IE ActiveX check
Will any of you PC/IE users check this webpage and tell me if it requires the ActiveX Object tag fix for the embedded Quicktime file?
If this is an obsolete problem, please let me know. But if the fix is necessary for earlier IE browser versions that are still in circulation, I need to know.
If someone knows of a fix tailored for GoLive 7.0.2, please point the way.
In Safari, Firefox, Camino on my Mac, the video loads fine.
Not totally clear on your question - don't know about this fix( I never embed Quicktime - too many users don't have it).
But http://www.browsershots.org may help you - it will show your page in a big variety of browser / operating system combinations. You may need to make a page specifically to test.
So far as I can see your linked page only has one QT file, in a link (Song of a Bordertown Artist). You'd need to feed browsershots with a URL that has an embedded file directly. The page itself loads a Flash file fine.
For what it's worth, testing on an old Windows system with IE6 here (if that's old enough for you!) http://www.w3schools.com/browsers/browsers_stats.asp the ("song") link produces a broken QT symbol and no action, though the browser has the QT plug-in, and on many sites can play QT successfully.
Similar results with Firefox 2 on the same platform - plays lots of QT but not this. So I guess your answer is "fix needed". As to a fix via GoLIve I have no idea - but does this need to be in QT and not Flash ...? http://www.statowl.com/plugin_overview.php
Couple of other thoughts you didn't ask for. Loading is quite slow here, and there's not much sign of anything happening - worth a preloader, or some kind of hourglass ..?
The three Flash movies all appear to be silent - is that right, or are you using a Flash audio codec not supported on the player installed here?
And you know of course that as of this Sat am the page fails w3c validation on a few minor points ...?
I can't thank you enough for the http://www.browsershots.org link! It reveals what I was afraid of.
The Quicktime/IE/Object Tag/ActiveX problem I was referring to is described here, and a fix referred to in the "Providing a Seamless Experience in Internet Explorer" section:
Since my flash files are loading so slowly, I realize that I'm going to have to bite the bullet and purchase Flash and perhaps Flash Server. Up to now, I've been compressing my HD web clips in Compressor, and then converting those QT files into Flash by changing the .mov to .flv.
I'm starting to suspect that Flash will do a better job at compressing my master HD QT files into smaller files for the web, which hopefully will improve their load time significantly. I realize that I'll need Flash to write the Flash document and finesse the skins, too, which I cannot do with the trial Dreamweaver program.
So, it looks as if I'll have to invest in these programs, which I was hoping to avoid.
Based on the literature, it seems that streaming rather than progressive downloading is the way to go. This will require Flash Server and Flash, I believe.
Do you recommend streaming over progressive download? Do most browsers support streaming? Are Flash and Flash Server doing a good job at creating these files? Or are there problems?
Thanks for your advice.
OK now I know a bit more about what you're after.
Do you need Flash? Well, there are reported to be good free or cheap flv encoders around, and there are decent free player too, including http://www.longtailvideo.com/players/jw-flv-player/
It might help to restrict your data rate, and perhaps to opt for the VP6 codec which gives decent quality but still plays smooth on slower computers.
But if you're doing a lot of Flash for the web, buying and learning Flash will be useful. There's quite a lot to learn, though, and it's quite "technical" - allow yourself a little learning time.
If you're managing without Dreamweaver now (lots of people are) then there's no need for you to buy it.
Streaming - much low-volume video works fine in "progressive download", which is easy and cheap to deploy, can work on pretty well all web hosts and browsers. It's the way to start, and can give a good user experience. If you feel you want "streaming", probably your best bet is to find and use a web host or service provider that has Flash Media Server and offers the service - but I'd recommend getting to grips with and trying out the easier route first and see if it works for you and your users. It probably will.
That particular IE "bug" from a couple of years back was the result of a patent dispute which has now gone away. For a while, Microsoft made its browsers so any ActiveX content had to be accepted / clicked as OK to play by the user, in light of court action from Eolas. That has all been resolved.
The issue of how best to put (Flash or) Quicktime into a webpage without breaking web standards remains is tricky.
The ways recommended by both Apple and Adobe are both reported to result in code that breaks w3c compliance, which of course is bad - Disability Discrimination Act bad. Though they both largely work.
The issues are widely attributed to the non-standards-compliant way that successive versions of IE are alleged to have ignored web standards, and how others have reacted to the resulting problems. But there are also published solutions.
There are a lot of articles around on standards compliant embedding of QT - if you started a new thread here on that subject you'd probably get a lot of advice.
You could try starting with one of these ...
Thanks so much for all of your great advice. I bit the bullet, downloaded On2Flix Exporter, converted my QT video files to proper flash files, lowered the data rate, and chose the VP6-E FLV, 56K modem setting.
The browsershot checks are looking better, although my flash videos still aren't loading in older Windows versions, like 6 and lower. Frankly, I'm not too worried because my audience are mostly Mac users anyway.
May I bother you with 2 more questions?
Is there a way to eliminate the volume button from my flash skin? Most of my video clips are silent.
Can you recommend any free flash MP3 players for embedding a single track MP3 file in one of my web pages? I have one QT MP3 file in one page, and of course it doesn't work in Microsoft browsers. Aarrgh.
I can't thank you enough for your help :)
Search for the "Yahoo! Media Player"
There are other options like the Odeo MP3 Player and the Google Reader MP3 Player. It's not that difficult to use them.
The volume button on your flash skin is... well, in the skin. There's no easy way to eliminate it, but you can choose a different Skin.
Search for some "Free Flash Skins"
Glad it's working out.
Just for info, it all works fine in IE 6 on WinME here, and it's very hard to get IE6 on XP any more - any XP security updating will replace it with IE7.
http://flash-mp3-player.net/ looks like a decent set of free, open source Flash mp3 players.
Skins - does the On2 player not allow customisation? It might be worth e-mailing their customer support to tell them what you want - they might have a fix. Otherwise, there are quite a few free Flash players around.
Flowplayer seems quite good at a quick glance - http://flowplayer.org/
And it seems quite configurable - there's an example config with no audio controls at http://flowplayer.org/demos/skinning/skin-examples.html
which shows both how it will look and also the config code to get that look ... there some more config detail at http://flowplayer.org/documentation/configuration/plugins.html#display-prop...
If none of this is working out for you do report back. I've been working on and off on building Flash players to use, eventually, on my own site.
Btw, love the art.
Those women from the 60s that kept you sane - great stuff. Once stumbled upon a "happy disturbed women's choir" in Amsterdam, a long time ago - quite an experience.
Ha! Love the idea of a "happy disturbed women's choir." Thanks for the feedback about the art, Mike :)
I will take up your suggestions about the flash players, too.
By the way, I forgot to mention that my flash videos are not loading properly on MSIE 8, according to the http://www.browsershots.org. I did some reading and learned that this version was released just a few months ago. Is it some bug that needs to be fixed? Or is it that MSIE requires Flash version 9? I used Flash 8 to create my videos, thinking it was the safe thing to do.
It does look like a problem in IE8. It's not a Flash issue - you will be fine using Flash 8 created videos.
It looks like there may be an issue with how how Flash is embedded in IE 8 using the swfobject_modified.js file that I think Dreamweaver created for you.
It may be that Adobe will have to fix this as IE slowly spreads, or that Microsoft may do something.
Until one of those things happens, it might be worth your experimenting with other ways to embed your Flash file. On possible starting place is http://code.google.com/p/swfobject/
There's a quick IE only browser renderer at http://ipinfo.info/netrenderer/
The videos look fine in my computer with IE8 and IE6 running Win XP.
(Mike, you can install multiple Internet Explorer versions in the same computer using this installer)
Thank you, Mike and Fernando, for your amazing help.
Do any of you know why the flash videos load properly in Fernando's IE8/XP and not in the IE/XP browsershots.org check? How reliable is the browsershots website?
You can assign, in browsershots, the version of Flash you want to have for your previews. I'm not sure what happens if you let the "Don't care" option selected, but maybe that's the problem.
That makes sense, Fernando. Thanks for pointing that out.