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Section B.6. Flash

B.6. Flash

Capability Rating
Browser compatibility and percent of browsers with Plug-in Excellent.
Interactive sound design capabilities Excellent. Format is both a popular playback standard and a multimedia authoring environment. Button rollovers, transitions, sound effects, loops, and audio synced to animation.
Software cost for encoding and streaming $200+. Must purchase Flash application to export Flash files. Format does not require dedicated server.
Level of documentation and support Excellent.
Audio encoding and content generation Easy.
Audio authoring and delivery Medium to Easy. Easy to encode Flash audio and place on standard web server for HTTP delivery. Medium difficulty to author Flash content.
Audio fidelity and compression Outstanding/Poor. Embedded sound effects and loops compressed with the MP3 compression technology sound great. Longer-playing streaming files tend to drop out.
Low-bandwidth performance Poor. Flash is not designed as a streaming playback medium. Flash streaming audio does not perform well in low-bandwidth environments. In contrast, Flash sound effects and loops work great with Flash's compact vector animation.
Server performance and quality of software tools for large-scale streaming Poor/Fair. The Flash format does not support large-scale broadcasting. RealFlash does support large-scale broadcasting when used with Real Networks RealServer.



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