[thelist] Deploying Video with Flash

Jeffrey Joslin lists at joslins.net
Fri Aug 13 10:50:35 CDT 2004

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Rich Osborne [mailto:R.M.Osborne at exeter.ac.uk] 
> One thing I have come across though is problems with large 
> flash files running with IE and Opera (but not Mozilla, or IE 
> on Mac for that matter).


Hmm...haven't noticed anything like this.  Can you elaborate on what you
noticed?  Actually, my team's experience with Flash video has been nothing
but positive, with the added bonus of integration with other applications
developed, all in a comparatively light browser media plugin (especially
relative to the other video plugins or hah...Acrobat 6...yikes).

As for the apparent delay you encountered, it sounds like you were calling
the entire large video clip in, as the first thing loaded into the browser.
Load any large clip in and a) you will have to wait for plugin api to load
and b) then you will have to wait for the huge file to load or buffer in
(depending on stream or download setting). 

Note that you can load in a small, quick initial base level content in
first, ideally with some manner of preloader content as an instant visual
cue to the user that things are loading, not broken.

This maintains politeness so that the user immediately sees both the web
page content and the base level/preloader clip (some form of content),
providing some content for viewing while the video clip loads in.

My team recently designed and developed the following site with Flash video,
and we encountered no such delay issues with IE or Opera, or any
flash-capable browser, for that matter:


The site is comprised of a Flash interface containing short films in Flash
video format, and the client insisted (hah..naturally) that the Flash video
   - have screen dimensions as large as possible (but we added user choice)
   - be as clear and crisp as possible (with minimal-to-no compression
   - be integrated right there in the middle of the site content, not in a
   - be integrated with customer lead generation/acquisition applications 
   - be integrated with session metrics and keyframe-based duration
reporting hooks
   - load as seamlessly and instantly as possible

...and the kicker here: the video clips are actually short films, each of
which being 4-5 minutes in duration...so filesizes here were huge to begin

We optimized to the full extent possible to meet those objectives, and I'm
sure you will find that the page and content load in immediately, and the
videos still load in a quick, clear, seamless manner, with no delays that
cause page not to load.

As this was a Flash site to begin with, it was also great from a user system
overhead perspective not to have to load up another whole plugin API just to
see video...the flash API was already loaded and running in the interface
before the user even clicks to see the video, so it just loads right in,
like any other clip.

Whether or not any given site should be in traditional web standards HTML or
Flash is a whole 'nother conversation altogether, but I will add that the
requirements of integrated (not external) interactive features, clear video,
customer lead generation apps and metrics apps certainly suggested that
Flash'd be a breeze to work with here, and provide a seamless user interface
for the client's target techno/demographic, which happens to have a high
installed base of Flash as per their own research findings.

Hate Flash interfaces?  Prefer web standards approach, but still wondering
about having some video in Flash or other plugin?  While at my previous
employer ( I just left to found my own studio ;), we implemented for our own
site a fully-valid standards-based XHTML 1.0 Strict + CSS site with
non-proprietary implementation of Flash and static image replacement for
those without Flash.  Flash video's right on the home page (for those with


Note that neither of the two sites mentioned above have any delays
pertaining to Flash itself as a video implementation tool.  System
resources, thankfully, are not taxed by having to swagger up some other,
heavy-handed video plugin, and there's content for the user there from
moment one.  Granted, bandwidth is always a key factor for _any_ media
implementation, and so long as the Flash video files are bandwidth-optimized
at least as well as anything presented in other video formats out there,
that issue's moot if merely comparing video plugins.

Hah..well, I guess I kinda rambled on here.  Better wrap it up before the
bit police come for me.


(hearing sirens now)

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