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Recommendations neededfor FLASH movie compression

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Hello fellow members:

I recently got a full-time job as an Instructional Designer for a medical hospital and need some tips/suggestions/advice for compressing Flash movies.

We currently are working on online courses for medical students. Our company is using Flash as one of the primary software programs. Currently we are embedding Flash movies into our Flash presentations. I've only briefly used Flash (1 year of experience), so I'd like to know how to compress Flash movies for the web. My primary concerns are video quality and file size, since a few of our medical students are on 56k connections. :tazz:

I know that, using Quicktime, there are settings (iframes/codec/frames per second) which I can manipulate to reduce file size. Are there settings in Flash that I can manipulate to also reduce file size without reducing quality greatly?

Are there third party programs out there that give me this type of control?
I know of the program Sorensen Squeeze, that can convert Quicktime movies to Flash movies; this a great program. Unfortunately we are using PCs, so the company is hesitant to use products related to Sorensen (I guess since Sorensen Squeeze is Mac/Apple related, but to be honest, I'm not sure). We are planning to use either Vegas and/or Adobe Premiere as our main editing programs here.

Lastly, I'm aware that I can probably go to Macromedia.com and find something. I am posting here with the hope that there are more advanced users out there that can make advanced reccomendations other than "just use google" or "go to Macromedia"

My thanks in advance for taking the time to read this post and for any response you give.
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I am a medical student myself, so I had to write up a response for this! :^)

In reference to actually flash settings that you can manipulate, I will have to wait until I am back home to play with Flash a bit and can post tonight.

For 3rd party programs, I did a quick google search and found two programs that are able to compress swf files.
1) First is Swift Optimizer - it appears to be a fairly basic program for compressing swf files and the link lists more of the capabilities. This appears to do everything you need and is pretty affordable at $19 or $29.95 for the full version. The page includes an example of an original flash movie and side-by-side comparison with the same clip compressed 75% and appears to do a great job.

2) Next was Flash Optimizer. This appears to be overall a more "professional" product and describes it's compression of various flash objects. Drawback is that is more expensive at $99.

I hope that helps a bit before I check out if there are any Flash optimization settings.

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