Flash - CD runs faster/slower on different computers

Hello,

I have a flash movie.  This Flash movie calls an external .FLV movie.  Both the .swf and .flv are put onto a CD.  Then, the CD will be distributed to many different people using many different computers.  The .SWF is set to 30 frames/second and the .FLV is 30 frames/second.  

The problem I have is that the CD seems to run at different speeds on different computers.  For example, when the .flv plays the .swf will show certain words and images at certain points during the movie.  Well, on my computer (which developed it) both the .flv and .swf and in sync.  But on other computers either the .flv or the .swf run slower or faster.  

Is there a way to ensure that the CD will run at the same speed on every computer?  Do I need to do a preloader?  Do I need to do something different?

I am using Flash MX 2004.

Thanks in advance.
rudyflyerAsked:
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fixitbenCommented:
To tell you truth I don't know I haven't had that problem.  I have had issues with lag on a CD but I normally don't load the files separtely if it is on a CD.  What I would try is to either have the video inside the Main MC not external or have the SWF inside the Main SWF that way there is only one that is loaded externally.  This way it might even out the problem. SO let me know if this is a possibilty and if not then maybe we can try some other things.

Fixitben
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rudyflyerAuthor Commented:
Thanks fixitben for the reply.  So, if I were to bring the video into the .fla do I just do a File -> Import?  Or is there a better way to do it?

Thanks.
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muso120999Commented:
I haven't actually tried this, but I'm fairly sure that a preloader would help (it certainly does with Director, which I don't think is too different in that respect), as you correctly point out CDs spin at various speeds.  Laptops are also notorious for spinning down too, which may cause it to look like it's crashed temporarily.  With the files embedded, I would still add a preloader, due to the way Flash streams its data.

muso
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rudyflyerAuthor Commented:
muso, should I embed the the .flv into the flash or should I keep the .flv as an external video which the .swf calls?  I did a preloader but maybe I did it wrong because the preloader does not seem to kick-in.  So, when a user puts the CD in the movie starts and we don't see the "Loading..." taking place.  Is there a preloader script you could point me to or help me with?


Thank you.
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muso120999Commented:
Personally, I would keep the files separate - but only because I don't like individual bulky files.  If you do embed any files (sound and video) though, check the linkage option in your library, and untick "Export in First Frame".  You then will need to add instances of these assets in the timeline somewhere, where they wont play (if they aren't already on the timeline somewhere). Also remove anything unnecessary from the first frame or so (where your preloader is going to run from), like images, etc.

If you check your bandwidth profiler, you can see how much it os trying to load in the first frame.  By using the above methods I would usually try to reduce the first frame to 32KB or less, to allow the preloader to come up immediately (before anything else has loaded).

Let me know if you are still confused :-)

muso


ps. basic preloader:

intervalID = main();
stop();
function initialize():Void {
      _root.percent = _framesloaded*100/_totalframes;
      if (_framesloaded>=_totalframes) {
            trace("PLAY!!");
            clearInterval(intervalID);
            play();
      } else {
            // update preloader...
      }
}

// main entry point: call initialize every 80 ms until movie is loaded
function main() {
      return setInterval(initialize, 80);
}
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muso120999Commented:
Oh, the script would go on the very first frame of your movie.

Also, you can make it more advanced by staggering the preloading.  By this I mean that you can check the bandwidth profiler to figure out how much needs to load to play the first section (it will continue streaming while this first section plays).  This way, you can reduce the apparent loading even more!

muso
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rudyflyerAuthor Commented:
muso,

Thank you.  I am away from my files now but want to be sure that this same concept will work when all the files are on a CD.  Basically, we are passing out CDs with this presentation on it.  People may not have a connection to the internet.  Will the preloading concept work on CDs?  

Thanks again.
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muso120999Commented:
> Will the preloading concept work on CDs?

Yes, I'm sure that it does (as it does with mapped network drives, etc)

However, without actually seeing, and testing your own files I cannot make a definitive yes or no as to whether it will solve the problem in your case.  There are too many unknown variables!

Therefore my recommendation would be to simply test it when you get back, and let us know if you are still having problems!

muso
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fixitbenCommented:
Yeah Muso's right.  But I am not sure about the preloader cause I have never tried one on a CD. So see if any of those work and let us know.

Fixitben
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rudyflyerAuthor Commented:
I'll be back in front of the files later in the day.  I will plug this code in and let you guys know.  Thank you so much for your help.  I look forward to implementing your ideas.

Thank you.
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rudyflyerAuthor Commented:
Well, you won't believe this.  Suddenly on our project task list the priorities shifted to another urgent project.  I have posted another question at http://www.experts-exchange.com/Web/WebDevSoftware/Flash/Q_21204575.html.  You guys have been such a huge help that I trust your advice and want to give you the points.

I will be coming back to this question later in the day.  As you can probably tell I am not the saviest person with Flash but these projects fell on my lap.

Thank you both.  
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rudyflyerAuthor Commented:
Hey muso and fixitben,

I can not believe I forgot to award points to this - sorry.  You two were a huge help to the project and I appreciate your advice.  You both were able to successfully point me in the direction with the preloader.  I was also able to implement some ActionScript which helped with some timing issues.

Your help was much appreciated!!!!
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muso120999Commented:
No worries!  Glad we could help!
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fixitbenCommented:
Same here.  

Fixitben
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