I am relatively new to web development and have a couple questions regarding embedding Flash video. I have a customer who wants a short 30 second video to loop on the front page of the site. During the playing of the video, the end-user should have the ability to click on a website menu item and start to traverse the site.
I have taken a sample AVI file and successfully converted it to both FLV and SWF. I have uploaded these files to an existing Google Pages account that I maintain. I have successfully used html object and embed statements to autoplay and loop the video (the SWF - can't get the FLV to work). But I do have a couple questions:
1) Should I use SWF or FLV and why? It seems like I can successully play the SWF using object and embed, without the need for any special software. Should I instead be using the FLV for some reason? Would I need any special software to support this?
2) What user compatibility concerns (if any) should I be concerned about? If they have Flash installed, will this work pretty consistently (I do understand formatting inconsistencies between IE, FF, etc.... just not sure if Flash video is an additional can of worms to be concerned about)
3) I expect this to be relatively low volume (not sure exactly what that means yet, but this is for a small local landscaping business). Should I host the SWF/FLV video on Google Pages (is that OK?) or should I be looking at somewhere else? I have reason to store it on an external site.
4) Google Pages has a 10mb limit. Suggestions as to what host I should use if I need to go beyond 10mb.
5) I am assuming at this point that displaying a 30second HD-resolution video would NOT work for many end users. I am thinking we should stick with non-HD until the hardware/bandwidth catches up for most end-users. Is this the correct thinking?
6) The video would be recorded with sound. but I would want the video to be muted, unless the end-user clicked on a "Turn Sound On" button. How would I implement this?
7) I found a free AVI to SWF/FLV converter. Is there a noticeable quality difference between AVI->SWF/FLV converters?
I would appreciate any help you could provide...