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New Encore CS5 Flash/Web DVD Features

July 1st, 2010 | Posted by pftq in Blabberbox | #

     Finally had a chance to look at the Flash export for Encore CS5 and I have to say I wasn’t expecting any changes actually but it’s very nice to see they updated the playback features on it. The usual chubby looking buttons for pause and skip are now replaced with a sleek little bar for playback, volume, subtitles, and even search:

Click for larger image of CS5 Web DVD for 'In the Midst of Night'

     The best improvement I think so far is the ability to scrub (seek) in the video, instead of just skipping through chapters. The search feature lets you find chapters that contain a keyword and actually allows search engines to find your Flash file as well, but for an actual movie, I haven’t found much use for it yet.

While I like the new features though and the redesign, there are a few issues:
     - Playback controls show up on menus. In previous versions they were hidden until a video started playing. Here they overlap the menu constantly as soon as you move the mouse.
     - White bar beneath the video. This is more or less just a bit of sloppiness on Encore’s part. If you look at the image above, you’ll see a white bar beneath the navigation. That was not an error in resizing the screen on my part; there’s actually a white strip that is part of the Flash SWF the entire time.
     - Flash applet loads slower. I had the old CS4 version side-by-side with the CS5 DVD. I have to say that whereas the old version loaded instantly, the new one took a few seconds to come up and start playing. Keep in mind that this is on my desktop computer. Over the internet, this delay might be longer because you’ll the connection to worry about as well.
     - Still no “Hide Controls” feature. You’ll notice they changed the playback bar to be a solid black now. In the past, it was semi-transparent so it wasn’t as intrusive. Now however you’ll actually have part of the video completely obscured by the controls. Unfortunately the only thing you can do is wait about 10 seconds for the controls to fade out.

     I was actually thinking of converting all my current Flash DVDs to the new CS5 player, but I think I might leave them be. Having the DVD load the first menu, that should be mightily impressive, but have it appeared tampered with by having an intrusive playback bar is something I don’t want to deal with yet. :P For newer works though, I imagine I’ll have to use the new CS5 version no matter what.

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  1. prakash said,
    Jul-30-2010, 11:19am

    White bar beneath the video - It's actually a mini progress bar, when your main control bar fades away, you can still see playback progress through this mini progress bar. You would not notice this mini progress bar when you embed this swf in html, i.e. it's transparent.

    Flash applet loads slower - yes it's a bit slower now as compared to CS4. But you will have to pay price to get more functionality.

  2. prakash said,
    Jul-30-2010, 11:36am

    Still no Hide Controls- Yes you can not hide controls manually, it auto-hides itself after some seconds, but you can control that some seconds through Theme.xml, or you can permanently remove control bar, if you wish to, and then use keyboard shortcuts to perform desired actions.

    Search feature is capable of searching anything including subtitles, speech transcript, menus etc., and you can also navigate through video by selecting search results.

  3. pftq said,
    Jul-31-2010, 09:49am

    Thanks for the clarification on the mini progress bar - I did not realize it would disappear after embeding.  Loading a bit slower is not a price I'd be willing to pay though.  If it is slightly slower when playing back on the local drive, it'll be significantly slower when downloaded online.  Even with the older version there is already a several second delay before anything shows up.  If they set up maybe a preloader so the visitor knows what's going on, that might alleviate this a bit.

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