Similar to flash for audio, flash is also used for playing video files on the internet due to widespread installation of flash player on PCs. It uses the FLV file format.
Flash offers easy control on the appearance of the player like play and stop controls, the window around the video, etc. so custom player can be created.
FLV files compress well to give smaller file size and with minimal loss in quality, so videos load and play quickly hence lower bandwidth needed. Due to these reasons popular websites use flash for video playback like YouTube and MySpace, which convert videos uploaded to them into the FLV format.
Flash is created in authoring software which create and edit FLA files having the .fla file extension but to use it on internet, it is exported to SWF files or Flash movies having the .swf file extension. The flash player plug-in is installed in most of the computers.
Adding a flash movie to a web page is done by using the <object> and <embed> tags as shown
codebase=”http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=6,0,0,0″ width=”400″ height=”300″ id=”movie” align=”center”>
<embed src=”movie.swf” quality=”high” width=”400″ height=”300″ name=”movie” align=”center” type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” plug inspage=”http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer” />
<param name=”movie” value=”movie.swf” />
The classid attribute specify the plug-in to use for playback and the codebase attribute specifies where the plug-in can be found if the user does not have it installed. The <param> tag has attributes for specifies the flash movie location and can also indicate automatic play nature and looping of movie to play. The <embed> tag gives similar information, by using attributes like the src attribute indicates flash movie location, width and height attributes for space needed for the player and the quality attribute indicates how high quality the flash movie should be but is not used now.