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Here are a couple of things you can do to get the best looking photos with the smallest file size.
- always resize your photos outside of flash (ie in Photoshop) to your desired dimensions and save them with no compression, as opposed to bringing in, say 1024x768 images into flash and then scaling them to 640x480.
- after importing your photos, you need to work with flash's compression. Instead of applying a blanket compression in your publish settings, set your image's compression individually. So, in the publish settings, set jpeg quality to 100. Then, in your library, right-click on an image, go to properties, uncheck 'use imported jpeg data' and set your compression for that image. This yields almost half the file size of just using a blanket compression, and also gives you the option of compressing some images more than others. Takes a little more testing, but some images can be compressed at 40 and still look pretty good, while others start to look bad after going below 80.
Try those two things if you haven't already, and you'll see a signifcant difference in filesize.
The other option is to load your images dynamically. Then you can use outside compression for your images (ie ImageReady). Takes a bit more coding knowledge, and also brings up the old question: Do you want your loading wait all at once in the beginning, or at small intervals inbetween? Something that has to be considered per project depending on how your content is displayed..
thanks! i'll give that a try.