Skip to content

Q: We need a 4-5 minute multimedia presentation similar to the ones in your portfolio. We’d use the presentation as a flash intro to the website and will distribute on CD.


Training Company
Hong Kong

A: What to use: Flash or multimedia? It’s a frequently asked question.

There are key differences between flash and multimedia, although many corporate professionals treat them as the same.

Broadly, if you want to present online, then use flash. If you want to present from CD, use multimedia. But there are circumstances where either can do both jobs

Flash Overview

> Flash is primarily designed for online streaming

> It excels at text and text animation, diagrams, and hand drawn images – and all combined with interactivity

> It’s very good for short messages, but complex to develop for long presentations, and is therefore more costly

Multimedia Overview

> Multimedia (in whatever multimedia language) is primarily designed for playing from CD, PC or laptop

> It excels with far richer visuals and text animation, though flash is more flexible

> It’s much better for long presentations, and therefore quicker and cheaper for this.

What Else?

Multimedia’s roots lie in presentations of exciting slides, or in interactive training disk-based materials. It can talk to databases. But when used online it isn’t as interactive as flash, and the picture quality isn’t as good when streamed.

Flash started life as an online animation tool. Flash creations can look very whizzy online, and they can also be played from a cd or hard disk

Both can incorporate video, animation, text, and images, but flash needs a lot of bandwidth to play stills (faces, building, products) or video.

Which Do I Choose?

If playing a presentation slideshow or training package from disk or cd is the primary use, then think multimedia

If online is the primary use, then think flash

Short presentations are fine for flash, but long presentations are better for multimedia.

Multimedia is definitely better if you need big size full screen visuals for playing at a conference, event or major presentation. Flashes tend to be smaller, more console-sized because of bandwidth considerations

There are numerous other smaller differences which will vary according to user need.

Here are some multimedia examples reproduced for the web. Though the original quality is brilliant, the streamed multimedia versions you’ll see are compressed for bandwidth reasons.

Hopefully you’ll fairly quickly see the differences between flash and multimedia and be able to decide which is best for your presentation

Leave a Comment