Flash files or Quicktime

Could someone help me with the difference between a Flash file and a Quicktime file of the same video for embedding into a Freeway page? Which one plays better? (I originally posted this in the Freeway Talk by mistake)


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I think this is a front-and-center topic for Freeway users, not necessarily off-topic for the main list. That said, here’s the difference between these formats:

QuickTime is a container format, and can contain any number of different media types. It provides common controller commands and mediates between the browser and the medium through a plug-in. The most common content format found within a QuickTime wrapper these days is MPEG4, which is simply an ISO-standardized flavor of the original QuickTime media format. HTML5 video is based on MPEG4, which is to say QuickTime. All modern browsers (except for FireFox, for reasons of patent-mongering, rather than any technical reason) can play QuickTime MP4 content directly – without any plug-in – in an HTML5 page within a video tag.

Now if you were to ask any random number of people whether they had QuickTime installed on their computer, very few would probably raise their hands. Ask the same group how many had iTunes installed (or better, just ask if they own an Apple iPod) and quite a lot more would raise them. That latter group would probably have to be told numerous times that this meant they had QuickTime installed before the truth would sink in. iPod and iTunes are the camel under the tent flap for QuickTime, and at this point, with something north of 90% of the technological world owning an iPod, QuickTime has never seen such universal installation rates. (Not that long ago, the same could be said about Flash, but owing to the immense popularity of those same iPods and iPhones and iPads, in pure numbers of Internet-capable devices – not just computers any more – that percentage is steadily dropping.)

In comparison, FLV is a media format, and it does not have its own container format. There are no browser plug-ins for playing it back. Instead, you have to wrap an FLV inside a SWF player to create the container. This reliance on SWF – requiring in turn the Flash plug-in – means that along with Flash, the FLV video format is going to become ghettoized as more and more “post-PC” devices are made and sold. (The dirty little secret here – FLV is, for all intents and purposes, MPEG4 video.)

So to sum up, QuickTime is the more universal choice, more people can play it back than you (or they) would expect, and using QuickTime makes it a simpler step forward to make HTML5 pages. Using Flash and FLV restricts the number of people who can view your work, and is backward-thinking rather than forward-thinking.

Walter

On Sep 28, 2011, at 9:31 AM, bob wrote:

Could someone help me with the difference between a Flash file and a Quicktime file of the same video for embedding into a Freeway page? Which one plays better? (I originally posted this in the Freeway Talk by mistake)


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Walther, this is so helpful!
I finally can relax about this and go
play with Quicktime.

If someone is using Firefox and a QT video is on the page
do they automatically get that pop-up notice about installing
QT plugin?

Thanks again,
Bob

On Wed, Sep 28, 2011 at 10:06 AM, Walter Lee Davis email@hiddenwrote:

I think this is a front-and-center topic for Freeway users, not necessarily
off-topic for the main list. That said, here’s the difference between these
formats:

QuickTime is a container format, and can contain any number of different
media types. It provides common controller commands and mediates between the
browser and the medium through a plug-in. The most common content format
found within a QuickTime wrapper these days is MPEG4, which is simply an
ISO-standardized flavor of the original QuickTime media format. HTML5 video
is based on MPEG4, which is to say QuickTime. All modern browsers (except
for FireFox, for reasons of patent-mongering, rather than any technical
reason) can play QuickTime MP4 content directly – without any plug-in – in
an HTML5 page within a video tag.

Now if you were to ask any random number of people whether they had
QuickTime installed on their computer, very few would probably raise their
hands. Ask the same group how many had iTunes installed (or better, just ask
if they own an Apple iPod) and quite a lot more would raise them. That
latter group would probably have to be told numerous times that this meant
they had QuickTime installed before the truth would sink in. iPod and iTunes
are the camel under the tent flap for QuickTime, and at this point, with
something north of 90% of the technological world owning an iPod, QuickTime
has never seen such universal installation rates. (Not that long ago, the
same could be said about Flash, but owing to the immense popularity of those
same iPods and iPhones and iPads, in pure numbers of Internet-capable
devices – not just computers any more – that percentage is steadily
dropping.)

In comparison, FLV is a media format, and it does not have its own
container format. There are no browser plug-ins for playing it back.
Instead, you have to wrap an FLV inside a SWF player to create the
container. This reliance on SWF – requiring in turn the Flash plug-in –
means that along with Flash, the FLV video format is going to become
ghettoized as more and more “post-PC” devices are made and sold. (The dirty
little secret here – FLV is, for all intents and purposes, MPEG4 video.)

So to sum up, QuickTime is the more universal choice, more people can play
it back than you (or they) would expect, and using QuickTime makes it a
simpler step forward to make HTML5 pages. Using Flash and FLV restricts the
number of people who can view your work, and is backward-thinking rather
than forward-thinking.

Walter

On Sep 28, 2011, at 9:31 AM, bob wrote:

Could someone help me with the difference between a Flash file and a
Quicktime file of the same video for embedding into a Freeway page? Which
one plays better? (I originally posted this in the Freeway Talk by mistake)


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They would only have a problem if you had coded your page as HTML5 and were making use of the new video tag. Freeway doesn’t offer that feature, although I am certain they will one day. If you use QuickTime in Freeway today, you will get a JavaScript wrapper around the standard object/embed tag, which works in all known browsers and pops the correct “Install a Plug-in or Enable ActiveX” dialog, depending on the browser in question.

Walter

On Sep 28, 2011, at 11:49 AM, bob cummings wrote:

If someone is using Firefox and a QT video is on the page
do they automatically get that pop-up notice about installing
QT plugin?


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One other thing.

Quicktime files are larger then Flash files.
There’s a free online program called ZAMZAR that
converts quicktime movies to FLV file format and
the file size is cut in half. Should that be done to
the QT file to save size?

At what point in file size do movies on a website not load immediately?

On Wed, Sep 28, 2011 at 11:53 AM, Walter Lee Davis email@hiddenwrote:

They would only have a problem if you had coded your page as HTML5 and were
making use of the new video tag. Freeway doesn’t offer that feature,
although I am certain they will one day. If you use QuickTime in Freeway
today, you will get a JavaScript wrapper around the standard object/embed
tag, which works in all known browsers and pops the correct “Install a
Plug-in or Enable ActiveX” dialog, depending on the browser in question.

Walter

On Sep 28, 2011, at 11:49 AM, bob cummings wrote:

If someone is using Firefox and a QT video is on the page
do they automatically get that pop-up notice about installing
QT plugin?


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Quicktime files are larger then Flash files.
There’s a free online program called ZAMZAR that
converts quicktime movies to FLV file format and
the file size is cut in half. Should that be done to
the QT file to save size?

Admittedly it can take some (or a lot) of tinkering with settings to strike that ideal balance of size/quality but QT videos can certainly be trimmed down to reasonable sizes. Besides using QT to do it there are numerous 3rd Party apps that could be used also.

Todd


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QuickTime files are not any larger than FLV files at the same exact quality level. If you were to use an application like Apple Compressor to export your FLV, and set it to an equivalent compression ratio and overall quality level as another clip you export from the same source movie in MPEG4 format, you would see that they are as identical as the proverbial peas in a pod. If you are comparing a full-fat QuickTime MOV file in 1080p size to a shrunken-head FLV, compressed beyond all caring from that source file, then it’s no question which one will be smaller. Which one will look better I can tell you without looking.

As far as quick-starting a movie, there is a setting in QuickTime Pro that you can use, called something like Fast Web Start, and what it does is sort the bits in the movie so that all of the headers (metadata inside the file) that describe the dimensions and duration of the film are at the very beginning of the data file, where they will be downloaded and made ready for the plug-in first. Setting a poster frame will also help, as that will be the next thing that downloads. The entire movie doesn’t download any faster, but it gets set up such that a) the visitor is distracted while the download proceeds, and b) the movie can begin to chase-play as soon as enough file has downloaded to buffer the connection speed and quality. The QuickTime plugin does this automagically.

Walter

On Sep 28, 2011, at 2:37 PM, bob cummings wrote:

One other thing.

Quicktime files are larger then Flash files.
There’s a free online program called ZAMZAR that
converts quicktime movies to FLV file format and
the file size is cut in half. Should that be done to
the QT file to save size?

At what point in file size do movies on a website not load immediately?

On Wed, Sep 28, 2011 at 11:53 AM, Walter Lee Davis email@hiddenwrote:

They would only have a problem if you had coded your page as HTML5 and were
making use of the new video tag. Freeway doesn’t offer that feature,
although I am certain they will one day. If you use QuickTime in Freeway
today, you will get a JavaScript wrapper around the standard object/embed
tag, which works in all known browsers and pops the correct “Install a
Plug-in or Enable ActiveX” dialog, depending on the browser in question.

Walter

On Sep 28, 2011, at 11:49 AM, bob cummings wrote:

If someone is using Firefox and a QT video is on the page
do they automatically get that pop-up notice about installing
QT plugin?


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Walter,

Huzzah!

By Jove, I think I’ve (finally) got it!

Frank H.

On Sep 28, 2011, at 7:06 AM, Walter Lee Davis wrote:

I think this is a front-and-center topic for Freeway users, not necessarily off-topic for the main list. That said, here’s the difference between these formats:

QuickTime is a container format, and can contain any number of different media types. It provides common controller commands and mediates between the browser and the medium through a plug-in. The most common content format found within a QuickTime wrapper these days is MPEG4, which is simply an ISO-standardized flavor of the original QuickTime media format. HTML5 video is based on MPEG4, which is to say QuickTime. All modern browsers (except for FireFox, for reasons of patent-mongering, rather than any technical reason) can play QuickTime MP4 content directly – without any plug-in – in an HTML5 page within a video tag…


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OK, Quicktime it is.

Now I need to use an animation program that
can make a quicktime file.

Does anyone have any suggestions?

On Wed, Sep 28, 2011 at 10:28 PM, Frank H email@hidden wrote:

Walter,

Huzzah!

By Jove, I think I’ve (finally) got it!

Frank H.

On Sep 28, 2011, at 7:06 AM, Walter Lee Davis wrote:

I think this is a front-and-center topic for Freeway users, not necessarily
off-topic for the main list. That said, here’s the difference between these
formats:

QuickTime is a container format, and can contain any number of different
media types. It provides common controller commands and mediates between the
browser and the medium through a plug-in. The most common content format
found within a QuickTime wrapper these days is MPEG4, which is simply an
ISO-standardized flavor of the original QuickTime media format. HTML5 video
is based on MPEG4, which is to say QuickTime. All modern browsers (except
for FireFox, for reasons of patent-mongering, rather than any technical
reason) can play QuickTime MP4 content directly – without any plug-in – in
an HTML5 page within a video tag…


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Now I need to use an animation program that can make a quicktime file.

What are you trying to animate?

David


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Hi David,

I have an image of a coffee table that is silhouetted from the background
that I’d like to have move across the frame, with maybe a movie
and/or still photo of clouds moving behind it.

Also

The coffee table (not silloutted) full photo with some of the
interesting transitions that are in Powerpoint (checkerboard, vortex,
ferris wheel) between the between the first and second photo I’d want to
display

Bob

On Thu, Sep 29, 2011 at 2:33 PM, DeltaDave email@hidden wrote:

Now I need to use an animation program that can make a quicktime file.

What are you trying to animate?

David


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You could always use Photoshop’s timeline to animate layers then export as Quicktime.


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Keynote can Export as QT movies.

D


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Hi deltadzine,

Just checked out Keynote.
Looks like what I’m looking for.
THANKS!
Bob

On Thu, Sep 29, 2011 at 6:45 PM, DeltaDave email@hidden wrote:

Keynote can Export as QT movies.

D


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Just be sure to compress the resulting QuickTime files through QuickTime Pro or Compressor – they will be desktop-quality when exported from Keynote, and you want to do all the re-jigging I referred to in my earlier posts on this topic, particularly the Fast Web Start bit.

Walter

On Sep 30, 2011, at 11:52 AM, bob cummings wrote:

Hi deltadzine,

Just checked out Keynote.
Looks like what I’m looking for.
THANKS!
Bob

On Thu, Sep 29, 2011 at 6:45 PM, DeltaDave email@hidden wrote:

Keynote can Export as QT movies.

D


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great!

On Fri, Sep 30, 2011 at 11:54 AM, Walter Lee Davis email@hiddenwrote:

Just be sure to compress the resulting QuickTime files through QuickTime
Pro or Compressor – they will be desktop-quality when exported from
Keynote, and you want to do all the re-jigging I referred to in my earlier
posts on this topic, particularly the Fast Web Start bit.

Walter

On Sep 30, 2011, at 11:52 AM, bob cummings wrote:

Hi deltadzine,

Just checked out Keynote.
Looks like what I’m looking for.
THANKS!
Bob

On Thu, Sep 29, 2011 at 6:45 PM, DeltaDave email@hidden wrote:

Keynote can Export as QT movies.

D


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