Topic: A Flash video problem

I would appreciate any help that you can give me concerning flash video!  I'm currently using the wmv format for the sermons that the church congregation that i attend  puts online.  I have been told by a developer that i needed to put them into the flash format to make them easier for people to view!  We currently have a site that we paid a developer to configure ( www.viewtheword.org  )with an embedded wmp that seems to play in all the browsers that i have checked it with so far.

However i'm trying to advance my knowledge and learn flash formatting among many other things dealing with web design.  I have used the flash encoder; but it does not seem to compress the video as tight for progressive download as wmv does. Also i can encode in wmv with both audio channels and video at a lower bit rate than i can with flash.  It seems that in order to get a file small enough with good playback quality in flash;  that it is at least a third bigger than that of the wmv.

And i'm wondering;  on top of all this;  do i also have to pay adobe or someone else for a flash player that i need to have embeded into the web page?

And if that is'nt enough; is there a way to embed multiple flash videos approx 30 to 40 on the same page in a css layout list that will pop up a hidden player each time a sermon is clicked on?  And if so; how?  With what code?


Thanks in advance for any help that you can give me concerning these many questions!!!!!
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                                           The *WORD* to live by: To live is *CHRIST*;  to die is gain!

Re: A Flash video problem

I have had really good luck with Flash Video MX by Moyea Software.  (I think they have re-branded Flash Video MX as Moyea Web Player, but its the same idea).

It will take most all formats (wmv, avi, dvd, mpeg, etc.) and convert them to flash in the size, shape and compression that you want and embed one of many players with it.  I used it for over a year on a video-heavy site and had good luck with it.  It will set you back about $100, but there is a free trial.


As for your other questions.  I've not compared filesize from WMV v. flash.  The player is embedded with the video so there is no need to have a separate one and they don't cost more.  As for multiple videos & pop-up, I'd use Lightbox/Thickbox/etc. method.

Re: A Flash video problem

As I understand, .wmv is a Windows based video format. .flv is Flash based... meaning it is independent of the operating system. When encoding FLV's there are several codecs available - probably the most common used now is the H.264 codec which provides decent quality and smaller file sizes. If you're looking for the best quality (and huge filesizes) you'd want to use the Quicktime video format (.mov). I've seen Flash players play videos in this format, but I'm not entirely sure if there's anything special you need to do to make them compatible.

You don't have to pay adobe for a video player - if you google "Free Flash video player" you'll get a bunch of results - however if you're looking for total customization or want to build your own from scratch - you'll need to obtain a copy of Flash.

Yes you can embed multiple flash videos in one page - but I'm not sure you'd want to do as many as 30 to 40 as that will use some bandwidth - especially if the videos autoplay when the player loads. I would use a solution such as these for presenting multiple Flash videos:

http://pcfchurch.org/media/  - the sermons are presented as a list, and when you click the film icon it opens in a new page... note: I designed and developed this site

http://gotoandlearn.com/  - again the videos are presented more as a list and they open on a new page. btw... this site offers some great flash tutorials

Hope this helps

Daniel Marino | www.iamdanielmarino.com

Re: A Flash video problem

I'm going to second that, when I worked at the Seminary we used the H.264 codec and it was really nice. The benefit of Flash is definitely in its OS independence, and that there's some crazy high percentage of people that have Flash players installed. With that codec it handles the compression better than most of the others and knocks down the file size.

And if you're looking for a player to present your FLV files, I recommend JW FLV Media Player. The other nice thing about that player, besides being really easy to setup is that it doesn't actually load the video until the person clicks the play button, then it does it progressively. Even if you had 30 or 40 on the page it wouldn't be a big deal unless the user clicked them all at once... And then it's their own fault. But even still, I don't recommend having too many on a page. smile

Re: A Flash video problem

dmarino and all,  Thanks for all your advice!  I really like the site that dmarino has configured!  Great job!  I'm wondering;  what does one of those flash videos,  for about 30 to 35 minutes run in MBs?  Yes wmv is a windows based format;  but i've heard that there are players that Mac can also use as plug-ins that will play them.  I'm able with windows media encoder to get a 35 minute sermon with both audio channels compressed to about 40MB progressive download.  I'm currently running approx 30 to 40 in a list on this site - www.viewtheword.org - They connect to one embeded wmv that pops up when the desired speed is clicked on;  but i have also watched them on a linux Ubunta os with their plug-in player with no problem.  I do like the quality that flash seems to be good at; but i'm still wondering if that is due to a much bigger video file?   Is there a trade off in file size compared to what i've told you?  I have no bandwidth problems as the hosting company has a very good deal and so far;  for about 5 to 6 yrs we have never come close to it!  Thank you!!!!
________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
                                                           The *WORD* to live by:  To live is *CHRIST*;  to die is gain!

Re: A Flash video problem

I'm not sure what the size of those vids are... The church is responsible for all of that - it's managed through Textpattern CMS. If bandwidth isn't an issue - wouldn't matter so much since the video is progressively downloaded, meaning it plays it as it's downloading (once the play button has been pressed). What might matter is if you using a shared hosting server... that might gum up the works in which case you'd want to look into a virtual private server.

Daniel Marino | www.iamdanielmarino.com

Re: A Flash video problem

dmarino,  Don't take this the wrong way;  but i had already anticipated that reply about bandwidth.  The main problem with bandwidth is not with my hosting service;  but rather the internet service provider in this area.  I have had problems in the past with them slowing down my upload speed and i do not want to cause any friction with them!  When i first started uploading the wmv sermons;  i was in the learning process and most would run anywhere between 80MB and 120MB.  The ips would slow me down so much that i could not keep the connection from my Ftp and sometimes they would shut me down altogether.  Through many calls to them and me threatning to have my service completely cut off;  they have worked with me!  I just do not want to push them if i do not have to; if you know what i mean!

I like the way flash looks and would very much prefer that method;  but i really need to know all the ins and outs before i make that change!  We are a small congregation and i do everything from my home to help keep our costs down for now or atleast until we grow!  We have been endeavoring on a bigger and better building and so for now;  i have to keep the cost down on my end.

I once was able to have a business account set up for my home with my isp;  but since then they have took that option off the table with some upgrades they made to the system about 2 yrs ago!

So with all this said;  you can see why need to know all the details before i make the change over!  I definately think that the quality of your site and videos are far more above those of our congregation's!

So if anyone can give me any idea about the size of flash 35 minute videos compared to wmv 35 minute video progressive download file sizes;  i would deeply appreciate your help!  And are there better flash encoding programs out there with more options for progressive download than that of Adobe?

Thanks so much and i do appreciate all your help!!!
________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
                                                   The *WORD* to live by: To live is *CHRIST*;  to die is gain!