Adobe's Shockwave Player is a free program that displays multimedia content created with Adobe Director. Shockwave Player is installed on hundreds of millions of computers worldwide. With it, you can display advanced Web content such as video and games, presentations, advertising, and interactive materials. This free plug-in is compatible with most major Web browsers.
We downloaded and installed Shockwave Player. The installation wizard included an optional download of an unrelated program, but we declined it, and Shockwave Player installed normally. This simple plug-in is self-contained and requires no settings or options, though you can see if it's been installed and which version from your browser's plug-in manager. But how do you know it's even working? Adobe has the answer with its Test Adobe Shockwave Player tool. When you can see the animation displayed in the Web-based tool's box, your installation is complete.
When our installation was finished, we were able to click Create, to try Adobe Director; See, to access the Director and Shockwave Player Content Showcase; or About, to learn more about Shockwave Player. We clicked About to visit the plug-in's product page, which offers FAQs, licensing information, support and training, and other information, including samples of Director-created content to try in our Shockwave Player installation.
We browsed back and opened the content showcase, which offered many links to game developers and multimedia content providers that use Director and Shockwave Player. Some of the sample content we viewed tried to install toolbars and other unneeded software, so be aware.
There's no comparison between using Shockwave Player to display Director-created content and not using it, because you can't; like Flash, you need the plug-in to see the content. By the way, Shockwave Player displays content created with Adobe Director, while Flash Player displays content created with Adobe Flash Professional. While the content is similar, Director-created content is typically more performance-intensive and focused on gaming, 3D, and online entertainment, while Flash is more suitable for Web applications, online advertising, and animations.