Mr. Aerospace -
1) The video is just one small portion of a job that I am otherwise completely comfortable with. I am using the SmugMug.com development environment, which is perfect for this app. SmugMug has built-in hosting, but not for autoplay video. For 1 video for a low-volume site, I am just trying to understand the difference between Google Pages and "real" hosting.
I am going to build the separate "real" hosting charge into the proposal and use it if I feel I need it. I am not sure how to determine if Google Pages is "sufficient" - I may use the cheap hosting to be safe and not have to worry about it.
2) Given that the video is one small portion of this job, I am not looking (now) to completely dive in and understand all intricacies of SWF, FLV, etc. I am also not in a position to rationalize purchasing the complete Adobe toolset (would love to at some point) - I am using cheap or free tools to get this up and running.
My situation: I have a 3.5mb AVI that is about 30 seconds in duration. I am using the SUPER converter to convert the AVI to a SWF or FLV (I will also look at the Riva product). I understand that I can change to bitrate and dimensions of the video to make it more efficient, etc. I have figured out how to implement the resulting SWF using object/embed (haven't gotten the FLV to display). I want the video to autoplay on the homepage. I want to have the option to display start/pause/mute controls, etc. I want this to work consistently on a wide variety of equipment without concern.
My related questions:
(a) I do not know the difference between SWF and FLV and the pros/cons of each. Does it really matter which I use? Your recommendation?
(b) How do I get the start/pause/mute controls to display?
3) I am not going to do progressive streaming. What is the largest size SWF/FLV (or the largest bitrate... or largest dimension video..) that will reasonably work when accessed from an average American household. The client wants a "large video" to autoplay and loop on the homepage.
I want to push back and say that we can reasonably autoplay and loop a 30second video of dimension (for instance) 320x240 (or whatever). I will also be warning the customer that he may not be happy with the resulting quality regardless. I am just looking for a rule-of-thumb size (video dimension) that we can go up to with good quality.
4) What symptoms occur at user workstations when too large a video is driven to their PC? What happens? Does it just hang and hang, attempting to load? or does it revert to lower quality?
5) For sound... I am going to recommend that the video be silent. I will implement optional background music via www.deezer.com
(or something similar). Can I assume that it would be difficult/impossible to have the music stay on (without interruption) when navigating between pages? I am leaning toward limiting sound to homepage only.
Thanks for your time and patience... Much appreciated.