Adobe Shockwave

Adobe Shockwave

Infobox Software
name = Adobe Shockwave Player

caption =
developer = Adobe Systems
latest_release_version =
latest_release_date = release date and age|2008|8|6
latest_preview_version =
latest_preview_date =
operating_system = Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X (Universal)
platform = Web browsers
genre = Multimedia Player / MIME type: application/x-director
license =
website = [ Adobe Shockwave Player]

Adobe Shockwave (formerly Macromedia Shockwave) was Macromedia's first and most successful multimedia player prior to the introduction of Macromedia Flash (now Adobe Flash). It allows Adobe Director applications to be published on the Internet and viewed in a web browser by anyone who has the Shockwave plug-in installed.


Shockwave is usually authored in the Adobe Director environment. While there is support for including Flash movies inside Shockwave files, authors often choose the Shockwave Director combo over Flash because it offers more features and more powerful tools. Features not replicated by Flash include a much faster rendering engine, including hardware-accelerated 3D, and support for various network protocols, including Internet Relay Chat. Furthermore, Shockwave's functionality can be extended with so-called "Xtras".

Platform Support

Unlike Flash, the Shockwave browser plugin is not available for Linux or Solaris despite vocal lobbying efforts. However, the Shockwave Player can be installed on Linux with CrossOver or by running a Windows version of a supported browser in Wine (with varying degrees of success).

Shockwave was available as a plug-in for both Mac OS and Windows for most of its history. However, there was a notable break in support for the Macintosh between January 2006 (when Apple Inc. released Apple Intel transition based on the Intel Core Duo) and March 2008 (when Adobe released Shockwave 11, the first version to run natively on Intel Macs).


Although Shockwave was designed for making a wide variety of online movies and animations, its actual use has become concentrated in the area of game development. It is often used in online applications which require a very rich graphical environment. Online Learning tools which simulate real-world physics or involve significant graphing, charting, or calculation will often use Shockwave.


The Shockwave player originally began as a helper app developed for Netscape by Director team members Christian Hunt and David Walker as a proof of concept for playing multimedia content over the web. Version 1.0 was released independent of Director 4 and its development schedule has since coincided with the release of Director since version 5. Its versioning also has since been tied to Director's and thus there were no Shockwave 2-4 releases.

hockwave 1

The Shockwave plug-in for Netscape Navigator 2.0 is released in 1995, along with the standalone Afterburner utility to compress Director files for Shockwave playback. The first large-scale multimedia site to use Shockwave was [ Intel's 25th Anniversary of the Microprocessor]

hockwave 5

Afterburner is integrated into the Director 5.0 authoring tool as an Xtra.

hockwave 6

Added support for Shockwave Audio (swa) which consisted of the emerging MP3 file format with some additional headers.

hockwave 7

Added support for linked media including images and castsAdded support for Shockwave Multiuser Server

hockwave 8.5

Added support for Intel's 3D technologies including rendering.

hockwave 10

Last version to support Mac OS X 10.3 and lower, and Mac OS 9

hockwave 11

Added support for Intel-based Macs.

Branding and Name Confusion

In an attempt to raise its brand profile all Macromedia players prefixed "Shockwave" to their names in the late 1990s. Although this campaign was very successful and helped establish Shockwave Flash as a dominant multimedia plugin, Shockwave and Flash became more difficult to maintain as two separate products. In 2005, Macromedia marketed three distinct browser player plugins under the brand names Macromedia Authorware, Macromedia Shockwave and Macromedia Flash.

Macromedia also released a web browser plug-in for viewing Macromedia FreeHand files online. It was branded Macromedia Shockwave for FreeHand and displayed specially compressed .fhc Freehand files. [cite book
last = Perry Board, Rick Luna and Derek O'Dell
first =
authorlink =
coauthors =
title = Creating Shockwave Web Pages - Chapter 20 Shockwave for Freehand
work =
publisher = Que Corporation
date =1996
isbn = 0-7897-0903-1
url =
format =
doi =
accessdate = 2008-03-30

Later, with the acquisition of Macromedia, Adobe slowly began to rebrand all products related to Shockwave.

Market Penetration

According to Adobe, Macromedia Shockwave Player is available on 52.3% of Internet-enabled PCs. [cite web
last = Brown
first = Millward
authorlink = Millward Brown
coauthors =
title = Shockwave Player Adoption Statistics
work =
publisher = Adobe Systems
date = 2007-03-31
url =
format =
doi =
accessdate = 2007-03-31
] It uses ".DCR" files created using the authoring tool Macromedia Director.

External links

* [ Adobe Shockwave Player]
* [] - Test your Shockwave and Flash plugins
* [] - What's the difference between Shockwave and Flash? (dated 2004)
* [ How Stuff Works - The Difference Between Flash and Shockwave]
* [] , games website created as an independent company in 1999 by Macromedia [ [ The Of The Future - ] ] and merged with AtomFilms in 2001. [ [ AtomFilms to Merge with ] ]
* [] - hundreds of examples of Shockwave's 3D capabilities
* [ Dean's Shockwave Hall of Fame]


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Adobe Shockwave — Тип Мультимедиа Разработчик Adobe Systems Операционная система Windows, Mac OS X Последняя версия (1 августа 2012) Лицензия Проприетарное программно …   Википедия

  • Adobe Shockwave — Player Desarrollador Adobe Systems Adobe Shockwave Player Información general Última versión estable 8 d …   Wikipedia Español

  • Adobe Shockwave — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Shockwave. Adobe Shockwave Player Développeur …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Adobe Director — Entwickler Adobe Systems (zuvor Macromedia) Aktuelle Version 11.5 (2009) Betriebssystem Windows, Mac OS X Kategorie …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Shockwave — Entwickler Adobe Systems Aktuelle Version Adobe Shockwave Player (9. November 2011) Betriebssystem Windows ab 2000, Mac OS X Kategorie Erstellung multim …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Adobe Flash — (formerly Macromedia Flash) is a multimedia platform used to add animation, video, and interactivity to web pages. Flash is frequently used for advertisements, games and flash animations for broadcast. More recently, it has been positioned as a… …   Wikipedia

  • Shockwave Flash — Adobe Flash Adobe Flash CS3 под Mac OS X Тип Мультимедиа Разработчик Adobe Systems ОС …   Википедия

  • Adobe Flash Player — Adobe Flash Adobe Flash CS3 под Mac OS X Тип Мультимедиа Разработчик Adobe Systems ОС …   Википедия

  • Adobe Director — Développeur Macromedia puis Adobe Systems Dernière version …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Adobe Flash Builder — Adobe Flash Builder …   Википедия

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”