FLV Player Action

13th of February, 2013

Type of Action: Standalone Action (to use it, either click and hold on the Freeway tool, choose the Action from the list and draw an item on the page OR go to Insert>Action Item and choose the Action from the list).

What the Action can do: This Action lets you do the following:
  • It lets you offer non-Flash versions of an .flv (Flash movie) file so visitors using iOS devices (iPhones and iPads) can be offered an alternative version optimized to their phone type.
  • It makes sure the movie file uses a compatible "skin" inside which the movie will play and the controller bar will appear on.
It can be very tricky to embed FLV (Flash Video) files into your webpages and they will never display on an iPhone. You need make sure you have a SWF file that either contains or references an external FLV and skin/player, and you need to make sure these are then uploaded to the correct directory location on your server.

To use the Action, make sure nothing is selected on your page, click and hold on the Actions tool button on Freeway's tool bar, choose FLV Player and then draw an item on your page. With the item selected you can see the options in the Actions palette:


  • FLV File: Click and hold on this popup, choose Select…, locate the FLV file you wish to offer on your page then click Open.
  • Poster frame: By default this popup is set to Automatic, which means that Freeway will choose the first frame of your movie and display that as a clickable button for the visitor to click on to start the movie playing. If you wish to use a custom graphic you have saved on your computer, choose it in this popup by clicking on Select…
  • Choose Frame: If you know the time of a frame within the movie that you would like to use for the poster frame, enter the time in this field.
  • Autoplay: If you want the movie to play automatically (without needing to click on a play button) check this option. Because a poster frame is not required for an autoplay movie, the Poster Frame and Choose Frame options will not appear if the Autoplay option is checked.
  • Loop: If you want the movie to play over and over (rather than playing through to the end and stopping, which is the default behavior), check this option.
  • Player: Click and hold on this popup to choose the "skin" you want to use for your movie. There are three preset ones to choose from: HTML5 (which outputs the file with an HTML5 fallback file), Over (which displays the controller bar above the movie) and Under (which displays the controller bar below the movie). Choose Custom Player so you can choose to use your own player file if you already have one to use.

  • Player File: If you choose Custom Player in the Player popup, choose the file you want to use for your custom player in this popup.
  • Actionscript: By default this popup is set to use the later version of Actionscript 3. If know that the player you want to use is built using Actionscript 2, choose 2 in this popup.
  • Hide player: Checking this option will hide the movie item on your Freeway page.
  • iPhone/iPad Compatibility: Checking this option will make the options below active.
  • iPhone (WiFi/3G): By default this popup is set to None. If you don't already have an .m4v file to choose in the popup, click on the Generate button so that Freeway will automatically generate and choose a version of the original movie file used on the page, saved as an .m4v file for use on 3G and later versions of the iPhone. If you have already created a file to offer, click on the popup, choose Select then locate the file in the Open dialog and click Open.
  • iPhone (EDGE): By default this popup is set to None. If you don't already have a .3gp file to choose in the popup, click on the Generate button so that Freeway will automatically generate and choose a version of the original movie file used on the page, saved as a .3gp file for use on earlier iPhones (up to the original iPhone 3). If you have already created a file to offer, click on the popup, choose Select then locate the file in the Open dialog and click Open.
Note: If after applying the Action you see an error message telling you that you cannot use this Action, go to the Freeway menu (ie, the dropdown menu to the right of the Apple menu in the top left of your screen) and choose Preferences. In here, make sure you have the Enable AppleScript in Actions option checked and then click OK.

You will also see that Freeway displays information on the imported FLV file so you can see the dimensions of the source file along with the space taken up by the chosen player. Also, a recommended Optimal height is given that you might want to use (this is optional, but using this height value will give the optimal quality for the movie content).


Important note to Freeway App Store version customers

The QuickTime Reference Movie Action supplied with Mac App Store versions of Freeway Express and Freeway Pro is different to the Action bundled with Freeway Express bought direct from the Softpress site in that the Action does cannot create an alternative file format of the FLV movie within Freeway itself. Freeway Express Mac App Store users can still offer alternative movie, but they will need to create their own .3gp and .m4v versions of the FLV movie and then select the appropriate movie file in the relevant popup in the FLV Player Action palette.

The simplest way to do this is to open the QuickTime movie file in QuickTime Player and then go to File>Export to then choose Web. Check the option for Cellular then click Export. This will generate a versions of the movie you can then choose the exported file in the QuickTime Reference Movie Action palette.

If you believe the target audience for your site will most likely use a WiFi connection for their iPhone, you may wish to consider using the Wi-Fi export option in QuickTime Player instead. However, bear in mind that this version will probably be double the size of the Cellular version (which can make it take a very long time to load on a cellular connection).

As new phones use higher standards than older ones, it is increasingly unlikely that visitors will use iPhones earlier than a 3G version, but if you wish to offer a .3gp (EDGE) version of the movie you can find applications online which can export it as a .3gp file that can be chosen for the EDGE movie in the Actions palette.

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