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01/03: Interesting Flash Tricks and Players

While developing a new version for the Alma website, I found some interesting flash tricks that I want to share:

The XSPF Web Music Player
It's a highly configurable MP3 player that can read a track listing (written in XSPF, and XML format for sharing playlists) or a single mp3 url, and that is comparable to the DewPlayer (that I already mentionned in a previous article). Compared to Dewplayer, I really like the "single button" version, since it is much smaller and you can easily change the colors (background, button, etc...) or even the images used for the button through flash variables. So if you need something smaller than the dewplayer (particularly without the progress bar) and more configurable, it's an interesting choice. (I will update this article with an example as soon as the new website is online).
You can find this player here : http://musicplayer.sourceforge.net/

UFO.js
Very useful javascript code, it helps you inserting a flash movie in your page with many advantages :
. Clear code, no need to put all the <embed>etc.... html code, a single javascript line generates this html code with compatibility with major browsers. Basically, you create an empty identified DIV in your html, then create the movie in javascript like a simple object, and finally call UFO.create(MOVIE, "divName");
. The generated code is written so that Internet Explorer will auto-activate the flash movie : this very very useful, it avoids users to have to click a first time on any flash movie before being able to use them effectively (it uses microsoft API for autoactivating ActiveX modules).
. It can also be usefull to use a given part of your page (the DIV) being the "player" for various movies when you click on links. You will see this in the "videos" page of the website.
You can download this script and see how it works here : http://www.bobbyvandersluis.com/ufo/

Comments made

When you say the UFO.js script will "auto-activate" the Flash movie, this is different from "auto-play" right? It will just preload whatever is necessary for the movie to start right away?
I think an "auto"play" behaviour is way too obtrusive, kinda like pop-up windows.

Also, do you know whether the XSPF music player supports other formats beyond MP3? what about AAC?
01/03 19:25:11
"auto-activate" : this is linked to a problem of Internet Explorer blocking the flash movies (and more generally the ActiveX object) of a page. When you arrive on the page, you first have to click once on the movie to activate it. Then you can use it normally. This is stepped through with this script.
Concerning AAC, i am not sure, i have to digg this out...
Thanks for your questions !
08/04 12:25:38

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