Aimed at professional multimedia, Web, game, and even enterprise developers, Macromedia Director MX 2004 adds polish and new reach to an already powerful multimedia authoring tool. This strong release features support for new media file types, better Flash integration, and several key user interface improvements.
Installing Director was effortless, thanks to a slick Flash-based installer that worked in seconds. The software runs on both Windows XP and Mac OS X (10.2.6 or later). Importantly, you can target content for both platforms no matter which development environment you choose. We tested on Windows and also looked at the Mac version.
One of Director's key strengths over the years has been its support for leading-edge multimedia types, which can be mixed and matched to create interactive Shockwave-ready presentations suitable for the Web, kiosks, and CDs. The new version adds support for Windows Media files (including WMV and WMA). In testing, we simulated creating a promotional trailer for a short film, mixing multimedia elements (voice-over, still images, and a clip for viewing), with basic interactivity for getting viewers to static content (filmmaker bios, contact information).
As in previous versions of the software, Director lets you control different sources of multimedia (which are called channels). You also have command of controls and events for interacting with on-screen objects (sprites).
Other interface improvements include the ability to get better control of the look and feel of the workspace with dockable windows and the ability to change the placement of the main movie viewer window. The overall personality of Director presents a winning and flexible console. That said, getting adept in the environment is still something that will take some time to accomplish. (Microsoft's Producer 2003, an add-on to PowerPoint, is definitely easier to use, though it's a lot less powerful.)
For creating interactivity in multimedia apps, Director now supports half a dozen basic Flash MX 2004 controls directly, including common types like Edit Boxes, List Boxes, and Labels. With this capability, enterprise developers familiar with form-based applications can work with them within Director. We created a registration page using this feature. It's not easy to resize these objects using Director, so enterprise-oriented developers will probably want to rely on Flash MX 2004 instead for intensive forms-based development.
The new Director environment is smarter about editing and updating content links, especially when used in conjunction with Flash MX 2004. First, if you edit a Flash module outside of a Director project, it's automatically updated inside your Director project. Images from Fireworks MX 2004 (another Macromedia design tool) can also be directly imported.
Director has always excelled at providing a lot of choices for collecting different media types under one umbrella to create multimedia animations. Importing actual video content—whether from Windows Media, RealPlayer, or QuickTime—is well supported. The new release also lets you link to DVD content, though content is not editable. In testing, we had no trouble playing existing DVD clips using a handy built-in player. Tapping cue points from DVD content to interact with Director content is trickier and requires a tool like Sound Forge to define them first. Working the other way around—showing DVD content in response to Director events—is downright simple, though. For example, you could have users interact with a DVD on their PC in response to a Web site, which suggests new possibilities for the Director platform.
When you are finished creating a project, the new Director affords excellent control of generating projector files, which can target both the Windows and Mac platforms, as well as different versions of the Shockwave player (Versions 8.5 and 10). Significantly for this new version, settings for deployment are now saved on a per-project basis, which means you can deploy to different versions of the player with ease.
Although there are lower-cost alternatives, Director is arguably the premiere package for multimedia authoring. Though it is still a challenging tool to use (and requires some training and practice to master), it offers a truly powerful multimedia authoring environment. The newest version delivers the slickest and most flexible user interface yet, one that will surely be an attractive upgrade option for existing Director customers.
pictures and details http://www.AhaShare.com/torrents-details.php?id=20291