Using Flash Communication Server, we can make a complete movie stream player from scratch. These sixteen steps walk us through every step. Steps one through four are mandatory. They introduce the important concept of the event handler. Steps five through fifteen can be added at the reader's discretion. We'll be relying exclusively on the streamed object's event handler introduced in Flash MX. This event handler will notify us of every event occuring inside the streamed video. We will use this information to find out how big our video is, it's duration, frame rate, speed, etc. We will add several VCR controls to allow the user to change behavior of the streamed video. We'll start with simply play, pause and stop buttons. And add a dragable seek bar, buffer controls, and several other tricks. By the end of this section, you will have created a custom Flash Video VCR and mastered the ins-and-outs of the video object.
This tutorial is under construction.
Download the working FLVPlayer.fla FLA file. This has every feature added to the FlashCom VCR MoviePlayer.
1. Make An FLV
2. Upload to FlashComm Server
3. Attach the FLV video
4. Add an OnStatus Event Handler
5. Add a Play button
6. Add a Pause Button
7. Add a Time display
8. Add a Length Display
9. Add a Seek Bar
10. Add an Audio Mute Button
11. Add a Video Mute Button
12. Add a Smoothing Button
13. Add a Deblocking Button
14. Add a FPS meter
15. Add a Buffer Length Meter
16. Add a Buffer Length Selector
17. Add a PlayList
Make an FLV
What good is a VCR without a tape right? So before we make a VCR, let's create something we want to play, the Flash video file. A Flash video file is similar to any other video file on your computer. A Flash video file carries the ".FLV" extension. Just like a .mov or .mpeg file, FLV's contain compressed video frames, interlaced with an audio clip. The quality, size, frame rate, audio rate can vary from file to file. In addition, the FLV file is squeezed, mashed and compressed with every trick in the book to save on size and download speed. To view the video, a decoder is required. The decoder opens the compressed box and shows us what's inside. Different video formats require different decoders. QuickTime is a decoder for .mov files. Windows Media Play is a decoder for .avi files. Flash MX is a decoder for .flv files. As with other formats, without the decoder, you will not be able to view the video.
Since our goal is to build a VCR, let's not get caught up too much in making our video. There'll be plenty of time for Hollywood later. Instead, let's find a movieclip we like and use that for our video. Flash has built-in import and export features for foreign video content. So we can find an MPG, AVI , or MOV file and convert it to the FLV file format. If you do not have a movie-clip on your computer already that Flash can convert, search for one on the internet. There's about a million of them. For speed, find a clip that's roughly 30-200 seconds in duration. It will make our FLV conversion fast. Plus once we have our VCR built, we can stick any Flash video file into it. The clips can be as long as you'd like. My favorite place to find video files are movie trailer web sites. There are tons of movie trailers out there. They are also the perfect length. Download a few of them and save them to your computer. When you can find a mpg, mov, or avi file on your computer you are done. Make sure it is one of these formats before continuing. Flash can only convert these files.
After you've downloaded your clips, its time to convert them in Flash. Open Flash MX. Create a new Flash file. Open the library pallette (Control L). In the library palette, we need to make a new embedded video object. This is a new feature of Flash MX. Note, we are creating a new video object, not a symbol. We do this in the options menu of our library pallette. Under the Options menu, select "New Video". This creates a new blank video object in our library called "Embedded Video 1". This is a blank VCR tape we've just added. We need to record some video onto the tape. To do this, right click the "Embedded Video 1" object and choose "Properties...". This opens the video properties pallette. Click the "Import" button. Flash is now asking for the movie trailer file you downloaded. Find this trailer on your computer and click "Open".
After you've imported your video. It's time to export. In the video properties window, click the Export option (this option was not available out before we imported content).
Name the video file "MyVCRTape.flv". You have completed this step. You have an FLV file.