Streaming Video vs. Flash Video

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Mark Giles, Jan 27, 2006.

  1. Mark Giles

    Mark Giles Second Unit

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    I'm trying to put video on a website but do not want anyone to be able to download it. Just viewable.

    I heard streaming was very difficult so making a flash video would be the other option. But would the swf file be able to be downloaded? Thanks for any help.
     
  2. Tekara

    Tekara Supporting Actor

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    Yep, it's a little tricky to download the swf sometimes, but it can be done. It's something I do on occasion.
     
  3. Scott L

    Scott L Producer

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    SWF is great. The actual file format that the video is compressed in is FLV, the SWF file simply points to the FLV so it's near impossible to download the actual movie file (especially with SWF encryption help). Not to mention very few editing programs can work with FLV.

    Try it: Preview link

    Quality is very good and comparable to the mpeg-4 H.263 codecs. The latest flash converts to FLV on import which is nice but I prefer RIVA's free FLV encoder.

    If you REALLY want to make it so absoultely no one can download it just ask. There are several ways to do it, one method including streaming your video as an RSS feed, but it requires more work.
     
  4. Jason Harbaugh

    Jason Harbaugh Cinematographer

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    I agree with Scott that Flash video is the way to go. I converted our entire video production website to flash video content for a variety of reasons. User friendly, more compatible, more control on how it plays/looks, solid website integration, * more security, streams very well and it is the wave of the future for video on the web.

    The reason that I *'d the more security is that you can still easily get the actual FLV file. It took me 30 seconds to discover and download Scotts Buzzcocks_orig.flv file, but he didn't have any addition protection on that file. And most of your users won't know where to look, or how to work with the file if they even find it. Unlike .wmv or .mov. Needless to say, your content will never be 100% uncopiable on the web. You can pump it through every security measure known to man, and there is already a way around it if someone really wants a copy of it. The most you can do is make it harder for the casual viewer while still keeping it user friendly. You won't have many viewers if the video gets stuck or trapped behind your security measures and is unviewable.
     
  5. Scott L

    Scott L Producer

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    Yea I didn't encrypt that one. [​IMG] Client I updated his site for was more concerned about going over his bandwidth meter again than hardcore encryption. Flash decompilers are easy to use but like Jason said, most users only know right click > save as or just viewing the source code

    SWF Encrypt is an option and has gotten great reviews, but I personally haven't used it. It supposedly makes your SWFs more secure than the popular free encryption methods out there.

    Any recommendations on this issue Jason? I'm curious to know what else is available. Though I honestly believe if you don't want your stuff stolen, you shouldn't be putting it on the web in the first place. [​IMG]
     
  6. Jason Harbaugh

    Jason Harbaugh Cinematographer

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    I don't have any recommendations off hand because I've never had to personally protect the files. Encrypting them using that software you linked would have prevented me from discovering the location of the flv file, I assume. My browser allows me to right click and save the swf file (or just create a link in a forum post and right click it. [​IMG] ), then I imported that into Flash 8 and viewed the action script. Then typed in the url.

    I wonder if you put the flv files in a subfolder with htaccess, if you could secure them that way or with some other type of file protection.

    But people could still use a program like Fraps to capture the video right off the screen, record the audio, sinc it back up, and you have your own copy again without even messing with the source files.

    Like you said, don't want it stolen, don't put it on the web. [​IMG]
     
  7. Mark Giles

    Mark Giles Second Unit

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    ok, thanks for the info so far guys. I'm going to further protect it by limiting ip address and possibly secure (https) the site. but that will cost me more with my web host. Thanks for the info so far. I'll let u know how it comes out.
     
  8. Jason Harbaugh

    Jason Harbaugh Cinematographer

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  9. Mark Giles

    Mark Giles Second Unit

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    Ok, Jason. thanks for that idea. I'll call them and ask about that.
     

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