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Importing Flash Video into Dreamweaver

Let’s start with how to add Flash video to a web page with Dreamweaver.

Capture and/or Encode an FLV file

First, select Insert > Media > Flash Video (see Figure 2).

Figure 2

Figure 2 Dreamweaver menu for inserting Flash video

In the Insert Flash Video dialog box, choose your insert options (see Figure 3).

Figure 3

Figure 3 Insert Flash Video dialog box for Progressive Download video

Select Progressive Download Video or Streaming Video from the pop-down menu.

With Progressive Download Video, the FLV file is kept external to the SWF file that Dreamweaver creates for you. The file is served from a normal web server through an HTTP request just like a normal web page or any other downloadable document. The video file must be downloaded to the client’s hard drive before it will play back. However, unlike traditional download-and-play methods of video delivery, with progressive download, the file starts playing before it has completely downloaded.

Progressive Download Video is best for hobbyists and students or for websites that have low traffic requirements and need to deliver only short videos.

The Streaming Video option streams the FLV video content using Flash Media Server (formerly the Flash Communication Server), a server solution optimized for the delivery of streaming, real-time media. You can host your own Flash Media Server or you can use a hosted Flash Video Streaming Service (FVSS). Adobe/Macromedia has partnered with several content delivery network (CDN) providers to offer hosted services for delivering on-demand Flash video across high-performance, reliable networks.

As with Progressive Download Video, when you use the Streaming Video option, FLV files are kept external to the SWF file that Dreamweaver creates.

Use the Streaming Video option if you need better control over video delivery; or advanced features, such as displaying video to large audiences, live video and audio delivery; or the tracking and reporting of video viewing statistics.

The Progressive Download option gives you a choice of several settings.

URL specifies a relative or absolute path to the FLV file. To specify a relative path (for example, mypath/myvideo.flv), click the Browse button, navigate to the FLV file, and select it. To specify an absolute path, type the URL (for example, http://www.domainname.com/myvideo.flv) of the FLV file.

On the Macintosh, you must use an absolute path if you are pointing to FLV files in directories that are two or more levels up from the HTML file.

Choose a Skin from the Skin drop-down menu. This setting specifies the appearance of the Flash Video component. A preview of the selected skin appears beneath the Skin pop-up menu (see Figure 4).

Figure 4

Figure 4 Skin options and a preview of the currently selected skin

Width specifies the width of the FLV file in pixels. To have Dreamweaver determine the exact width of the FLV file, click the Detect Size button. If Dreamweaver cannot determine the width, you must type a width value. Dreamweaver returns an error if width and height information are not included.

Height specifies the height of the FLV file in pixels. Dreamweaver can also determine the exact height of the FLV file with the Detect Size button.

Constrain maintains the same aspect ratio between the width and height of the Flash video component.

Auto Play specifies whether to play the video when the web page is opened.

Auto Rewind specifies whether the playback control returns to starting position after the video finishes playing.

Prompt Users to Download Flash Player if Necessary inserts code in the page that detects the version of Flash Player required to view the Flash video and prompts users to download the latest version if they don’t have it. This is the JavaScript code needed to prevent confusion among visitors requesting content from you that they cannot see.

Message specifies the message that will be displayed if the user needs to download the latest version of Flash Player to view the Flash video. I recommend that you enter your own message here, explaining that this is an entirely safe procedure, it is free. You can also describe here which content they will be missing if users do not get the download.

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