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A Flash® profile is a MySpace™ profile that utilizes Flash® technology. By default, MySpace™ uses Hypertext Mark-up Language (HTML) to display profiles. Members can also use Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) to customize their profiles. However, Flash® provides members the option of a more animated and dynamic profile that can stand out from static, standard HTML or CSS.
Flash® profiles rely on Adobe® Flash® to function. Flash® incorporates Shockwave® Flash® movies with the .swf file extension and Flash® video files with .flv file extensions in players so that the design can animate and appear to be moving right before the eyes. Both of these elements can provide the backbone for any Flash® profile.
Virtually any profile element can be changed using Flash®. Various miscellaneous items like Flash® banners, countdown graphics, calendars, clocks and glitter text can be incorporated into a Flash® profile. However, one of the most popular applications of Flash® involves the personal pictures of members. Members may choose to use Flash® to display a dynamic slide show of pictures; text and graphics may be added onto the pictures to help organize and caption them for the owner or the profile viewer. Flash® music players are also very common on MySpace™ because they allow members to incorporate a lengthy list of songs into a player without the worry of the MySpace™ default song limit constraints.
Using Flash® in a MySpace™ profile can result in a more attractive and professional-looking profile. They are popular with everyone from novice teenagers simply interested in expressing themselves to professionals who use MySpace™ to help with marketing their businesses. However, while a Flash® profile may prove to be more aesthetically pleasing to the average MySpace™ member, certain drawbacks to using Flash® exist. For example, a Flash® profile takes much longer to load than its HTML or CSS counterparts and they can sometimes present navigational problems. Those who want to convey information simply and effectively are better suited to layouts using plain HTML or CSS.
Flash® software and codes are usually available to the public for free. Full profile templates may even be designed and offered to as ready-to-use. Professional web designers and Flash® developers may design templates and offer them to public as long as they are credited as the designer or developer. In this way, the work that goes into creating a Flash® profile can be recognized as an individual designer's or developer's while still being enjoyed by the public.
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