Progressive downloading is the easiest and cheapest way to display Flash video on a web page. Although it is not as powerful and flexible as true streaming, it simulates streaming fairly well and most end users would never know the difference. However you need to be aware of the following limitations of progressive downloading:
* It cannot be used for live events ? only stored video files. * It is less efficient than true streaming. * It cannot automatically adjust for the end user's connection speed. * It is not secure ? the video file is saved on the end user's computer. * The end user cannot jump ahead to a later part of the video until it has downloaded*.
To add a progressive download video to a web page you need two files: An FLV video file and an SWF file to play the video. For more information see Flash Video and Flash File Types.
For now we will assume that you have the correct files and you are ready to add them to your web page. There are two ways to do this: Direct linking and embedding.
The most complete, consistent, and robust delivery option is to stream video and audio files from a server running Flash Media Server. In streaming, each client opens a persistent connection back to the video server, and there is a tight relationship between the video being delivered and the client interaction. This approach lets you deliver features such as bandwidth detection to serve up the right size video, quality of service metrics, detailed tracking and reporting statistics, and a whole range of interactive features along with the video experience.