[pdftex] embedded movies revisited

Orlando C. Rodríguez orodrig at ualg.pt
Wed Apr 30 12:30:54 CEST 2003


The effect of  /Poster true   and  /UseURL true  seems to be that
as soon as you open the page on which the movie has been placed,
the PDF browser downloads the movie file from the specified URL,
so as to get the frame to be used as the Poster image.
(In fact I include this frame as a static image anyway, with the
movie placed over the top of this image. This way it is not obvious
that the page is not actually complete while the movie is being
downloaded, as if in the background.)

Assuming a reasonably fast connection, by the time the reader has
that there is a movie that can be played, it has been downloaded and
is ready for a smooth launch.

Hence, although the PDF and movie are stored as separate files,
they are downloaded "almost" together, and the movie is ready for
playing *almost* instantly (from a human's perspective).

The only downside is that if you copy the PDF onto a CD, or disconnect
from the network, then the movie will not be accessible.
(But that's the same with your solution with \href  -- of course.)

Hello Ross:

Thanks for the tips, I consider that joining electronic movies with PDF
documents is
going to change significantly the way we use to create scientific
Later on I will do my "homework" making experiments in using the

However I want to make you notice that the \href macro of hyperref is
quite flexible:
it can be used like  \href{some internet address}
or                          \href{run:name of movie in avi, mov or mpeg
or                          \href{run:some external program}.

So, the main difference between the annotation (in the way it was
designed) and the
\href macro is that the annotation is "URL-dependent", so it will work
as soon as you
are connected to the web and as soon as the web server which contains
the movie is
active and as soon as your system supports the movie format (mine,
unfortunately, does'nt),
On the other side, the \href macro can be used in the same document to
offer different alternatives
to the user (something like \href{internet address}{Click here to view
the movie}
\href{run:movie.avi}{Click here to run the movie (avi format, requires
download first)},
\href{run:movie.mov}{Click here to run the movie (Quicktime format,
\href{run:./somescript}{Click here to call ... , requires
So, if you create a CD with all your files the links created with the
\href{run:...} macro are going to
work fine independently of being or not connected to the web.

Best regards from Portugal.

Prof. Orlando Camargo Rodríguez
Área Departamental de Física
FCT - Universidade do Algarve

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