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there's no easy way to sync sound and the timeline with loaded sound. the only easy thing that often gives satisfactory results is to preload the sound file (ie, do not stream) and then start the timeline(s) and audio after sound loading is complete.
We're actually noticing the MP3 (472KB) loads much faster than the SWF (2.1MB), and then the SWF seems to slow down as we go.
If we use a preloader then start them can we use the "true" command to stream sync the two?
no. you can't use any native flash capability to sync them when you preload them.
but if the swf and mp3 are preloaded, there's nothing to prevent both playing at their intended rate except a host machine that can't handle the audio or visual.
and if it's very important to you to sync these, create a flash video. that does have native ability to ensure the sound and video stay in sync.
but, if you have someone downloading with a dl rate less than the video's bitrate, their going to see/hear stuttering. it'll be in-sync, but it will stutter.