Some of the factors I'm thinking about are...
I understand it's a vague question, but I'm open to learning and looking for pointers. Are there any standard best practices in this area? Any advice/thoughts/tips on this would be gratefully received!
1. sound quality vs file size is a developer decision. ie, there's no right/wrong
2. i'm not aware of any browser compatibility issues.
3. loading sounds dynamically reduces initial loading speed but delays sound play until the loading is complete, and again is a developer decision.
4. the easiest way to preload is to just import the sounds into animate during development.
I ruled out WAVs as a result of file size. With MP3s, I had trouble looping background tracks seamlessly (which admittedly may be a fault with something I've done rather than the file format). I chose AAC because the quality vs size was just right for my requirements (sounds pretty good even at lower bitrates).
Always good to hear others' opinions, as I work alone and sometimes wonder "am I doing this right!?". Thanks again!
you can always preload sounds to be used later and thereby minimize or eliminate delayed play.