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Chapter 6. Managing Outside Communication > Communicating With External Video

Communicating With External Video

In Chapter 2 you learned how to embed and play video from a variety of formats (AVI, MOV, MPEG) in Flash. However, embedded video has a length restriction (16,000 frames, or approximately 8.5 minutes of 30 fps video). Also, embedded video does not truly stream. It only streams because the main Timeline of a SWF streams. If an embedded video is inside a movie clip, the entire movie clip must download before playing. By dynamically loading external video, you can bypass these problems and make your Flash project more modular by separating download-on-demand content from interface elements (in the same way that loading external SWFs or JPGs can). Using external video is also free from the restriction that embedded video must have the same frame rate as its container Flash movie. So you can have a 12 fps Flash movie but still be able to show a 30 fps video.

Loading external video requires that your video be in the FLV (Flash Video) file format. The FLV format was previously used exclusively with communication applications, such as the Flash Communications Server. With Flash MX 2004, you now have the ability to progressively download an external FLV file without the Flash Communication Server.


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