CaptivatePlayer

*** Updated to 1.2 ***

Some of the users on a Captivate list said they would find it useful if I packed up the Flash that I created to play Captivate movies. So, I made it dynamic, improved/fixed some things, and wrote some documentation. Source is included, but most people should only have to edit an XML file, and be done.

CaptivatePlayer – Docs | v1 ZIP | v1.1 ZIP

37 Replies to “CaptivatePlayer”

  1. Jester, you are cool! Thanks for sharing the Captivate Player, and for the work you donated to accomplish that. Many (most?) purchasers of Captivate have little Flash knowledge, and your efforts will encourage them to go full speed ahead in developing professional Captivate projects. Again, “Thanks”!!
    Larry Walther
    (aka “CatBandit”)

  2. Jester,

    I loved your component presentation for Flash. I came to see what you did with Captivate, but never knew how robust the Flash was. You demonstrations were entertaining as well as enlightening.

    I saved your player and plan to make use of it as it is way cool.

    Thanks!! Paul

  3. Cool,Thanks bud.
    would it be possible to use it to play multi audio swf files(not mp3 but audio flash only)it stops after the 3rd and hangs the browser (IE-firefox).

  4. The MX dev journal article says there is a sample at dev.jessewarden.com/captivate/flah-components/main.html.

    I see nothing.

    …And you thought we wouldn’t read it!
    :)

  5. Hi Jesse,
    I LOVE the player! I am trying to configure it to autoplay play each section but it is stopping at the end of each Captivate swf. Only the first one is autoplaying. Is there an easy way to do this?

  6. Within the Captivate Player, can you play htm/html files as well or can you only play swf files? If so, how?

    If not, is there a way to have the Captivate Player play htm/html files?

  7. Hello Jesse,

    Is it possible to split the Captivate player bar from the content window? Basically having two .swf files where one is the player bar and the other one is the content file.

    Thanks,

    Milo

  8. Not sure what you mean. The CaptivatePlayer.swf loads in the content dynamically, so the CaptivatePlayer is one SWF, and the content it loads is 1 to many SWF’s. The actual player itself would in no way benefit from being multiple SWF’s, and would complicate the code.

    Can you elaborate on what you want to happen?

  9. Jester,

    I am sure this is a stupid question but how do you go in and change the color in the player. What I mean is for example when you click on the selections I want to change the green to another color.

    I have looked at the flash file but am coming up empty.

    Thanks!

    Regards,
    Aaron

  10. There is no currently supported way to do that via the configuration files. If you do not wish to learn Flash, then you’ll need to wait for the next release (early Spring) where I’ll expose a few ways to change colors.

  11. hi Jester,

    amazing amazing work on the player! you have just saved me tons of development time! i was wondering if there are any new updates to it?

    on a sorta different note, are you also part of the team that macromedia will be polling for the new version (captivate 2 maybe?). it would be great if your tool was built in to the captivate product!!

    thanks again!

  12. Updates? Not yet.

    I can neither confirm nor deny.

    Hehe, it’d be cool if she was embedded, but then I’d have to sell it to Adobe, and then do this stuff for money… I’d prefer to keep it free so I don’t feel pressured to add things beyond the community asking. I’d rather do community service vs. a job, know what I mean?

    Hopefully, next 2 weeks things will wind down, and I can hit some bugs and features people have been asking for.

  13. I’ve been searching hi and low to find a way to stream the captivate files. For example they would begin to play at 5% loaded. Is there any way to configure this with your player?

  14. I was wondering about the scale content, when ever i have it enabled it completely ruins the quality of the swf’s im trying to show and is there anyway to enable and disable the scale content to work when different resolutions are enabled? the video instead of 1 big swf is cut into 5 different .swfs but is best visible at 1024 by 768 in a plain internet explorer window, it was captured at 1024 by 744 if that makes any difference but the screens are dramatically less quality when veiwed by any smaller resolution
    thanks

  15. Hi, just firstly wanted to say great player, definately the best one ive found by far. I was wondering if there was a way of adding animation or just text when the player is firstly loaded, would i need to do this in flash? Also, is there anyway to change the settings of the player so that it start at the scale of around 800*600 as this is what my movies need to be viewed at. Thanks,

    Kev

  16. hi jesse

    i was wondering if you could take a moment to explain how your Captivate player detects the end of the Captivate SWF. i’ve studied your code, and it uses onEnterFrame to compare the total number of frames with the current frame. a logical argument.

    however, when i try to use a similar script in my own flash interface, the onEnterFrame function seems to kill the Captivate SWF. Flash-based swfs work properly, but Captivates don’t. i’ve tried several variations of the script with various results: one version rendered the SWF unplayable (captivate playback controls didn’t respond anymore). one version plays the swf back at a lower framerate. none of them counted the current frame after the initial load… it would freeze at frame 5 or 6. but, as i said, the scripts all work with normal SWFs. i’m pulling my hair out here…

    I was hoping you might have an answer or advice… Captivate SWFs are turning out to be quite a headache to deal with.

    Thanks! :)
    – philip

  17. Jesse,
    Like everyone else, great job!
    There is one item that I could *really* use that doesn’t appear to be working in v1.1:

    You can also set whether or not to automatically play the next section (does this automatically by default):


    Even though it is supposed to be automatic, I tried adding the attribute to the XML file; still no-go.

    Checked the source and couldn’t find any reference to ‘continousplayback’. Is the posted source for v1.1? Or am I doing/not something?

    Miss you and all my old RBX buddies! (past & present)
    Thanks,
    Holly
    PS. Kiki says ‘hi’ :-)

  18. Jes,
    Me again! I was just looking at your Flash Component tutorial and I noticed in the CaptivatePlayer/Preferences menu, there are 2 items that are *not* shown on the v1.1 CaptivatePlayer that I am using: ‘Play Next Section Automatically’ and ‘Loop Entire Demonstration’

    Is this version posted somewhere?
    Thanks,
    –holly

  19. Try removing all FlashVars from the index.htm; that could be overrwriting what the captivate_playlist.xml sets.

    If you can’t find the source for 1.1, let me know via email.

  20. Hi Jester,

    Thank you for the player.
    I would like to know if there is command variable ready available for jumping swf on perticular slide no ? I mean if i am on slide no 4 of swf and if i press button called/named 8 then it should go to 8th slide of movie which is getting played in player. is there any command for it ?

    I tried to do this many way but still no hopes.

    Please help.
    Thanks,
    Mitesh Shah

  21. I would like Captivate Player to open at a specific size, or full screen.

    I’m publishing my files as .swf and placing them on a CD.
    The 4 files I’m including are:
    Captivateplayer.exe
    Captivateplayer.swf
    autorun.inf
    captivate_playlist.xml

    I’ve edited the xml file to include the 9 swf files in my project …

    how can I set the player to open at 800 x 600 OR full screen?
    Thanks!
    Peggy

  22. Hi Jester!

    Great work on the player. This really makes my development work so much easier.

    I would like to know how to set the player to open at 800 x 600 or another resolution. Can one set a variable in captivate_playlist.xml or is there another way. I would not like to scale the content, but by default having it in 800 x 600, since all my movies is in this format. Of course the user can just resize the window when it starts, but the other thing would be more professional.

    Thanks you for the player and your patience.

    I think it is great that you keep everything open for all as you do here

    Yours Sincerely

    Martin Laursen

  23. To get the player to run maximized on your screen:

    Create a shortcut for captivateplayer.exe

    Right click the shortcut and choose Properties

    Click the dropdown on ‘Run’ and choose ‘Maximized’

    Your movie will run maximized on the screen if you run it from the shortcut!

  24. I’d like to see a multi-level menu on captivateplayer.
    This software is very usefull, but I have dozen of movies, and I’d like to create a structured menu, creating groups and subgroups, arranging my swf files by subject.

  25. Great tool! I had just about given up until I found this!

    Now, here’s my challenge. I have created a graphical menu in Flash that links to 9 different Captivate .SWF files. I’ve merged my .FLA into the Captivate Player source. I’d be happy to provide the new source.

    1) I want the option of returning to the menu on the player ‘home page’ after each Captivate SWF movie. Do I need to do anything special with the Captivate .cp file? I’ve tried ‘close movie’ at end but that doesn’t seem to do anything different than ‘stop movie’. I’ve reverse engineered Jesse’s work to add a ‘returntomovie’ boolean variable which can be set in the XML file, etc. How / where do I insert a check to see if that is set, to go back to the main Flash homepage? I can’t seem to find the right spot/command. Somewhere in the onMovieDone function but I haven’t had much luck…

    2) I want the user to be able to select SWF movies from your drop down menu as well as the buttons on my Flash page…what would the command be?

    Also, for the person who asked about resizing, permanently… Use Flash to edit Jesse’s source and change the Document size (Modify -> Document -> Dimensions) and resave/publish the .exe/swf files. I did that for mine to be 990×680 to accommodate my 990×640 Captivate movies, plus space on top for Jesse’s menus.

    Also, I commented out the slider for the volume, since my Captivate demos have no audio, at this point. Might be another good idea to have a variable in the XML file as to whether or not to show the slider…

    THANKS!
    THANKS!

  26. If I understand correctly, you designed captivate player to basically call .swf files only when needed so that they are not all downloaded at one time. My question is whether RoboHelp does the same thing. The reason I ask is that I intend to use captivate projects not only as a standalone general product demonstrations but also as screen capture demos that I can insert into RoboHelp sections. My concern is that if RoboHelp doesn’t call captivate projects only when they are chosen in the index or toc, then I will be bogging down my RoboHelp project by inserting many captivate projects. Your response would be very much appreciated. Yours, Alex

  27. Hi,
    Repoting this here as it seems better suited… Great work on captivatePlayer, however im having problem with playback control for Captivate 2 files.
    My directory structure looks like this

    CaptivatePlayer.swf
    captivate_playlist.xml
    demo1.swf
    index.html
    main.html
    untitled_skin.swf
    untitled.swf

    The untitled_skin.swf file doesnt seem to be read when untitled.swf is called through CaptivatePlayer.

    Any help on this would be appreciated :)

  28. Yeah, you have to load the skins now, not the actual SWF’s. The skins then load your movies.

    I had to modify the code to “look” for a skin file just in case.

    :: goes to post a new build ::

  29. > i was wondering if you could take a moment to explain how your Captivate player detects the end of the Captivate SWF

    I’m having exactly the same problem at the moment…

    I can’t look at the code though – the file seems to have been moved?

  30. Hi JesterXL –

    I created a custom Flash player that loads and plays a series of swf or Captivate swf files. I have spent a good deal of time working with the functions and properties in Captivate swf files, both those documented and not documented.

    My player preloads files and then plays them, however, the first time (before they are cashed) the Captivates will not start, or will in fact play, but invisible.

    When you were building your player, did you come accross this issue?

    Thanks

  31. thank you for the program, it really helped me out of a jam. Is it possible to set the loop feature to be active from the start, rather then having to select it?

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