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An alternative to Flash? Could it be... well yes in a word. In the same way that GoLive is Adobe's answer to Macromedia's Dreamweaver, Livemotion is their answer to Flash.
Having tried the HTML authoring software, and concluded that GoLive was just as powerful as Dreamweaver but a 5 year old could use it, I went on to conclude that Livemotion was the very serious Mickey Mouse version of Flash...
It uses Macromedias trademark .SWF format files, and therefore produces 'Flash' files that play on any flash player... there's no difference. The working environment in Livemotion is, as with every adobe product, the same as photoshop! Either you love it or hate it. I personally love marmite so that's good...
It's got the same 30 day free trial as the Macromedia cousin, almost exactly the same features, it's just easier to figure out... It took me about 1 day to work out the software, and about 4 months trying to make animations that look professional as opposed to the general 'over-the-top-got-carried-away-with-all-these-features' efforts.
You can export your work as .swf, gifs, jpgs etc.. you can export individual bits of animation, it handles sound, tells you estimated download times, and gives you tables showing where you may get hang up points during downloads... It does everything you could want it to! -and it's cheaper than Flash...
If you want to put some flash stuff on your website, on a CDROM, as a screensaver (download a bit of freeware to convert it) this is the tool to use. Vector based annimations are really easy to pick up with adobe, more difficult to master, but I've run out of coffee..(?) so go see www.adobe.com and try before you buy Flash.
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Well done! You spent months learning to use the software wisely. Many web sites have been put out of business because of the inept use of Flash. Who wants to wait ages for a boring animation to load, hear some vile music that wakes up the baby and then be presented with a screen that says "Welcome - click here to enter the site"? In the wrong hands, Flash is the work of Beelzebub himself, but you got it sussed!