Silverlight is a Worthy Competitor, but Flash Animation is Far Ahead

Flash is the dominant software in web animation industry and Adobe makes thousands of dollars by selling this much loved software. However, other companies are also trying very hard to bite into its market share. Microsoft launched their animation software, Silverlight, a few years ago to beat Adobe, but till date, Flash remains invincible. Why? Here is a comparison between Adobe’s powerful animation software and Silverlight that will help you understand why Flash animation rules supreme.

•    Animation- Flash offers frame based animation system and it takes quite some time and dedication to create an animated file. On the other hand, Silverlight offers WPF animation model. It’s a time based animation process and easier to handle. However, due to the frame based rendering process, our beloved software offers smoother dynamic effects than its competitor.

•    File Size- All text content and images are embedded in SWF. Therefore, the file size is very small, but its contender uses XAML. It’s a non compressed language and thus, the file size is much larger.

•    Scripting-
Flash is powered by Actionscript. It’s an object oriented language and offers great flexibility. You can create different types of user interfaces and applications using Actionscript. It supports several languages and frameworks like PHP, ASP and Ruby On Rails.

Silverlight supports Visual C#.Net and Visual Basic.Net. It can use all the features of Microsoft’s .net framework. This clearly shows that scripting wise Adobe offers better software to the developers.

•    Video and Audio Support-Flash is a clear winner in this aspect. It supports multiple video and audio formats. On the contrary, Silverlight supports vc-1 codec for video and WMA and WMV.

•    Audio Processing-
You can control and manipulate the audio of a SWF file more comfortably than Silverlight. Microsoft does not offer any Audio API for their much hyped software and there is no WAV support.

•    Accessibility-Flash offers excellent accessibility features for visually challenged people. It provides video captions and lots of keyboard shortcuts for easier access. Silverlight also offers some accessibility features for visually impaired people, but not as many as Adobe is offering.

•    Platform Compatibility- In this segment, Adobe is a clear winner. Flash supports Windows, Mac, Linux and Solaris. On the other hand, Microsoft’s software supports only Mac and Windows.

•    SEO- SWF is not as easily readable as Silverlight content. This is probably the biggest drawback of SWF animation. Google is indexing SWF websites these days, but the other contender is both searchable and indexable.

•    Graphics Support- Throw any image file at Flash and it will accept it. On the contrary, its competitor supports only JPEG and PNG format.

•    Webcam Support- Flash supports both webcam and microphone. Hence, live audio/video transmission is absolutely brilliant. However, its competitor supports neither webcam, nor microphone.

•    Deployment- When you create a SWF file, all the images, text and audio are incorporated in it. Hence, you can deploy all the different elements at the same time. The deployment process of a Silverlight file is extremely complex. There is no synchronized deployment option. You must release the components separately.

The aforementioned discussion clearly proves that Adobe’s animation software is lot more advanced, feature rich and user friendly than Silverlight.


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Don’t Lose Hope on Flash

We are using Flash Player for several years as a browser plug-in to watch animation and play games, but the advancement of HTML5 is questioning the future of Flash. 6 months ago, Adobe published their roadmap for 2012-2013 and that plan does not show any sign of worry for Flash lovers. You will see more versions in coming months with lots more exciting features, but on fewer platforms.

Adobe announced that they won’t support the forthcoming versions of Android and Apple was never interested in Flash. It seems like a huge blow because these two companies have the lions share in smartphone and tablet industry. However, what looks like a major mistake is actually a calculated risk.

HTML5 is growing very fast and browser makers are more interested in scripting based, plug-in free animation. Hence Adobe decided to focus on desktops. Game development and encrypted video are the two fields where Flash will play a key role and may beat the dominance of HTML5.

The future updates of Flash Player will see better hardware acceleration and script performance. It will support keyboard inputs (middle and right mouse button clicks) like a full fledged application.

In coming months you will see two more FLV Player updates- Dolores and Next. Dolores will bring multithreaded application support using a technique similar to HTML5.

Next is probably going to be the big game changer. According to Adobe, “Next” will fulfill developers’ requirements “over the next five to 10 years.” It will receive a major ActionScript update, better coding error detection system and offer enhanced performance.

Adobe is betting on Windows 8 and said “currently working closely with Microsoft to finalize details around supported configurations for Flash Player and Adobe AIR on Windows 8.” Windows 8 will run on both desktops and tablets, and Microsoft is not going to provide plug-in support for the touch version of Internet Explorer. However, Flash plug-in may run on x86 and x64 systems because the desktop version of IE will support plug-ins.

HTML5 is certainly the future of web based animation, but our much loved animation software is not dead yet. Don’t forget that people seldom upgrade their OS. There are still millions of people out there who are using Windows XP because it’s more familiar to them. Hence, it’s hard to tell how many people will shift to Windows 8.

Browser support is another department where it scores very high. HTML5 is not supported in older browsers and more importantly, even the most ultramodern browsers don’t offer flawless HTML5 support.

Flash may have stopped supporting mobile devices, but as long as Microsoft favors Adobe, it has a long and bright future ahead.

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What Makes Flash Media Server Application So Dynamic?

Live streaming of videos is the latest craze and is quite popular among users. This is one reason developers are now more keen on designing dynamic applications. The popularity of broadcasting and streaming is growing by leaps and bounds and the benefits of Flash based applications are unimaginable.

Flash media server application is useful for live chatting. Through it, you can easily connect any Flash based applications making use of RTMP or Real Time Messaging Protocol. Visitors will be able to receive and send data via these connected apps.  In this article, we will discuss why it is considered a breathtaking technology. To know more, read on..

Multicast streaming is possible with media server and only users who are subscribed will be able to watch a video. This is the greatest benefit as users will be able to share restricted content over the internet. This amazing technology is also useful for live chatting.

It also offers augmented reality which is the most interesting technology of media server. When a web user checks something using a webcam, the application helps in the creation of a vivid impact surrounding the particular object. This way visitors are thrilled with the display of virtual reality on their computer screen.

Now, let us see why media server app scores better than conventional videos that we often see in sites like YouTube. First and foremost, it offers much improved streaming support. It amuses customers with on-demand and unrecorded videos . All this is done by using the HTTP protocol along with the RTMP or RTMPE protocol. Secondly, this app doesn’t store any of the cache of the files in a visitor’s computer. Therefore, there is no need to scratch your head over privacy issues. Your data is completely safe and secure.

Why Is It better than Adobe Flash Player?

To answer that question, it requires some real explanation. Though Adobe’s plug in has a plethora of dynamic and flexible features, and can also be installed in most of the web browsers, it’s not suitable for users having slow internet connectivity. People will have to wait for several minutes to watch a clip. Web visitors are impatient and have limited attention span and if a web page or a clip takes ages to load, people will click away. Even if you have intriguing content, they will be leaving your site without getting the glimpse of the content.

However, with the advent of this app, live videos can be played, stored and even played later on demand. The latest version 3.5 of this app has also resolved the issue of low speed. If people are facing slow connectivity, the application will instantly identify the problem and will get the content optimized for a better and pleasing viewing experience. The speed will be dramatically improved by altering the bit rate.

Therefore, if you are intending to pamper customers with a smooth viewing experience, then this is the right option for you.

Do you have any queries? Have some suggestions to make? Please comment.

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