Macromedia’s Director software (which significantly predates the Web) has become the industry standard for creating multimedia presentations appropriate for CD-ROMs and kiosk displays. Director movies incorporate images, motion, sound, interactive buttons, and even QuickTime movies. In 1996, Macromedia introduced the Shockwave system that enabled Director movies to be played directly on web pages, expanding the possibilities of what a web “page” is all about.
Shockwave has a number of attractive features:
Because Shockwave can be customized with Lingo programming, it offers functionality, such as the ability to remember user position, keep scores, “know” correct answers, and other games-related functions, that cannot be achieved with Flash.
The Shockwave file format offers efficient compression ratios, compressing Director movies to 1/3 to 1/2 of their original size.
Brings full CD-ROM-like interactivity to web pages.
Shockwave movies begin playing very quickly and continue playing as they download. There is no special server software required.
The Shockwave plug-in required to play Flash files is available for Windows 3.1/95/NT and Mac platforms. It is one of the most popular and widely distributed plug-ins.