Custom Preloader question

Hello everyone.  I'm using a custom preloader (the xml version) for my presentation right now.  I can't tell if it's working, though.  I downloaded Fiddler 2, but that doesn't help since I'm just loading the player.html file from my CD.  I'm not publishing it to the internet.  However, when I load the player.html file on my Mac, it's slow and choppy.  I'm assuming this is due to each slide containing a swf and it takes awhile to load.  So I thought a preloader would be perfect.  I can't tell if it's working, though.  It looks a little faster, though not as fast as I'd like it to be.  It could just be my wishful thinking, though.

Does anyone know how to test if the custom preloader is working if it's not published to the web and it's just being viewed from the .html file on a CD?  Here is my code:

<!-- Originally Created by Philip Corriveau modifed by James Kingsley -->
<preloadinfo>
<!-- logo max size is 244x75px due to flash 6 it must either be a .swf or a .jpg-->
<logo>InUseStand.jpg</logo>
<files>
<!-- list your files to be preloaded -->
<file>data/swf/fm_SmartStand.swf</file>
<file>data/swf/fm_Intro.swf</file>
<file>data/swf/fm_SafetyNotes.swf</file>
<file>data/swf/fm_Warnings.swf</file>
<file>data/swf/fm_LCDDisplay.swf</file>
<file>data/swf/fm_Operation.swf</file>
<file>data/swf/fm_Harness.swf</file>
<file>data/swf/fm_Transferring.swf</file>
<file>data/swf/fm_Ambulating.swf</file>
<file>data/swf/fm_Accessories.swf</file>
<file>data/swf/fm_HarnessLaundering.swf</file>
<file>data/swf/fm_ChargingBatteries.swf</file>
<file>data/swf/fm_EmergencyLowering.swf</file>
</files>
</preloadinfo>

116 Replies
Gerry Wasiluk

Hey, James! 

And thank you so much for responding so quickly.  Just did a quick update and test, and it's working GREAT for me right now.  :)

I see the 404s but they are not an issue for me.  Might be some for folks (trying to recall some old Forum posts where folks were complaining because of AP's 404 errors) but not for moi.

THANKS AGAIN!  All the best.

Tammy Smith

Wow!  I really like all the information I've read about this preloader.  Gerry, you are awesome for posting the problems you've had and the updates since then.  Thank you so much for letting us all learn through you!  I know it's going to help me a lot.  Have you tested the preloader with MP4s?  I saw that you had swfs in your screenshot, but I didn't know if you worked with MP4s as well.  Also, when do the 404 errors show up?  Just in the HTTP Watch thing? The errors wouldn't show up in the presentation or affect it, would it?

Phil, thank you very much for responding to my original question and providing insight.  I really appreciate it.  I have Server2Go on my CD now that's supposed to treat the files on the CD like they're being launched on the internet.  Do you know if that works and if it works with a preloader just like it would the internet?

Tammy Smith

Awesome, Gerry!!  So the coaching mp4 preloaded just fine?  I know that when that file pops up in HTTP Watch that it means it's loading, but I don't know how to tell if it's preloading quickly or if it's not that much different without a preloader.  When I'm looking at your example, that is.  Preloading is kind of new to me.  I understand it, but I don't know if it can preload at different speeds or if it's just one set speed.  I don't know if that makes a huge difference or not with the presentation.

Also, Gerry, have you ever worked with Server2Go?  This video I'm working on is something that shouldn't be on the internet where someone could access it before it's revealed to the public, so I don't want to upload it anywhere online.  But, I want to test if the preloader is working.  Does Server2Go work for that, do you know?  I know it says it's supposed to, but I only got to see a screen similar to what you have above once when using Server2Go.  I don't know if that was the preloader's problem or the Server2Go's problem.  Any thoughts or tips on that, Gerry?  I just want to be able to visibly tell that there's a difference in loading/playing time when I use a preloader, you know?

Tammy Smith

Oh!  And Gerry, may I ask what program you use to convert a file over to MP4?  Sorry for all the questions, but I want to make sure I'm doing all this right the first time and, hopefully, have much less questions when I do this in the future.   What I was planning on doing was saving my Flash file as a .mov file, which I've done with a few already.  Then, I was going to use that free software Format Factory that Brian Batt suggested to convert the .mov file to an mp4.  I trust what he's saying, but I'm also just trying to get opinions from others on what they do when making a MP4 file.   Once again, thank you so much Gerry for all your help!  I know I'm asking a lot of questions, and it's so very, very nice of you to answer so many so far.  You have already helped so much! :)

Tammy Smith

Thank you so much for that, James!   I have Brian looking at my files and turning them into MP4s with Format Factory.  It's not working right on my computer.  Just white screen that's really short, about 4 KB.

James, would this preloader work on a CD with Server2Go?  I'd love to test it out, but my company is not putting it on the web until the CDs go out to customers.  So it's kind of like sending them out with blinders on, you know?  But I have to try and work with that.  I know Server2Go is supposed to open files on the CD like they are on the internet.  Would this work with your preloader?

Gerry Wasiluk

Tammy Smith said:

Oh!  And Gerry, may I ask what program you use to convert a file over to MP4?  Sorry for all the questions, but I want to make sure I'm doing all this right the first time and, hopefully, have much less questions when I do this in the future.   What I was planning on doing was saving my Flash file as a .mov file, which I've done with a few already.  Then, I was going to use that free software Format Factory that Brian Batt suggested to convert the .mov file to an mp4.  I trust what he's saying, but I'm also just trying to get opinions from others on what they do when making a MP4 file.   Once again, thank you so much Gerry for all your help!  I know I'm asking a lot of questions, and it's so very, very nice of you to answer so many so far.  You have already helped so much!


Hi, Tammy!

To be honest, I can't remember what program I used.  Believe it may have been FormatFactory or another one that Brian recommends.  I did use Articulate Video Encoder for FLVs.  And the SWF movie was from a version of Camtasia.

And you are welcome--glad to have helped in some small way.  :)

Tammy Smith

Thanks, Gerry!  You've helped in a big way.   I sent my files to Brian to look at since my MP4s weren't encoding right in Format Factory.  He thinks it might be something wrong with Flash CS4, which I wouldn't be surprised since that program is horrible with encoding.  I hear CS5 is much better.

Anywho, do you have much experience with Server2Go, Gerry, and using it with a preloader?

Gerry Wasiluk

Not much. 

I tried Server2Go once a long time and had some problems with it.  Can't remember what they were.  Would have to search ye olde forums for that.

With improved networks here internally in our company, the need to use CDs for delivering content is almost non-existent now.  We prefer people use the web.  Have had too many horror stories of people trying to get CDs they created earlier updated or recalled if something was wrong.  Easier to control things with a single source--the web.

Tammy Smith

I agree, Gerry, which is why, as a designer, I've always liked publishing straight to the web.  I have more control over what people are viewing that way, how they are viewing it, and just have the one source I have to work with if someone is having problems viewing it.  Plus, if I need to change or add something, I can just do it right there.  But, the company wants to send out a CD as well, so I guess I should be happy that they're putting it on the web, too.   At least customers will have that option, too.

So, you think the new preloader gets your stamp of approval now?  It works straight from the download and install without having to mess with any options or anything?

I've looked on the forums and on Google for this before and haven't gotten any concrete information on whether Server2Go really works with a preloader or not.  I'd hate to fill this forum with my threads of questions. lol.  But if I don't find anything in another search, I'll just post a question.  Again, thank you so much for ALL your help Gerry!!!  I really appreciate it.

Nita  Venter

onEnterFrame (James Kingsley) said:

Nita Venter said:

Hello Team, has anyone tested the new Bulk preloader with Mac's and FF?


Should work fine... it's basic web stuff and not specific to any browser or OS. 

I made a screenr to demo it:

https://player.vimeo.com/video/204933154


Hi James, many thanks for the Screenr, I can see from the Live HTTP Header that the null file is loading as well as the flv's preloading, but when I compare my MSFT Win machines and the Mac performance, the Mac videos have a periodic 4 second pause within the video. This used to be the case with the Win machines (the 4-5seond pause load) before the new preloader now they fly no problems - any thoughts?

Tammy Smith

Well, I use both a Mac and a Windows computer here at work.  But even those that only use a Windows computer I would think would want to make their presentation Mac compatible, too.  I mean, some people who view the presentation online might be using a Mac.  So, shouldn't the custom preloader work on a Mac, too?

onEnterFrame (James Kingsley)

From all accounts it looks like the preloader is working on Macs. You can see in her screen shot and in my screenr https://player.vimeo.com/video/204933154 that the files are indeed loaded before the user gets to the slide. 

There is something else going on that is keeping the Mac from playing the media smoothly. 

Tammy Smith

Yeah... on my Mac, James, the media doesn't always play smoothly, but I just thought it was because they were still in swf mode instead of an FLV format or MP4.  That's why I've been going through all this because they weren't playing right on the Mac.  So I wonder what we users are supposed to do to make our presentations play smoothly for people viewing them with a Mac...