg. Safari, Chrome or Firefox), then a simple line of HTML5 code will pull up a player on the web page.
See w3schools for more.