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Option one (for the mian app)
check out the export in first frame option (actually: turn it off) for library item set to export for actionscript. If you turn off that export option you need to place those items on the stage in say frame two so you have the first frame to build a progressbar.
Option two (for the preloader swf)
take a look at the MovieclipLoader class.
It allows to load external movies and graphics and has the possibility to relatively easy monitor the progress of the loading.
Thanks for your reply. Somehow it started working now. I have a feeling that I've targeted things wrong... but there are new issues which I'll be posting in a separate thread.
Thank you again.
So what I ended up doing was the following:
I kept the first 10 frames for the preloader where I created a preloader with all code on the timeline (ended up being a lot of redundant code but not the end of the world....) Then I exported all external classes on frame 11 (under publish settings > settings > Export Frame for classes) and the main app starts on frame 12.
Seems to be working so far on my local setup since there's only one swf file.
Thanks for your time,