So now that I’ve made my first flash piece using Netstream, as with many things, it has its positives and negatives.
The giant positive is it’s great usability for the user. Jumping around in the seek bar, no jumpy picture, etc. Also, there is less code in general for controlling the video, though more to initially start the stream. Pausing, playing, stopping and seeking through the video are simple.
The negatives were interesting to find out. It is actually not easy to find when the video finishes playing. There is a nice onStatus function that is called whenever something happens with the video and inside that function you can check what happened. However the function for checking if it stopped doesn’t always work as you would expect. With no buffer time, it will trigger this function at the correct time, but with any sort of buffer time, it seems to trigger the function when the buffering has stopped, not when the video itself has stopped playing. I’m sure there are ways to work around it, but you would think there would be a reliable built in function for this. I know in the past, I have set off many actions when the video stops and it is bound to come up again. Another interesting drawback is the seek function. It seeks to the closest frame to the time you enter, this isn’t too big of a deal if your frame rate is high, but it can cause trouble if you need a video to jump to an exact, precise moment.
Overall Netstream and a streaming server are still great additions. The positive outweighs the negative because it is the user experience and the client satisfaction that are most important in business, not how easy it is to do. That is exactly what a streaming server helps us to achieve, but it is only a small portion of the services and overall picture of the projects we can undertake. Let’s not forget expert skills in web and graphic design, database programming, digital photography, copywriting, videography, and much more.