New MySpace embed rewriting “breaks” Flash preloaders

January 26th, 2007 § 7 comments

I did a very quick test, and it does appear that the way MySpace uses the <object> tag prevents Flash preloaders from appearing as expected in Internet Explorer (tested versions 6 and 7 for Windows). This is the issue that the Flash Satay article reports on. I will attempt to explain it below, as well, and how it applies to MySpace in particular:

In normal situations, the Flash plugin or ActiveX control will start playing a Flash movie as soon as it has loaded the first frame. Flash movies often put up a progress bar that lets the user now how much longer they will have to wait for the movie to finish loading.

On MySpace, Flash movies now only show a generic graphic icon until the entire Flash movie is loaded, instead of starting immediately. This means that the Flash movie has no opportunity to display its own progress bar to indicate loading status (or to just start playing if preloading is not necessary).


how it used to work This is the way it is expected to look, and how it does work in Firefox (or in IE when embed or IE’s preferred object tag is used).


how it looks now This is the way Flash movies look on MySpace in IE now, before they have finished loading. Obviously, this is much less attractive and gives no feedback to the user. Worse, if a movie does not require a preloader and expects to be able to stream and play its content as it loads, it is unable to do so.

If MySpace wants to rewrite embeds so drastically, I wish they would just use Geoff Stearns’ SWFObject instead. Not only would that solve the preloading problem above, but it would also fix the Eolas “click-to-active” issue that is still present when viewing user-embedded Flash movies on MySpace with IE.


Here is the way Internet Explorer “prefers” to see the object tag, and is the way that the Flash IDE by default writes out the object tag. However, I believe it is not W3C-standards-compliant (and is also not compatible with Firefox, Safari, etc). When this form of the object tag is used, Flash preloaders work as expected:

<object classid="clsid:d27cdb6e-ae6d-11cf-96b8-444553540000" codebase=",0,0,0" width="320" height="200" id="objectloadingtest" align="middle">
<param name="movie" value="" />

This is the way MySpace rewrites the object tag, and causes the preload problem. It is (I believe) W3C-standards-compliant.

<object type="application/x-shockwave-flash" data="" height="200" width="320" align="middle">
<param name="movie" value="" />

§ 7 Responses to New MySpace embed rewriting “breaks” Flash preloaders"

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  • Bill says:

    Is there a fix for this myspace problem? I’ve added a flash to my myspace and yes, I do get that problem.

    My flash also has actionscript menus which work fine in Firefox, but do not work at all in Internet Explorer. I get that little Javascript error at the bottom of the page each time it loads in IE.

    Any idea on how to fix either of those problems?


  • bunnyhero says:

    hi bill! as far as i know, the only way to get around the preloading problem is to use the technique that flash satay uses: have a small ‘container movie’ that does nothing but loads your real flash movie. i find that approach somewhat messy, so i haven’t used it myself, but it might be worth looking into.

    i don’t know anything about your second issue, alas.

  • damion says:

    Having same problem. Trying to embed a picasa web album. MS changes the embed code to object. Works somewhat in FF but complete breaks in IE. Same problem with flicker. Think they use iframe.
    I think MS just wants you to use there stuff IE photobucket blah blah blah. I know they bitch about security and cross site scripting but common.

  • Clay says:

    hey do you guys know anything that can substitute for activex? b/c i have a stupid song on my myspace, and i cant change it anymore, and it doesnt even go with my layout :(

  • ag3nt42 says:

    i also have the problem with link menus… its a real pain in the ass.. i wish they would change that shit back already. not like we can’t stick real links to other sites in the damn page… instead of fucking up everyones profiles that use flash responsibly they should warn idiots to not go to every tom dick and harrys website and go click happy like it was fuckin ww3… because that how the majority of these ppl get there profiles snatched.

    or they tell their friends their passwords and shit. then forget they told them…Hello people are ignorant myspace… deal with it.. don’t make it worse

  • bunnyhero says:

    yeah, it sucks that links in flash are disabled, so you can’t have nice menus and stuff. really, really frustrating!

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