Centrally accessed files

I need to have a way to store all of the video files for my site centrally so that they are accessed on the various pages once someone clicks on the link. The idea is to cut down on the load time for each page, especially since the site has a heavy usage of carousels.

My thought is to create loader page images for each video and have them placed in the correct spot on each page. Once the image is clicked it would then load the proper video into that location and begin to play.

I have done a fair amount of browsing through the CMS discussions here and took a look at the new AjaxFileListing action, but I am unsure if these are what I need. We have an internal FileMaker database and all the files could be placed into that for access (although I don’t know how that works) via the MySQL database and php available on our server.

Am I doing an overkill? Is there just a simple way to load all the files into one folder and then have each loader link to the right file via an action I am unaware of?

Thanks.


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Am I doing an overkill?

Possibly. It is easy enough to create a directory on your server that the video files can reside. You image page links would then be sent up to be external links to the files in that folder. Very straight forward.

The trick may be who (how many) have access to that folder. If you don’t need alot of people mucking about in that folder then the above should work.


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What you’re describing sounds a lot like “lazy loading”, and
depending on how your movies are encoded, this can be easy or
difficult to pull off.

The database part of it sounds like another major wrinkle waiting to
happen. Would you be restricting access to these movies based on some
access rules in the database? Do you have a Filemaker <–> MySQL
bridge that you are using to integrate the data from one world to the
other? (They’re not compatible, except as an export-import sort of
thing, involving a Rosetta stone of one sort or another.)

But as to the lazy-loading part. Here’s two ideas:

  1. Make everything available as QuickTime, and use the native “poster
    movie” technique described here <http://www.walterdavisstudio.com/
    posterframe.html> to create “click-to-download-and-play” poster
    images for each movie.

  2. Upload all the full-size movies to a central location, as you
    describe, then use a JavaScript function to replace the content of a
    much smaller image of the same type as your movie with the full data
    version. For example, let’s say you had a Flash movie in a SWF
    wrapper. Make a tiny 1 frame version of the movie that includes the
    “click to play” text as an overlay. Place that in your page as
    normal, then add a click listener to the preview movie using
    Protaculous[1] Observer:

Apply Observer to the preview movie. Add the ‘click’ event to the
Event field, then add the following code to the Function Body editor:

this.down('object').movie = '/path/to/movie.swf';
this.down('embed').src = '/path/to/movie.swf';

Replace path/to/movie with the real path to your high-quality file,
naturally.

Walter

  1. http://actionsforge.com/actions/view/19-observer

On Oct 20, 2008, at 12:13 PM, george wrote:

I need to have a way to store all of the video files for my site
centrally so that they are accessed on the various pages once
someone clicks on the link. The idea is to cut down on the load
time for each page, especially since the site has a heavy usage of
carousels.

My thought is to create loader page images for each video and have
them placed in the correct spot on each page. Once the image is
clicked it would then load the proper video into that location and
begin to play.

I have done a fair amount of browsing through the CMS discussions
here and took a look at the new AjaxFileListing action, but I am
unsure if these are what I need. We have an internal FileMaker
database and all the files could be placed into that for access
(although I don’t know how that works) via the MySQL database and
php available on our server.

Am I doing an overkill? Is there just a simple way to load all the
files into one folder and then have each loader link to the right
file via an action I am unaware of?

Thanks.


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Thanks Walt.

I am using .swf files for the video and have figured out how to “poster movie” these. I will try your ‘lazy-load’ method and see how I get along.

How do I make sure nobody and access the folder that will hold all of the video files?


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You could put an .htaccess lock on the files, I suppose. Or do you
mean only not let them browse the list of files and pick the ones
they want? For the latter, just put an index.html file in there with
no contents, or set your server to turn off Auto Indexing.

If you want to do something more ambitious, like look up users in a
database and only allow them to see the movies they’ve paid for, then
you’re well into custom application territory.

Walter

On Oct 20, 2008, at 2:26 PM, george wrote:

Thanks Walt.

I am using .swf files for the video and have figured out how to
“poster movie” these. I will try your ‘lazy-load’ method and see
how I get along.

How do I make sure nobody and access the folder that will hold all
of the video files?


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Well, I took a crack and no dice. I created a .swf “poster movie” and added the Observer action. I also uploaded the video to a folder called videos in my server directory (www/new_site/videos). The poster movie shows that it is a link, but nothing happens.

Here is the link if you can take a peek. Click the Photo Slideshow button. Also, I have done something similar previous within Vertical Moon’s Image2SWF software - click the Custom Combo button. The downside to this approach is that you must change the poster frame every time the main video changes since the loader is hard coded into the poster frame file.

http://reeltimedvd.com/new_site/moviematrix.html

Thanks.


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Hmmm. I think I understand what is happening here. The click is being
“swallowed” by Flash, and it’s not bubbling out to the movie’s parent
DIV. You’re going to have to go to the hard coded poster frame
technique, I’m afraid.

Walter

On Oct 20, 2008, at 3:14 PM, george wrote:

Well, I took a crack and no dice. I created a .swf “poster movie”
and added the Observer action. I also uploaded the video to a
folder called videos in my server directory (www/new_site/videos).
The poster movie shows that it is a link, but nothing happens.

Here is the link if you can take a peek. Click the Photo Slideshow
button. Also, I have done something similar previous within
Vertical Moon’s Image2SWF software - click the Custom Combo
button. The downside to this approach is that you must change the
poster frame every time the main video changes since the loader is
hard coded into the poster frame file.

http://reeltimedvd.com/new_site/moviematrix.html

Thanks.


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You’re going to have to go to the hard coded poster frame
technique, I’m afraid.

I agree. Just use a graphic (jpeg, gif) of the frame you wish to display instead of a movie file.


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I tried to get this to work with a QT poster movie and am not having luck with that either. In fact, I don’t even get the poster to show as a link.

The QT version is on the same page as before under Photo Slideshow.

Thanks.


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Make a poster movie on a flat page – no Carousel – and see if you
can make it work there. Once you do, then you can copy it out of the
flat page and into a carousel and see if it still works there.

Walter

On Oct 20, 2008, at 5:15 PM, george wrote:

I tried to get this to work with a QT poster movie and am not
having luck with that either. In fact, I don’t even get the poster
to show as a link.

The QT version is on the same page as before under Photo Slideshow.

Thanks.


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Thanks. Do I need to add the embeded items to the poster frame or do I just add the QT movie and then apply Observer?


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Follow my instructions from the posterframe page I linked to earlier.
If you’re doing a regular QuickTime poster frame, you don’t need to
use any JavaScript – it’s all done with QuickTime itself.

Walter

On Oct 20, 2008, at 5:21 PM, george wrote:

Thanks. Do I need to add the embeded items to the poster frame or
do I just add the QT movie and then apply Observer?


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On 20 Oct 2008, 8:55 pm, chuckamuck wrote:

You’re going to have to go to the hard coded poster frame
technique, I’m afraid.

I agree. Just use a graphic (jpeg, gif) of the frame you wish to display instead of a movie file.

Still use Observer? Does the code stay the same?


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No, you won’t need observer. Just follow the example in this page:

http://www.walterdavisstudio.com/posterframe.html

Walter

On Oct 20, 2008, at 5:35 PM, george wrote:

On 20 Oct 2008, 8:55 pm, chuckamuck wrote:

You’re going to have to go to the hard coded poster frame
technique, I’m afraid.

I agree. Just use a graphic (jpeg, gif) of the frame you wish to
display instead of a movie file.

Still use Observer? Does the code stay the same?


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Ok. I got myself confused. If Observer doesn’t work with flash and is not needed for QT, what is it for?


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It was an attempt to fix the Flash problem, but an ill-founded one.
Save it for another time. It will save your life one day, as the Army
training manuals have it…

Walter

On Oct 20, 2008, at 5:56 PM, george wrote:

Ok. I got myself confused. If Observer doesn’t work with flash
and is not needed for QT, what is it for?


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On 20 Oct 2008, 8:55 pm, chuckamuck wrote:

You’re going to have to go to the hard coded poster frame
technique, I’m afraid.

I agree. Just use a graphic (jpeg, gif) of the frame you wish to display instead of a movie file.

I’m still confused by your comment. I tried using a .jpg with Observer, but it didn’t work and Walt confirmed it won’t. What are you suggesting?


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I’m still confused by your comment. I tried using a .jpg with Observer, but it didn’t work and Walt confirmed it won’t. What are you suggesting?

I was only suggesting to use simple links to the movie files.
You could have the files open in a pop window.

I don’t think I fully understand what you are trying to accomplish so i’m not sure my comment is relevent.


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That will, of course work – on a Mac (most of the time). Other
browsers require that you use the whole JavaScript call to the plug-
in, on account of the miserable way they handle plug-in content, or
in the case of IE, because they are bitchy about being spanked by the
court for misusing their monopoly position in the marketplace to the
detriment of their infinitesimal-by-comparison competition.

So in order to get the plug-in to load correctly, what you need to do
is use a one-frame movie, which is really just a JPEG with a .mov
filename extension, and then set the href attribute of that “movie”
to the actual full-length file. Once you have done that, you will get
the “click to play” effect for free, courtesy of the plug-in.

Walter

On Oct 21, 2008, at 12:56 AM, chuckamuck wrote:

I’m still confused by your comment. I tried using a .jpg with
Observer, but it didn’t work and Walt confirmed it won’t. What
are you suggesting?

I was only suggesting to use simple links to the movie files.
You could have the files open in a pop window.

I don’t think I fully understand what you are trying to accomplish
so i’m not sure my comment is relevent.


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