Monday, February 18, 2008

Saving Flash Work on a Mac (gasp!) without Crashing

I use Macs at work, as someone who works in the media industry, even though I love my PC and Windows XP at home (where I also do work). Sometimes there's just no escaping it. So here's something I'd since learned while working in Flash 8 on Macs.

When working on an increasingly large .FLA project file (imported video and audio, lots of images, long-ass timelines, etc), Saving your projects starts becoming a huge pain in the butt. It would just hang there with the spinning beach ball. For months I'd assumed it would just crash and I'd lose work, which drove me nuts.

Eventually, I found out that it was just taking forever to save, up to 20 minutes or more. If you left it alone, it wouldn't crash, but you were certainly at the mercy of Flash taking its sweet time. My assistant at the time went out to have a smoke.

FINALLY, I figured out that instead of Saving, if you use "Save and Compact", which clears out your cache and previous save states and undos that normal Saving usually keeps, I was able to cut down the save time of my project down to probably just under a minute. Huzzah!

Still, blech. There's no such problem on PC's and in fact it's quicker to do a normal save than to do a Save and Compact since the latter technically involves more actions (it's like rearranging your entire suitcase every time you wanted to add a pair of socks).

Of course, this workaround for Macs only really applies to project files approaching 100 megabytes or more. Less than that and normal saving shouldn't be too big of a hassle. But in a situation where you absolutely MUST use a Mac to work on a large Flash project, Save and Compact is your friend.

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