Monthly Archives: December 2009

Old Flash Work

So today I purchased a USB external hard drive enclosure for an old Hard Drive which was sitting at the bottom of a box ever since I became a passionate lover of netbooks and ‘shuttle’ desktops. On it I discovered one of my first personal projects in Flash; an in-browser mp3 player which looks and operates like an iPod. It is available in pink, blue, green and… um, we’ll call it brown.

I’d stopped working on it when I was having some trouble getting it to read an XML file to configure the playlist… given my technical knowledge has come a far way since there, I began working on getting past that hurdle, when when my girlfriend pointed out that this particular make of iPod went out a few years ago. * sigh *

Ya, the tunes are by me and some buds back when I was in high school and CEGEP.

Another major challenge I faced when working on it was the reality that artists don’t usually want end-users/visitors to be able to save or download their tracks to their computer, but for a in-browser media player such as this – which plays external mp3 files (not embedded in the SWF file) – the mp3s are inevitably downloaded to the visitor’s computer.

Don’t get what I mean? Try this: listen to some of the tunes available on my media player, and – if you are using Internet Explorer (which you shouldn’t be) – you should be able to find any mp3 files you listened to in the "C:\Users\User\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files" folder. You may think that the solution to this problem is streaming, but beware! Streaming is actually a little ambiguous when developing Flash.

  • The Actionscript/Flash APIs use the term ‘streaming’ when the mp3 file can begin playing before being fully downloaded (Progressive Download) but it is nonetheless is downloaded to the client machine. Check out the ActionScript Dictionary and note that the second argument to Sound::loadSound is labelled ‘isStreaming’.
  • More conventionally, streaming refers to the media is played over a persistent connection without ever being downloaded to the client machine. (RTMP)

So if you’re getting into Flash, and you are searching the Internet for solutions to the problem of not-downloading-mp3-files-to-the-client-machine, don’t be fooled by all the Flash tutorials on streaming audio which are actually tutorials on Progressive Download audio.