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Old December 8th, 2004, 02:18 PM   #1
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Web Video in a Flash

What are your thoughts on the Macromedia Video Kit?

Putting video up on the web has always been a hassle with WMV, not because of the encoding process but the playback ability of various computers. Going with Flash seems to be a better way than trying to troubleshoot everybody's computer. However, this means buying Dreamweaver MX 2004 or Macromedia Studio MX 2004.

What are the considerations of buying one versus the other? All I'm interested in is web delivery of video, not web page programming or Flash programming.

This seems to be a painless way of moving a finished video from Premiere to a near-universally accessible web video just by clicking a few buttons.
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Old December 8th, 2004, 02:26 PM   #2
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If you don't need to do anything in flash other than video, then I highly recommend you check out this tool:

Flix Pro
http://www.wildform.com/flix/flix_pr...BSESSION_ID%7D

It allows you to take a video file and output a Flash file with a preloader and player interface and all. No fuss, no muss. They've been making and selling this tool for years now, long before Macromedia decided that it was a good idea. And no need to spend hundreds on buying Macromedia development software if this is all you need to do in Flash.
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Old December 8th, 2004, 02:57 PM   #3
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Vey interesting. You can do something very similar by embedding an MPEG4 in such a way that QuickTime or Real Player can play it. And MPEG4 is an industry standard, not a propietary codec like Flash Video. There is the problem of the user having to have QuickTime or Real Player installed, but if the user has installed any popular games on his PC, it's highly likely QT is installed. And Macs of course come with QuickTime. Likewise, people that shop at sites like Amazon have installed RealPlayer by the millions.
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Old December 8th, 2004, 03:38 PM   #4
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Flash seems to be more prevalent

<<<-- Originally posted by Ignacio Rodriguez : And MPEG4 is an industry standard, not a propietary codec like Flash Video. There is the problem of the user having to have QuickTime or Real Player installed, but if the user has installed any popular games on his PC, it's highly likely QT is installed. And Macs of course come with QuickTime. Likewise, people that shop at sites like Amazon have installed RealPlayer by the millions. -->>>

From the article:

The most recent statistics show that a vast majority have Flash 6 loaded – a full 95.3% of machines on the Web today – with Flash 7 gaining on that, with over 80% of the Web browsers packing that newer player. That’s far more penetration than its nearest competitor, Windows Media, lagging far behind with 62% coverage. QuickTime and Real fall even further behind that. So the Flash platform is the most pervasive, and if you put your video on the Web using it, chances are your visitors will be able to see that video.
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Old December 8th, 2004, 04:16 PM   #5
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Yeah I never, ever, ever install Real Player on any system that matters - only in my web surfing computer. It's like spam-ware masquerading as legitimate software. So many things that software does that it doesn't tell you, and the install tries its hardest to sneak ad-revenue opportunities for them if you happen to not pay attention and do a default install.

WMV is, of course, dynamite for the PC world which is, of course, a majority. However, while Macs can install Media Player, most don't like to because of its checkered past on the Macs.

Quicktime has spread like wildfire on PCs also, but Flash really is a great cross-platform, pervasive solution.
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Old December 8th, 2004, 04:19 PM   #6
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File size versus quality

Would you have any rough guesstimates on file size versus quality when comparing WMV with Flash (Sorenson Squeeze 4 and Flix Pro)?
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Old December 8th, 2004, 07:08 PM   #7
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You don't need to buy Macromedia Flash MX to put your videos on the web using Flash format. The best tool I know of is Sorenson Squeeze for Flash. You get the standard Squeeze application but with only the Flash CODEC (the full package has more codecs like MPEG4 and QuickTime). The Sorenson tool gives you access to the many settings you'll want to use to get great video. The resulting FLV or SWF file is placed on your web page same as any other media (embed tag).

I spent a day surveying a variety of web video that people are serving up these days. I found a mix of QuickTime, Real, WMV and Flash. There were good looking and bad looking examples of each. Per byte, I think they are all about the same. In the big picture, I think you need to look at other things in addition to any perceived quality per byte. The tools and time to create it are one such thing, the reliability of the web delivery another, etc and so forth

I use QuickTime for streaming video and Flash for progressive download. They are both reliable cross platform and I don't get any complaints from visitors about quality or reliability.
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Old December 9th, 2004, 05:17 PM   #8
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>>File size versus quality<<

absolutely no question about it, wmp9 is far better than flash, wildflix, and sorenson.

the only way to get decent quality qt video is to pay big $$ for the pro-level sorenson... and it still lags in quality, as ben waggoner pointed out in that dv mag article i listed in the other thread.

for those of you that are doubting ben, he is a mac guy from way back... he hangs out at the creative cow compression forum, check it out for some of the latest mac encoding software... there are now a couple of aftermarket programs that will encode wmp9 on a mac, and there are also some new developments in mac mpeg2 encoding(finally!).

the bottom line here is that you have to encode this stuff yourself to understand the quality differences... you can't look at all kinds of video from all over the place and make a decision about the quality of a codec.
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