Difference between Shockwave and Flash

Key difference: Shockwave and Flash are two different multimedia platforms from the same company, Adobe. Adobe Flash is a multimedia and software platform that is mainly used for creating vector graphics, animation, games and Rich Internet Applications (RIAs). These RIAs can be played in Adobe Flash Player. Flash is commonly used to add streamed video or audio players, advertisement and interactive multimedia content to web pages. Shockwave, on the other hand, is a multimedia platform used to add animation to web pages and to make the pages more interactive. Shockwave files can be created using Adobe Director.

Shockwave and Flash are two different multimedia platforms from the same company, Adobe. Both were originally created by Macromedia and were meant for different uses. Macromedia was then acquired by Adobe Systems.

Adobe Flash is a multimedia and software platform that is mainly used for creating vector graphics, animation, games and Rich Internet Applications (RIAs). These RIAs can be played in Adobe Flash Player. Flash is commonly used to add streamed video or audio players, advertisement and interactive multimedia content to web pages.

Flash can create animation of text, drawings, and still images by using vector and raster graphics. It also supports bidirectional streaming of audio and video. Furthermore, it can capture user input mainly through mouse, keyboard, microphone and camera.

ActionScript is commonly used to program Flash applications and animations, while Adobe Flash Professional is popularly used to create Flash content. Flash also supports automation through JavaScript Flash language (JSFL). Adobe Flash Player makes it possible to play Flash content. The player is available free of charge as a plug-in for web browsers for use on computers, and now for smartphones and tablets as well.

Shockwave, on the other hand, is a multimedia platform used to add animation to web pages and to make the pages more interactive. Shockwave files can be created using Adobe Director. Shockwave allows Adobe Director applications to be published on web pages and be viewed in a web browser by using the Shockwave plug-in.

As compared to Adobe Flash, Shockwave offers more features and more powerful tools, including the ability to incorporate Flash content in its files. However, Shockwave content cannot be incorporated in Flash. Shockwave includes a faster rendering engine, hardware-accelerated 3D, and support for various network protocols, including Internet Relay Chat. Furthermore, Shockwave's functionality can be extended by using extensions called “Xtras”.

Shockwave was originally designed for making online movies and animations, as well as destination web content such as product demos, presentations, and online shopping carts.

However, currently it is more popular for game development. Shockwave is also used for online learning tools which simulate real-world physics or involve significant graphing, charting, or calculation.

On the other hand, Flash is ideal for loading front-end web applications, but is mostly popular for online videos. It is also used for websites with numerous user interaction features, interactive advertising, and short animation movies.

Many users feel that Flash is faster, sleeker and easier to use. Flash is also an open-source format, which allows users to can see how it works and it is free to adapt and personalize. Flash files are also considered to load faster than Shockwave files.

Shockwave, on the other hand, is considered more intricate and requires more technical and advanced scripting knowledge. It is also more challenging to decode and modify. Adobe Director uses a compiled file format; hence it is extremely difficult to modify the program. However, it is considered more versatile as one can create more complex games, more elaborate interactivity and more detailed animation.

Furthermore, Shockwave is considered more expensive to use, as Adobe Director, which is used to create Shockwave files is more expensive than Adobe Flash application. Shockwave also requires one to take classes in order to acquire the technical and advanced scripting knowledge, required to master it.

Due to all this, Flash is more popular than Shockwave. Flash has a more universal integration, as more than 90% of web users have the Flash plug-in installed. Whereas, only 60% of web users have the Shockwave plug-in installed.

Image Courtesy: mediafire-list.blogspot.com, dataprotectioncenter.com

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