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TO FLASH OR NOT TO FLASH....

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Joshua Ferg
TO FLASH OR NOT TO FLASH....
on Feb 20, 2006 at 1:40:59 pm

Hi All -

I have a client that's doing a series of diamond videos - very short, 10 second clips, of the diamond rotating - that will be viewed by users on a web page.

We thought Flash would be best but the client now thinks WMV files would be best do to the number of Windows systems on the market.

Can the pros offer any insights here?

Thanks in advance,

Best,
Josh


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Chris Figat
Re: TO FLASH OR NOT TO FLASH....
on Feb 20, 2006 at 4:00:36 pm

there may be more windows systems but you'll have varying versions, connection speeds, etc., and i personally hate the WMP's constant buffering. Personally i'd go with a flash solution with a simple preloader, or even a flash movie loading an FLV file. I don't know the exact numbers but the flash player had one of the highest penetrations of any plug-in.

chris


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Joshua Ferg
Re: TO FLASH OR NOT TO FLASH....
on Feb 20, 2006 at 4:35:08 pm

Chris -

Thanks for your input. Have forwarded the reponse to the client.

Best,
Josh


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lajoiet
Re: TO FLASH OR NOT TO FLASH....
on Feb 20, 2006 at 4:35:44 pm

Well, you alluded to some of the answers in your post. The client mentioned the number of Windows systems out there. So right off the bat you've eliminated 10-15% of the users. As Chris mentioned on top of that many Windows system may not have the right plugin, and you can't guarantee how it will display. Sometimes they will see it in the web page sometimes it will open in a new window, sometimes it will open Media Player and play in there. I've run into all of these situations and didn't like the experience in any of them. I hate the way the plugin looks on the web sites, and the videos often don't start or hang, especially with nonstandard browsers like Opera and Firefox.

Flash gives you cross-platform access, simple install if the plugin isn't already there, and a consistent and highly customizable user experience. Flash will never open an external media player, and will only open a new window if you tell it to. You can also display and control the video in several ways giving you more optinons beyond just playing the video.

>Todd
_____________________________________

I'm filling a need. Without me there would be no bad examples.
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Joshua Ferg
Re: TO FLASH OR NOT TO FLASH....
on Feb 20, 2006 at 7:18:29 pm

Todd

Great answer - thanks.

I'm posting a response from the client, perhaps you or someone equally experienced, can offer some definitives. I dont want to give him my answers without confirming from a guru.

"Since the looping movies are only about 8 seconds long and
files quite small won't buffering be to a minimum and if we use a
progressive download then I think viewing will be instantaneous.

I need a solution that will show the best result. i.e.. loosing as little as
possible quality from the original movie. And it seems to me that flash is
an extra step in the process.

The application that is most popular and since every explorer browser
comes with a windows media player. I think flash is cool but if we do not intend to touch up the movie why is
it necessary. Will flash look better than the original movie in windows media player?"


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Chris Figat
Re: TO FLASH OR NOT TO FLASH....
on Feb 20, 2006 at 9:25:56 pm

Flash would be the exact same "extra step" that loading a movie in WMP would be, except that you know the flash movie will load in the browser correctly and not potentially spawn a new window nor hang while loading as was already mentioned (which may or may just be me but i notice WMP glitches in my use of both mac and windows machines). Aesthetically you can also load the flash player right into the page seamlessly, and as far as the most popular application I believe (check on this, not positive) that the flash player ships with all browsers now, meaning you'll have a higher install base on both platforms than with WMP.

chris


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Chris Figat
And... (quality)
on Feb 20, 2006 at 9:27:21 pm

The quality as compared to the original movie will depend on the compression of whatever format you use, any format can look better than any other depending on the amount it's compressed.

chris


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George Socka
Re: And... (quality)
on Feb 22, 2006 at 2:41:31 am

Two points:
WMP takes time to load - which may distract from the experience

The viewer has options relating to window size that you may not want

The quality can be the same - in either case you are compressing from some source to wmv or flv. The better the quality, the larger the file, the more buffering in WMP




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