Archive for flow player

Flash Video on Websites

Posted in Technology with tags , , , , , , on June 10, 2009 by evanbutson

So I have been getting a lot of work recently that has involved deploying video to websites, normally as FLASH videos. I have always used the built in Flash interface that ships with Adobe Flash. Recently, I decided that for a new site I was working on I wanted a bit more control, a short websearch later and I came across Flow Player

Flow Player

It is a remarkably easy to deploy FLASH player that is in my opinion faster and easier to implement than the built in Adobe player.

Here’s a sample of it in use

The one thing it has brought into sharp focus for me is, traditional delivery methods such as VHS tapes, DVD and even BluRay are becoming more and more uncommon. I cant even remember the last time I delivered a master or a job as a DV tape, BetaCam SP or even Digital Betacam. Clients are embracing web video, especially in today’s painful economic climate. Web delivery is seen as a low cost solution that still gets the message out. That being said I am still amazed at how badly some webclips are encoded. I think that a lot of editors, just choose the default setting on their encoder of choice and that’s it, there is no finessing of the settings to get as good as possible an image within the desired limitations. I think I can best sum it up with a job I did recently where the client, a supposedly web savvy person, demanded that a 40 minute video be 10 meg or less. Now despite the fact that a 10 meg, 40 minute video will look like ass, I had real trouble getting the point across that the file size doesn’t matter, that the bitrate was the only important figure, the file could be 30 seconds long or an hour long, the bitrate was the important number. So what did I do, I ignored her instructions and created a file that looked good, had a bandwidth that meant the file would play well over their intranet and did I mention it looked good.

Moral to the story, if your an editor, learn the dark art of compression, never use a built in preset without looking through the settings and making sure they are the best for your particular need. And test, test, test. Encode a 1 minute file at a variety of bitrates, frame sizes and frame rates to see what happens, that way, when a client requests you deliver a file, you will already know what you can and cant get away with.