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Flash 8: The Missing Manual by E. A. Vander Veer

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Testing Download Time

If you're planning to publish your animation on the Web, you need to know about how long it takes your animation to download from a Web server to somebody's computer. Chapter 14 gives you several optimization techniques, including tips for preloading content and reducing your animation's file size; but before you begin to optimize your animation, you need to know just how bad the situation is and where the bottlenecks are. The following sections show you how.

Simulating Downloads

You could set up a bank of test machines, each connected to the Internet at a different transfer speed, to determine the average download time your audience will eventually have to sit through. But Flash gives you an easier option: simulating downloads at a variety of transfer speeds with the click of a button. The simulation takes into consideration any additional, non-Flash media files that you've included in your animation, such as sound and video clips.

To simulate different download speeds:

  1. Choose Control → Test Movie.

    The Flash Player (test window) appears.

  2. In the test window, select View → Download Settings (Figure 13-6) and then, from the submenu, select the connection speed you expect your audience to be running.

    Your choices range from 14.4 (1.2 kbps) to T1 speed (131.2 kbps). If you need to simulate a faster speed, check out Figure 13-7.

    Note

    Unless you're planning to allow only certain folks to view your animation (for example, students in your company's training classes), you ...

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