6 Replies Latest reply on Jun 5, 2006 2:14 AM by BLKRO

    Preloader - slowing things down?

    MrIzzard
      Hello there - hope you're good - thanks for looking at this.

      I've been experimenting with 2 different kinds of preloaders, they both work (internal & external preloaders), both giving the same kinda results... but both slowing things down a bit.

      Let me explain!



      I have 2 swfs, each one about 500k, with some streaming audio embedded in the timeline, and banks of buttons that hop around the timeline to play different sounds.

      In a sec i'll post a link to an example page, but let me explain first what you'll be looking for the first time they load.

      The swf on the left (just under the VOICE title) has a preloader built into the beginning of the movie, which i made thanks to Lee's "Advanced Flash Preloader" (at www.gotoandlearn.com) tutorial. I've made sure there's no data on the first 2 frames (where the preloader is) so it should load quick. The preloader graphic is just a bar that fills from left to right.

      The swf on the right (just under the MUSIC title) is an external preloader called MUSIC2.swf, that preloads MUSIC.swf. This was made using Lee's "External SWF Preloading" tutorial. The preloader graphic for this is just a percentage.

      With both of them there's still a delay before even showing the preloader - and then i reckon the actual preloading process is slowing things down. When i tried other versions of the swf's that just opened normally, they seemed to load much quicker.

      At the moment i'm thinking that the issue of the preloading graphic not showing straight away is an actual fixable problem, but the issue of the preloading graphic slowing the preloading is probably just the way it is?



      Anyway, here's the link...

      http://keepholding.com/examplesinner2.htm

      (ignore the fact the functionality of the audio buttons on the panel on the left is a bit screwey - i haven't fixed that since i shifted everything along by 2 frames to make the preloader!).



      Now my mum has a slow dial-up connection, and she didn't even get to see either of the preloaders, before she had to go to bed!

      Thinking about it, there are some small solo audio swf buttons further down the page - so may the browser will try and load those first - even though they're only tiny - maybe THAT is the problem?!

      Oh by the way, the reason i've used 2 different types of preloaders is just for experimentation. I plan to use the best one on both when it's proven to work properly.




      Some of the files i've used are in this zip file

      http://keepholding.com/bits.zip

      VOICEUNITv2 is the raw FLA file used to make VOICES3.swf

      MUSICLOADER is the raw FLA file used to make preloader MUSIC2.swf, which preloads MUSIC.swf.


      Does any of this make sense?
      Can you help?!
      cheers

      James
        • 1. Re: Preloader - slowing things down?
          Level 7
          Use the Flash built-in streaming simulation to determine the bottle neck.
          This is done in Control->Test Movie. For Flash 8 authoring environment, you
          select View->Download Settings and select your test speed. The you play with
          the confusing View->Simulate Download check menu choice. When unchecked
          selecting it simulates if you know whatta I mean.

          As well you can turn on the bandwidth profiler on the same View menu.


          In File->Publish Settings under the Flash tab you can select Generate Size
          report. This is another tool to determine what causes the bottle neck. You
          will see the report in the Output window when you select Control-> Test
          Movie and a text file with the same basic data appears in the folder with
          your swf.

          These are basic tools you need to understand bottle necks in speed.

          As for the other items on the web page. If you think they are a problem, you
          can test a page with just your swf to see if it makes a difference. This is
          called isolation where you work to isolate the problem part of software.

          With all of that you are sure to see what is the cause of the problem.

          A suspect is that the frames involving the preloader have more bytes than
          you think and the above data will confirm or rule that out.


          --
          Lon Hosford
          www.lonhosford.com
          May many happy bits flow your way!
          "MrIzzard" <webforumsuser@macromedia.com> wrote in message
          news:e5nd64$3nv$1@forums.macromedia.com...
          Hello there - hope you're good - thanks for looking at this.

          I've been experimenting with 2 different kinds of preloaders, they both
          work
          (internal & external preloaders), both giving the same kinda results... but
          both slowing things down a bit.

          Let me explain!



          I have 2 swfs, each one about 500k, with some streaming audio embedded in
          the
          timeline, and banks of buttons that hop around the timeline to play
          different
          sounds.

          In a sec i'll post a link to an example page, but let me explain first what
          you'll be looking for the first time they load.

          The swf on the left (just under the VOICE title) has a preloader built into
          the beginning of the movie, which i made thanks to Lee's "Advanced Flash
          Preloader" (at www.gotoandlearn.com) tutorial. I've made sure there's no
          data
          on the first 2 frames (where the preloader is) so it should load quick. The
          preloader graphic is just a bar that fills from left to right.

          The swf on the right (just under the MUSIC title) is an external preloader
          called MUSIC2.swf, that preloads MUSIC.swf. This was made using Lee's
          "External
          SWF Preloading" tutorial. The preloader graphic for this is just a
          percentage.

          With both of them there's still a delay before even showing the preloader -
          and then i reckon the actual preloading process is slowing things down. When
          i
          tried other versions of the swf's that just opened normally, they seemed to
          load much quicker.

          At the moment i'm thinking that the issue of the preloading graphic not
          showing straight away is an actual fixable problem, but the issue of the
          preloading graphic slowing the preloading is probably just the way it is?



          Anyway, here's the link...

          <a target=_blank class=ftalternatingbarlinklarge
          href=" http://keepholding.com/examplesinner2.htm">http://keepholding.com/examples
          inner2.htm</a>

          (ignore the fact the functionality of the audio buttons on the panel on the
          left is a bit screwey - i haven't fixed that since i shifted everything
          along
          by 2 frames to make the preloader!).



          Now my mum has a slow dial-up connection, and she didn't even get to see
          either of the preloaders, before she had to go to bed!

          Thinking about it, there are some small solo audio swf buttons further down
          the page - so may the browser will try and load those first - even though
          they're only tiny - maybe THAT is the problem?!

          Oh by the way, the reason i've used 2 different types of preloaders is just
          for experimentation. I plan to use the best one on both when it's proven to
          work properly.




          Some of the files i've used are in this zip file

          <a target=_blank class=ftalternatingbarlinklarge
          href=" http://keepholding.com/bits.zip">http://keepholding.com/bits.zip</a>

          VOICEUNITv2 is the raw FLA file used to make VOICES3.swf

          MUSICLOADER is the raw FLA file used to make preloader MUSIC2.swf, which
          preloads MUSIC.swf.


          Does any of this make sense?
          Can you help?!
          cheers

          James


          • 2. Re: Preloader - slowing things down?
            BLKRO
            I am having a similar problem. I followed your instructions and found out that my 1st frame is about 180kb (of 500kb total). I saw that the 1st frame was the AS 2.0 export frame, moved the AS 2.0 export frame to 3, and freed about 80kb of 1st frame but now frame 2 is big, about 100kb. And also, the scroll bar in my flash file does not work with AS 2.0 in the third frame.

            The preloader is a simple one, just text, no graphic bar, no images, no nothing. How can I find out what is taking up space in my first 2 frames? How can I free up the space?
            • 3. Re: Preloader - slowing things down?
              Level 7
              >>the scroll bar in my flash file does not work with AS 2.0 in the third
              >>frame.
              You are on the correct track.
              You need to change the Linkage of the UIScroll bar. In the Library is where
              you do this with a right click.
              http://livedocs.macromedia.com/flash/8/main/00002979.html
              See: To change the frame into which components are exported:

              >>How can I find out what is taking up space in my first 2 frames?
              In Publish Settings you select Generate Size report. When you Control->Test
              Movie you open the Output window -- shortcut is F2.
              There you get data that helps.

              But I think with Flash components the frame before the Actionscript class
              export frame gets hit with bytes so you may need one more frame to move your
              content away from preloader.

              Finally do not underestimate the cost in fonts. Check the TextField font
              embedding setting in the Properties window. If you are embedding fonts they
              add to the overhead. That is ok for asthetic requirement but you still can
              tweak. If your TextField is simply displaying numbers, then limit the
              download to just Numbers. If font asthetics are not a requirement then use
              device fonts.


              --
              Lon Hosford
              www.lonhosford.com
              Flash, Actionscript and Flash Media Server examples:
              http://flashexamples.hosfordusa.com
              May many happy bits flow your way!
              "BLKRO" <webforumsuser@macromedia.com> wrote in message
              news:e5t42j$79t$1@forums.macromedia.com...
              I am having a similar problem. I followed your instructions and found out
              that
              my 1st frame is about 180kb (of 500kb total). I saw that the 1st frame was
              the
              AS 2.0 export frame, moved the AS 2.0 export frame to 3, and freed about
              80kb
              of 1st frame but now frame 2 is big, about 100kb. And also, the scroll bar
              in
              my flash file does not work with AS 2.0 in the third frame.

              The preloader is a simple one, just text, no graphic bar, no images, no
              nothing. How can I find out what is taking up space in my first 2 frames?
              How
              can I free up the space?


              • 4. Re: Preloader - slowing things down?
                BLKRO Level 1
                Thanks, I tried clicking properties for the UIScrollBar, and it showed an error message. Didn't see the Linkage button I now changed the linkage and unclicked the Export in first frame and the UIScrollBar works ok.

                BUT, my buttons don't work. I have actions atached to the button symbol, not to a frame, could this be the cause?

                It's like:

                on (release) {
                gotoAndStop("framelabel1");
                }

                This action worked before moving the AS export frame.
                • 5. Re: Preloader - slowing things down?
                  Level 7
                  The instructions in the documentation and my post call for right clicking
                  over the UI components in the library to set the linkage.

                  "You need to change the Linkage of the UIScroll bar. In the Library is where
                  you do this with a right click."
                  http://livedocs.macromedia.com/flash/8/main/00002979.html
                  "See: To change the frame into which components are exported:"


                  I will post the instruction found in the above reference here:

                  To change the frame into which components are exported:
                  1.. Select Window > Library to open the Library panel.
                  2.. Right-click (Windows) or Control-click (Macintosh) the component in
                  the library.
                  3.. Select Linkage from the context menu.
                  4.. Deselect Export in First Frame.
                  5.. Click OK.

                  As to the buttons not working, perhaps the frame label is no longer valid or
                  a frame without content.


                  --
                  Lon Hosford
                  www.lonhosford.com
                  Flash, Actionscript and Flash Media Server examples:
                  http://flashexamples.hosfordusa.com
                  May many happy bits flow your way!
                  "BLKRO" <webforumsuser@macromedia.com> wrote in message
                  news:e5v44j$j1t$1@forums.macromedia.com...
                  Thanks, I tried clicking properties for the UIScrollBar, and it showed an
                  error
                  message. Didn't see the Linkage button I now changed the linkage and
                  unclicked the Export in first frame and the UIScrollBar works ok.

                  BUT, my buttons don't work. I have actions atached to the button symbol,
                  not
                  to a frame, could this be the cause?

                  It's like:

                  on (release) {
                  gotoAndStop("framelabel1");
                  }

                  This action worked before moving the AS export frame.


                  • 6. Re: Preloader - slowing things down?
                    BLKRO Level 1
                    I already solved the linkage, I wrote that in my previous message.

                    The buttons work only if I pus the onRelease action on the button AND in a separate layer. Is this weird or what? They work fine it I don't mess around with AS Export Frame.