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[_] SMIL & or FLASH, advantages/disadvantages ?

Neil Smith n.smith at
Wed May 19 13:10:10 BST 2004

Sure - SMIL allows you to combine media types with timing information just
like flash. But the original media remains distinct from the file and can be

SMIL is *less well* supported in terms of install base than flash, you'll
need something like Quicktime or Real player (or a standalone java applet
like GRINS player) to run it.

SMIL can allow you to do some interesting things by using attributes like
system-bitrate or system-language in a choose tag (forget the syntax r/now)
so you can vary content dependent on the users specified language preference
and available bandwidth.

SMIL is of course an XML language, so you have the advantages of being to
easily create them using an XML parser - for some examples see the real
player videos on my subtitling site, :

Here I'm taking an archived XML caption file, converting it to a realtext
(.rt) stream, and combining it with the video source using SMIL to generate
a text-area container and a vide-area container. (The same works for
quicktime with very minor changes in syntax of the SMIL, and for windows
media by converting to a proprietary ASX file !)

Hope that's a quick start, check out the Realsystem documentation, its very
comprehensive on the SMIL syntax with lots of examples.

Neil Smith <MVP digital media>

> Message: 5
> Date: Wed, 19 May 2004 09:56:30 +0100
> From: "Chris B" <chris at>
> Subject: [_] SMIL & or FLASH, advantages/disadvantages ?
> To: "Underscore" <underscore at>
> Message-ID:
> <15C3B49FE129D611889000065B3AF9726CBBA8 at>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
> Hi [_],
> Could anyone enlighten me of the advantages of using SMIL over Flash
> And any disadvantages ?
> Am considering learning SMIL, and just need some pointers..
> Chris