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If you test by Ctrl+Enter the swf is created and plays quite happily. However, if you go to the folder where the swf is pubished and load the swf it either opens a blank window where neither video or skin appear
Sounds to me like a pathing problem.
Depending on how the folder structure is set up, going directly to the .swf and clicking on it in it's folder... and the video not playing... does not necessarily mean that the pathing is wrong or the .swf is broke. In fact, if the .swf video player is to be used on a Web page outside of the folder that the .swf is stored in, the .swf should NOT work when directly clicked on. That's because the pathing from the .swf to Flash assets such as the video file... pathing needs to be relative to the Web page the .swf will be used on and NOT the physical location of the .swf.
For your review:
Almost always when it works on the local machine and not the server, it's a pathing problem.
You can put your Flash related files in whatever folders you want, they do NOT have to be in the root, they do NOT all have to be in the same folder. But if you have a problem and if sticking them all in the root folder works, then you know that the issue was a pathing problem.
Just remember that paths used in the .swf become relative to the Web page on which the .swf is placed, NOT it’s physical location. So for example, if your .swf is in the flash/data folder and you use that .swf on a Web page in the root folder, you are in effect, removing that .swf from flash/data and putting it in root. So if the .swf is loading any related files (xml, images, video, etc), the path used inside the .swf to load the .xml file has to be relative to it's new location in root and then back down into flash/data. This is true even though when testing the .swf by itself, it can be inside flash/data and work just fine, since relative to it's location, the path is just fine, they are in the same folder. But if that same path is used when the .swf is placed on a page two folder levels up, the relative path has changed, the old "same folder" path will not work.
In fact if you are placing the .swf on a web page in a different folder than the .swf is stored in, and that .swf calls external assets, then direct clicking and opening of the .swf in it’s folder should NOT work! That’s because the paths to the external assets should be relative to the Web page and not the physical location of the .swf.
So just be sure that you use addresses relative to the final Web page locations (not physical file locations) and you can put the Flash related files in what ever folders you want.
Eye for Video
If you need further help, see if you can post the page online somewhere... we will diagnose.
Many thanks for providing such a comprehensive answer. Unfortunately your response assumes that it's a file path issue related to web pages when web design is not an issue here. Most of your posts are probably related to swf in web and apologies, I should have said that this is an entirely Flash based product that the student has created. The idea is for students to create a piece of multimedia software that could be published on CD. Therefore, she has created a folder in which the fla is currently saved. She has imported the flv [located in the same folder] as an external video with playback component. She adds a button to the page so the user can navigate back to the previous swf page and tests via Ctrl+Enter.....its plays. Double click the same swf from the folder where all the files sit and it does not. That's as far as she needs to get; just a collection of swfs that are linked together to form a software application on a CD. Just this video page that won't play ball.
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I'm not clear on this...
Is there one .swf that loads other .swfs into it? using some form of loader? What type of loader is being used?
It's not clear when you say she CTRL/Enter and it works ... but then the .swf doesn't work.
Can you clarify this part:
collection of swfs that are linked together
How are they linked?
Is there only one folder?... no subfolders?
Sorry to confuse you; perhaps coming from a self taught background I'm don't using technically the correct terminolgy/methodology. However, after several hours of trying I have just cracked the problem.
At school we have upgraded from Flash 8 to CS4. 8 was a Macromedia product that installed in a folder called Macromedia. CS4 installs in an Adobe folder. The network sees these as completely seperate products. However, when Itry tried load a CS4 generated swf it was trying to play it back using Macromedia Flash Player 8 instead of Flash 10. I deleted the Flash Player 8 folder from C: and now everything works.
Sorry if I've wasted your time here. Then again I've learnt something from your responses and always better if you do manage to crack the problem yourself. Once again thanks for your help.
Glad you got it worked out!
If you are an instructor, then you know the both parties learn as a process of teaching.
I had not thought about the possibility that 2 different versions of Flash were involved.... now that's one more tool I'll stick in my troubleshooting toolbox!