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Old January 16th, 2008, 12:50 PM   #1
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Is Flash "Universal"

Hi

If I convert a QT file from FCP to Flash (flv and swf) can that file be used in a Windows webdesign program, or is it a "Mac Flash" that can not be used with a "Windows Flash"?

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Old January 16th, 2008, 01:23 PM   #2
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If you are using the standard FLV and SWF you will be fine. Only time I have had trouble was when I was working with the SWF source files, the .fla file, and the original guy had used a different version of flash than what I had.
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Old January 16th, 2008, 01:32 PM   #3
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It's universal, but playback on my macs suck with most flash encoded video, choppy then it either hurries to catch up (old way) or skips tons of frames. I don't watch flash encoded video due to this fact. I generally give it about 10 seconds and then give up.

My machine isn't a slouch either, it should be able to handle it.
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Old January 17th, 2008, 01:30 AM   #4
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Thank You for the info

Cheers

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Old January 20th, 2008, 08:13 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cole McDonald View Post
It's universal, but playback on my macs suck
Cole, do Macs have an equivalent to Windows Task Manager, where one may view how hard the system is working at any given time? On Windows, working with Flash I've noted that system performance can reach 100% decoding some Flash video (on Windows 2000 Pro, P-4, 1.8) while the same material gets less than 15% from XP Pro SP2 on a laptop and a Core duo desktop. I'd love to know what your equivalent performance is. I have two Mac users among my informal beta testers and neither report similar issues with Flash video - in a browser.

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Old January 21st, 2008, 02:31 AM   #6
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Can you direct me to a web link for a flash video of some size that would have a quicktime (or even a WMV - better all three), I'll give you the differences of all of them.

In Applications > Utilities > Activity Monitor will show you processes that you can sort by CPU Activity or memory used etc...it's basically just a font end for the 'top' command from the BSD underpinnings of OSX...I can also do all the unixy stuff to help test if'n you'd like.

I can test playing through both safari and quicktime player all three types of files as well.

Perhaps you can post a test clip for me and we'll beat it up publicly. I've got a Powerbook G4 1.25 Ghz running OSX 10.5.1 and a 2 x G5 running OSX 10.4.11. Both are maxed for ram and have lots of disk space.
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Old January 21st, 2008, 10:44 AM   #7
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I'm not sure if this is what you mean, Cole, but I do have a site where a
transparent greeter appears on opening and elsewhere there two wmv files and a mov video. There's no comparison in running time - three differ with Flash the shortest, but during play I get the same performance reading five seconds in as twenty so hopefully you'll get the comparison you want:

www.toronto-island.com

The transparent Flash file is as small as I make them so the CPU load, even on my win2kpro system is under 40%. Larger versions of the same content (like 360 pixels of height) run the CPU to 100%. Transparent Flash requires player version 8+, which apparently is hard on older systems. The trailer (wmv) spiked at 27% but is generally under 20. The .mov version of the interview spiked over 50% but generally ran under 40. I'd love to know your results, and the system producing them.


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Old January 21st, 2008, 04:45 PM   #8
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I'm looking specifically for the same clip in all 3 formats for equivalent testing. Otherwise, the specific compression at any given point can affect the results and validity of the testing.
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Old January 21st, 2008, 04:54 PM   #9
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flash file at the top of that webpage runs like a champ. I've specifically had issues with flash encoded videos that load while playing in the spiffy little transport overlays.
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Old January 21st, 2008, 06:03 PM   #10
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Cole, do you mean like this:

http://www.simplethoughtproductions....-2008-victory/

(have to click the top image of the basketball players to get it to load up)

is a little harder on the machine due to the over lay I use but seems to play nicely for my audience.

I am on a bad machine for testing as it is not a typical setup but IE 7 uses 0~2% of my quad core, it does jump to 10% if I go full screen.
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Old January 21st, 2008, 06:44 PM   #11
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yeah, CPU goes from 10% to 100% rsize and vsize (memory usage, real and virtual) each jump by 200Mb. when that video plays. It jumps like crazy getting as low as 1 fps with longer gaps at points, like during the page turn transition.

As flash runs within quicktime, I've found that this happens in quicktime player as well. So I don't use flash encoding when possible. I don't know what magic youtube does or if'n it's just the low quality of their encoding, but that plays fine. Mut the mimeo (or whatever that one is) plays like the flash file above. I can run both Quicktime and MWV videos just fine on this machine without any problems...so it's probably the flash decoder built into quicktime causing the problem. It could be the overlay on top of the video or just the size/quality/bandwidth of the video doing it as well (not as in network bandwidth, but compression bandwidth).
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Old January 21st, 2008, 07:17 PM   #12
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So you are using the Apple FLV playback and not Adobe's Player? If you are using the adobe player are you on version 9.0.115? That preformance is very disappointing. I have heard other Mac users who had similar results in terms of high CPU and Mem usage but not so much in terms of extremely choppy play back.

I have an MP4 (not FLV) file streaming through flash but it requires, 9.0.110 or higher, the top of the page will read out your flash player version though even if the player is not new enough. :)

http://www.simplethoughtproductions....ideo_test.html

I hopped on my Macbook pro and I was noticing a 67% CPU usage, however, 60% of my CPU was idle, so I guess out of the 40% I was using, 60% of it was going to Safari/Flash... am I reading the activity monitor correctly? I also was using an embedded player that did not play via the transparent overlay.

For fun I installed Parian, a plug in that allows FLV play back in Quicktime and its uesage was reported in @ ~29% (~80% Idle)which is way better than the Adobe plug in via Safari.

Either way I actually am going to be pushing the h264 bit as much as I can as people have reported less CPU usage when using full screen plus the fact that it looks better than FLVs at lower bit rates. Hopefully youtube will make the switch soon and help ease the transition along but I imagine they are waiting for Flash Player Version 10 or later.
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Last edited by Josh Chesarek; January 21st, 2008 at 08:18 PM.
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Old January 22nd, 2008, 04:36 PM   #13
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One of the newer and little known benefits of using FLV files is that you can pseudo 'stream' them from a standard web server instead of an expensive streaming server. In my 'day' job, I'm a web programmer and I have used this method a few times with great success.

Most video on the web runs as progressive download. You have to sit through the whole video to see the last 2 minutes, but with streaming, you can drag the slider to any point in the video and it plays without having to wait for the download to catch up. The pseudo streaming is achived using a PHP application to add what is something like timecode to the flv and this is matched to the position of the slider. Easier than it sounds to set up if you have a little bit of html and php knowledge. It won't handle multiple simultaneous connections, but is still very effective for low traffic sites.

I use this application http://www.rich-media-project.com/

It also has some neat features for multiple clips and will play a clip size dependant on the visitors bandwidth.
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Old January 22nd, 2008, 05:20 PM   #14
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I am planning to try a stress test but am still trying to figure out how to test it as I use Lighty webserver which can sustain over 10,000 connections a second and use its built in module to "stream" FLVs. Its pretty cool :)
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