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Macromedia Authorware Support Center - Basics
Downloading external files to a Macintosh computer

External files used with the Macintosh version of an Authorware piece require two extra steps of preparation to ensure proper handling when downloading over an intranet. First, you need to "flatten" each external file with Authorware Web Packager, which preserves critical resource information. Second, you need to add the macbinary setting to the map file to tell Authorware Web Player that the file has been flattened.

Authorware Web Packager for the Macintosh performs two functions. Like its Windows counterpart, it compresses Authorware pieces for efficient handling over a network. But unlike the Windows version, Authorware Web Packager for the Macintosh also flattens external files used with the Macintosh versions of Authorware pieces. Flattening takes the critical resource, creator, and type information that's normally stored outside the data fork of the file and moves it to the data fork--and then removes the resource fork. Flattening is necessary because the HTTP protocol for downloading doesn't properly handle information outside the data fork. A flattened file produced by Authorware Web Packager has an .AAB extension.

To prepare an external file for use with a streaming Authorware piece on the Macintosh, first flatten the file with the Authorware Web Packager. Then in the map file add the macbinary setting in the fifth column (the option column) of the entry for the external file. If you use any options in addition to macbinary , separate each option with a comma but no space.

This example identifies an external file called calculat.aab that will be named CALCULATOR for use by the piece and will be downloaded when needed:


Two types of external files don't need to be flattened and don't require the macbinary setting in the map file: text files (which don't have a resource fork) and QuickTime movies that have been saved for cross-platform playback and have the .MOV file extension. The process of saving for cross-platform playback moves critical information to the data fork, and the .MOV extension communicates the file creator and type information to Authorware Web Player.

There will be times when you want to share external files between Windows and Macintosh Computers. For these files, flattening doesn't work because Windows doesn't recognize flattened files. Instead, you need to enter the creator and type information for the files in the option column (and not use macbinary ). The Macintosh needs to know the creator and type information to use the files.

This example shows a movie called mymovie set up for use by both Windows and Macintosh computers:


Note: If you want to improve the performance of external files such as Director movies -- whether shared cross-platform or not--instead of using Authorware Web Packager for flattening, you can manually enter creator and type information for them. A Director movie will start playing sooner if it's not flattened, because a flattened file must first be unflattened before playing--which can take a few seconds. If you don't mind entering the creator and type values manually in the map file, you'll improve the performance of your piece on the Macintosh.

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