Loading Bitmaps from a resource file

I have created a .rc file using a text editor then compiled it using BRC
into an .res file. I then included the .res file using the directive {$R
my.res}. I was then able to load the birmaps (using LoadResource) and
display them on the form (using Draw). Every thing seems to work except
for one thing. My bitmaps are not displayed in 256 color mode (they were
all mapped to 16 colors). I am trying to avoid the use of TImage
because, with the number and size of bitmaps I am using, I found out
that loading them this way (from a compiled resource file) is faster.
Any insights/suggestions.
I am also trying to do the same with Loading and Playing .WAV files. I
had my .wav files compiled and bound to my executable. I will try to use
something like the sndPlaySound API function. The media player is no
good. My question is: is there anyone out there who tried this
before? Just trying to avoid reinventing the wheel if possible.

Thanks

Omer