Archive for June, 2005

New Mac OSX installers posted

We recently posted a tech note to help people on Mac 10.3.x (Panther) with a problem where the 10.1 installer didn’t update the pre-installed v9 player properly.

This issue has come up more and more frequently — maybe because people are hitting new Shockwave 10 content out there — in the past few months. Basically, if you run the installer, it will appear to complete correctly. But when you view Shockwave content, the area will be blank and/or you will see a “shockwave failed to load” error dialog.

We originally had a hard time reproducing it, so the fix was unclear. Well, we’ve got it figured out now. Some Panther builds had incorrectly set the plug-in so it couldn’t be overwritten (which Apple seems to have fixed for later builds after we reported the issue, thus the mixed bag of results.) We updated the installer to use the “always overwrite the file” option so that it overwrites the existing plug-in every time.

It’s fixed now, and the right bits are on the player download center. If you have customers who have reported issues with Shockwave Player on Panther, send them to download the latest installer from macromedia.com.

Another useful tidbit: the Mac installer is also the uninstaller. If you click on the “Easy Install” drop-down in the upper left corner, the drop-down will show the “Uninstall” option.

dev center: creating bitmaps with alpha channels

Karl Sigiscar has a new article on the Director Developer Center that describes five simple techniques to create alpha channles for your Flash and Director applications.

Creating Bitmaps with Alpha Channels for Transparent Flash Applications, Director Bitmap Sprites, and Shockwave 3D Overlays

inspiration: LiFE with PhotoCinema

Go and check out Tom’s entry about Life with PhotoCinema, an AMAZING Japanese consumer photo presentation software written entirely in Director and Flash. It even uses 3D, for transitions between steps, the app _flips_ (think of a square that rotates around the center axis) to the next screen.

I am continuously amazed at the wide variety of content and applications that can be created with our products, but this one really blew me away. They’ve thought of everything, from easy templates and transitions, creating DVDs – complete with nice menus – for your finished apps to the actual printing of professional-looking cover art for the DVD cases. They even include the special shrinkwrap labels (you know, the ones that seal the edge of the box in store bought dvds) and an ‘on sale’ sticker you can put on the cover.

There is currently only the Japanese version, but it is so easy to use you don’t really need to know what the text says. We can’t wait to get our copy!

LiFE with PhotoCinema

macromix technote and authoring xtra available

The technote for the Macromix Xtra bug fix is live, and contains the downloads for authoring.

minor install process change, and Macromix bugfix

Last week we made a few minor tweaks to the installation process, and released an updated Macromix Xtra to fix a crashing bug. Sorry to hold the info for so long, but I was waiting for the tech note for the bugfix to go live … and am still waiting …

Installer: The final step/dialog, that asks users if they want to use the “highly recommended” auto-update notification service has been removed from the registration process. Our research shows that most people elect to leave the service on during the registration process. We felt the additional dialog could be removed, further reducing the number of dialogs in the process. The player auto-update service continues to be optional, and is on by default upon installation. As before, users who do not wish to use the service can change the setting in the player context menu.

Relevant URLs:
Tech note describing how to disable the auto-update service : http://www.macromedia.com/go/tn_16683
Information page describing the service, and Macromedia’s privacy policy : http://www.macromedia.com/shockwave/productinfo/privacy/

Macromix: There was a bug in the Macromix sound device code that would cause intermittent crashes when stopping sound files using sound().stop(), and typically problems occurred when rapidly starting and stopping a number of short sounds. This issue was exposed on some older Windows systems. The Macromix Xtra was updated to properly handle latency issues and prevent crashes in these situations.

I’ll post the link to the tech note for this issue, with a link to download the updated Xtra for authoring as soon as it is available. Should be next week.

mini face-lift

We gave the Director product pages a mini-facelift, which just went live on the site. Because this is often the starting point for people looking for information about Director, we wanted to update the page with a focus on attracting new customers, encouraging upgrades, and providing a better “portal” to customers for indexing the Director-related information.

Some of the little tweaks off the top of my head (now that I don’t have the old site to compare to…):
- New links to “Xtras Extensions” and “Shockwave Player Home” in the right hand nav
- Aligned the “Why Upgrade” section to call out the features we discovered were the key drivers for upgrades through customer surveys
- Added a case study to start the Director in Action section, which will be swapped out as new ones come in
- Added a better call-out for Shockwave Player at the end

ciao,
e