According to CNET, there were about 1.2 billion mobile broadband subscriptions in 2011, mobile computing is quickly becoming the primary computing platform. As a developer, mobile is an exciting place to be and the technology and landscape is changing every day. So what do we make of products like Google TV?
With so many companies trying to shoehorn every possible online service onto a tiny screen, do we really need to think about a technology that is stuck in one place, where people spend very little time these days? Web TV came and went in the 90s, with little success at bringing web services to the sofa; but, is cramming everything into a mobile device the right way to go either?
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The internet is like a massive well, brimming with video entertainment, but can it provide enough quality programming to replace your current cable provider?
Many have already cut the cord with their telephone company, opting instead for an internet based service that has put a few extra dollars in their pocket every month. With the average cable bill at around $75 per month, the prospect of doing the same with your cable company has the potential of even greater monthly savings. Online video services, such as Hulu and Netflix, are currently offering free and low cost, legal alternatives for viewing some of the most popular cable and network shows begging the question, “Why am I still paying for Cable?”
Ever need a class, but can’t remember if it is in the flash, mx or spark package, even drilling down further, was it in data, net or utils? There are so many classes in so many locations there is no way to remember them all or the properties and methods associated with them.
A quick tip I use often is typing “new”, then tapping the space bar. If code hints are working, the code hint window will appear listing all the possible classes. Typing the first and even second letter of the class name will filter the list, once you select the class you are looking for, that class will automatically be imported at the top of the file, if it’s needed.
This works almost anywhere and on any class, even static. I use it when I don’t feel like typing out long class names like StageDisplayState or TextFieldAutoSize. Type “new [space] stag” then click on the correct class. Boom!, it’s imported and completely typed out for you.
For a quick reference to which properties and methods are available in the class, remove the word “new” from before the class name that was just selected, then type a “.” right after the class name. This produces another code hint menu listing the public properties and methods.
Code hinting will also import classes automatically when a colon is added after a variable name, but just typing “new” and a space, is indeed the fastest.
Just remember to remove the new [Class] you just used to trigger the code hint window, if you forget, the compiler will let you know.
There are many video players and player skins available online, but it can take hours to build something completely custom. Here is an AS2 FLV player that can make creating completely custom Flash video players a lot easier. HDflix is a fully functional player, but allows you to assign your own artwork to the player controls. This is not skinning an existing component, it is creating artwork, then assigning the artwork pieces to each control. Once a control is assigned, rollovers, button state events and control functions are automatically applied to your artwork.
See the Readme file and demo below.
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There are a some really nice video/swf players out there already, here is mine. It was first built in 2005, thus the out-dated design, but has been upgraded with some nice features over the years.
Some of the features include dynamic colors on the LED display that can be easily updated to match a site color scheme. Dynamic video size, AutoLoad, Jpeg placeholder, cookie support, and can run standalone or loaded into your own Flash app.
Another interesting feature is a loading system that tries to figure out the client’s download speed and buffer the correct amount. This works pretty well in most cases but some web servers can be unreliable when it comes to streaming video with a consistent data rate. So buffer times will very with each download.
Included are FLAs to skin the GUI and update the display logos. This is the pro version we were planning on selling, but were too busy with other projects and never got around to it.
Just a heads up, I have another video app that will be released shortly. It is very similar to my Scrollbar class, in that you do not skin it, the code wraps around artwork that you create to control flvs and audio files. That way you can go crazy with the UI design and the layout of each control. It is written in AS2 and will be coming soon, so check back.
Below is a demo and the contents of the included readme.txt file.
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In a Birds-Of-A-Feather discussion group at Adobe MAX last week. No remarks were planned, It was supposed to be a discussion, we hoped to talk to other developers about what’s new in using Flash video. We did not get a bunch of new information but we did get a lot of hard questions. Some of them were not fully answered and others were speculated upon. When I was asked my tips, I gave all I could think of at the time. Later that evening I remembered a couple more, some of my best ones.
So for those who went to MAX and those that did not, here are my official video tips for Flash and Flex.
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