NetStream Sucks


I have to give Adobe a lot of credit for all the hard work they put in to make AS3 the great language that it is. They took an awful, hacked-together scripting language and completely re-factored it to make it Object Oriented (mostly) with a really well put together packages for all sorts of cool stuff. Now that their praise has been given, I feel less bad about complaining!

What’s up with the Netstream class? Any of you who has had to write a video player from scratch or do anything of worth with mp3s knows, some developer at Adobe was sitting around one day slurping back his Mt. Dew looking at that class and said, “Meh, I think I’ll cut out early and go to the beach.” Half the class is properly object oriented, and the other half is stuck in the old AS2-style callback land. You want to get the metadata from the file you’re streaming? Oh, set the client property to an object and define a callback function on that objected called onMetaData! WHAT!? Why not have a simple addEventListener like everything else in your whole language?

Well, now that I’ve complained, I guess I better get off by butt and do something about it, right? Fine. I introduce to you a nifty class I affectionately call SimpleNetStream.

There’s a whole package of dependencies on this class, now, but don’t worry yourself too much. For the most part you won’t need to touch any of them unless you want to really use one of those fancy events like Metadata, DRM content, or CuePoints. Now your NetStream code will look more like this:

_ns = new SimpleNetStream (_netConnection);
_ns.addEventListener (AsyncErrorEvent.ASYNC_ERROR, onAsyncError);
_ns.addEventListener (NetStatusEvent.NET_STATUS, onNetStatus);
_ns.addEventListener (CuePointEvent.CUE_POINT, onCuePoint);
_ns.addEventListener (MetaDataEvent.META_DATA, onMetaData);
_ns.addEventListener (PlayStatusEvent.COMPLETE, onPlayComplete);

And so on! I wanted to give this its own post, but in the next day or two, I’ll give you all my follow-up post with the StreamingVideoPlayer class that will make your tiny video player needs trivial!

In the meantime, enjoy SimpleNetStream. It can do everything that NetStream does, but instead of all the callbacks, there are now real events. I even have support for some AIR & FMS events that aren’t well documented. Next time you find yourself in need of a NetStream class, please, do yourself a favor and use this instead.

Download SimpleNetStream Source


There’s one other thing I almost forgot to tell you! All of those awful string literals you find yourself checking in switch statements when dealing with the NetStream object, I fixed those too. Take a look at the NetConstants class!

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