The Publish Settings menu is convenient because it permits you to tweak a minimal set of sound adjustments, whereupon Flash exports all of your “noncustomized”Stream sounds or Event sounds at the same rate. However, if you have many sounds and you are seriously concerned about obtaining the ideal balance of both optimal sound quality and minimum file size, you will need to export them at different rates. Consequently, for the fullest level of control over the way in which Flash compresses sound for delivery, we recommend that each sound should be optimized, individually, in the Library. In fact, it would be impossible for us to overemphasize this bit of sound advice: We recommend that each sound should be optimized, individually, in the Library.
Settings for audio in the Library
Audio settings in the Library are similar to those discussed previously for the Publish Settings. These settings appear in the Sound Properties dialog. To access these settings, either (a) double-click the icon of the sound in the Library, or (b) select the sound as it appears in the Library and (i) click the Properties button, or (ii) choose Properties from the Library Options popup.
There are four groupings of information and controls in the Sound Properties dialog: Status, Export Settings, Estimated Results, and Buttons.
The Sound Properties dialog enables you to control the compression settings and to precisely balance all other related settings for each individual sound in the Library.
The top half of the Sound Properties dialog displays status information about the sound file: To the far left is a window with the waveform of the selected audio; to the right of the waveform is an area that displays the name of the file together with its location, date, sample rate, channels, bit depth, duration, and file size.
The lower half of the dialog is titled Export Settings. The first setting is a drop-down menu that is used to select the Compression scheme. The Compression options, and the subsequent compression related options that appear in the other settings, are exactly the same as the sound options of the Publish Settings dialog, discussed earlier.
Beneath the Export Settings is where Estimated Results are displayed. Here, the estimated final file size (after compression) of the clip is displayed, together with the compression percentage. This is an extremely important tool that is easily overlooked.
The buttons to the right of the Sound Properties dialog offer the following options:
There are three benefits to fine-tuning your audio in the Sound Properties dialog of the Library. Foremost of these benefits is the ability to set specific compressions and optimizations for individual each sound. Another benefit is the Test button this is an excellent way to audition your audio file and to know what it will sound like when it is exported with different compression schemes and bit rates; hearing is believing. Finally, the Estimated Results, which display how each setting will affect the compressed file size, is a powerful tool that helps to obtain the desired balance of quality and file size. In contrast, optimizing sounds with the Publish Settings is more of a blind process it is not only more global; it’s also more of a painful trial-and-error method.
Combining methods for controlling sounds
One of the coolest things about Flash audio is that you can combine the two methods of controlling sounds, using both the Publish Settings and the Library Sound Properties dialog to streamline your work flow while still maintaining a relatively high degree of control over sound quality. (This method works best if you already have some experience with sound behavior in Flash.)
For example, let’s assume that you have three different Event sounds in your Flash project. Two of these are simple button sounds. You decide that you won’t require optimal sound for buttons, so based on your prior experience of sound behavior in Flash, you go directly to the Publish Settings and set Event sounds to publish as .MP3 at 48 Kbps with Medium Quality. Then, in the Library, by setting the Compression to default, you tell Flash to handle the compression for these sounds with the Publish Settings. But the third sound is a loop of background jazz that you want to be heard at near-CD quality. For this sound, you return to the Sound Properties tab and try a number of combinations and test each one until you find a balance between file size and audio quality that pleases your ears. You assign this sound to export as an .MP3, stereo at 112Kbps, with Quality set to Fine.
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Understanding The Flash Framework
Exploring The Interface: Panels, Settings, And More
Using Tools For Navigation And Viewing
Working With Selections And The Pen Tool
Working With The Drawing And Painting Tools
Working With Text
Exploring The Timeline
Checking Out The Library: Symbols And Instances
Drawing In Flash
Animating In Flash
Using Bitmaps And Other Media With Flash
Designing Interfaces And Interface Elements
Understanding Sound For Flash
Importing And Editing Sounds In Flash
Optimizing Flash Sound For Export
Understanding Actions And Event Handlers
Navigating Flash Timelines
Controlling Movie Clips
Sharing And Loading Assets
Planning Code Structures
Creating Subroutines And Manipulating Data
Understanding Movie Clips As Complex Objects
Sending Data In And Out Of Flash
Understanding Html And Text Field Functions In Flash
What Is Generator?
Revving Up Generator
Working With Third-party, Server-side Applications
Working With Raster Graphics
Working With Vector Graphics
Working With Audio Applications
Working With 3d Graphics
Working With Quicktime
Working With Realplayer
Creating Full-motion Video With Flash
Creating Cartoon Animation With Flash
Planning Flash Production With Flowcharting Software
Working With Authoring Applications
Publishing Flash Movies
Integrating Flash Content With Html
Using Players, Projectors, And Screensaver Utilities
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