Note: The information below was written prior to the release of Director 7.0.2 and Shockwave 7.0.2. For the most part, this information is not pertinent to these versions (or later.) Instead, refer to:

"Frequently Asked Questions: Streaming QuickTime media in Director 7.0.2 in Shockwave 7.x via QuickTime 4" (TechNote 13324.)

"Authoring notes: Streaming QuickTime media in Director 7.0.2 in Shockwave 7.x via QuickTime 4" (TechNote 14016.)

If you are using Director 6.5 - 7.0 with Shockwave 7.0 and the QuickTime 3.x system extensions:

Director movies can be played in a browser (locally from disk, or via an Intranet, or via the Internet and the World Wide Web) if the browser is equipped with Macromedia's Shockwave 7 player.

Director 7 movies played can also be designed to include and play Apple's QuickTime 3 digital video media sprites in Shockwave 7 in a browser, just like Director movies played in a projector.

A step-by-step example of designing a Director 7 movie including QuickTime 3 digital video media for playback in Shockwave 7 is described in "Notes on using QT3 media in Shockwave 7 and Director 7" (TechNote #13122).

Playing digital video media in Shockwave previous to version 7 is unevenly supported and no longer recommended: Although digital video sprites could be played in movies created in previous versions of Director and played in previous versions of Shockwave, these implementations typically had a number of significant limitations. For example:

  • Previous versions of Shockwave did not automatically download and install Macromedia's QuickTime 3 Asset Xtra, which is required to play QuickTime media via Apple's QuickTime 3 system extensions. As a result, developers had to create there own installer mechanisms, and this was complicated by platform-specific system configuration issues.
  • Director 6.5's QuickTime 3 Asset Xtra could not be used to test which version of Apple's QuickTime system extensions were installed on Macintosh systems if the QuickTime 3 system extensions weren't installed. Although Lingo workarounds were possible, they were not completely effective. Or, alternatively, developers could use 3rd party Xtras to test the configuration, but as described above, these required custom download and installation mechanisms.
  • Before Apple's QuickTime 3 system extensions were available, Video for Windows .AVI media could only be played on Windows systems -- so .AVI media was not useable for cross-platform web delivery. Now, Director 7 and Shockwave 7 support .AVI media via Apple's QuickTime 3 system extensions.

For these reasons and others, we recommend using Shockwave 7 to play QuickTime 3 media via Apple's QuickTime 3 system extensions in movies created in Director 7. Director 7's QuickTime 3 Asset Xtra can correctly test the QuickTime system extension configuration on both Macintosh and Windows -- even if no QuickTime system extensions are installed. If the end user has Apple's QuickTime 3 system extensions installed, QuickTime 3 media can be played in Shockwave 7 in movies created in Director 7.

For more information, refer to Director 7's documentation "Notes on using QT3 media in Shockwave 7 and Director 7" (TechNote #13122).

Using Director animation as an alternative to digital video: As an alternative to using digital video in a Shockwave movie, you can instead convert the digital video file into a sequence of bitmap images for use in your Director movie. This workaround is usually only appropriate for use with extremely small digital video files, because of file size and download time considerations. Various digital video editing and image processing applications can be used to convert the digital video to bitmaps (for example, DeBabelizer on Macintosh). For example, the bitmaps can be imported into Director and animated using Cast to Time. For more information, refer to Director's documentation, Show Me movies, as well as in searchable TechNotes on our web site, for information on techniques to optimize Director movies for Shockwave.

Using a 3rd party plugin/control to play digital video: Another alternative to playing digital video via Shockwave is to embed the digital video elsewhere on the HTML page, outside of the embedded Director movie and play the digital video using a non-Shockwave solution.

For example, there are 3rd party streaming digital video playback plugin/controls available (e.g.: Apple's QuickTime plugin, the RealVideo player, etc.). In this case, you would embed the 3rd party plugin/control elsewhere in the HTML page -- and not play the digital video media in the Shockwave movie at all. For information on 3rd party digital video Internet plugins, refer to the vendors.

TechNote revision history:
3/20/99 - Recommend using Director 7 & Shockwave 7 to play QT3 media, because it's much easier to implement and better supported.
8/16/99 - Added note at top and links to new TechNotes 14016 & 13324 concerning streaming QT media in D702 & SW702 via QT4.

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