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What is the purpose of this site?
To scan and archive flash files and make information about them easily accessible for everybody.
Where does all the flash files come from?
Various public image boards around the net. The purpose of those image boards are to spread the files posted, therefore I'm assuming that every file posted is OK to spread and that the original poster had the rights to make that decision.
Why was swfchan built?
For those of us that are tired of a repost of a repost of a repost. Also it will make at least one hit when you search the Internet for that old file name you saw three weeks ago but couldn't save it at the time and has been looking for since.
What files are posted here?
Everything is automated so every file ever is posted. This of course is not a guarantee, things like connection problems or if a board is moving too fast might make swfchan miss some files before they are deleted.
What files are kept?
Pretty much anything, I'm extremely open-minded. I won't keep illegal files however, I'm mainly relying on the various image boards to keep their content clean but I will also manually delete any illegal files should they ever be published on swfchan. The server is located in Sweden so it falls under their law.
What's the report link?
As this site will handle a lot of content I will naturally never see near a fraction of it in my life span. This is where you come in, if you ever come over a illegal file on swfchan please help me out by pressing the "REPORT FLASH"-link in the top right-hand corner of the site.
What is the deal with the "seen" numbers?
I have built the system of swfchan to only accept one instance of each flash file, regardless of file size or file name. This means that the "seen" numbers represents the number of times a flash's actual content has been spotted on the web (not name/size/checksum). The system is not perfect but most of the times it works.
What is the flaw of the "seen" numbers?
Flash files that orient from the same project/template could appear to be the same file if the differances between them are very small, like if in one flash file there is a movie clip of a 3D animated person wearing a hat and in another it is exactly the same except without the hat. Another example is a flash file exported twice with different JPEG quality or background music, chances are they probably will look the same to the site.
Wait, there's a duplicate file!
Probably not. Although the two files might look exactly the same there is some small differance between them, chances are that the author released a second version with a added gradient somewhere, or maybe he just fixed his spelling or something. I made the system a bit too sensitive to small changes, but I felt its better to catch as many files as possible rather than trying to present as many unique "content ideas" as possible. Yeah.
What about spam files?
Update: I usually only bother to delete illegal files these days. Redirectors are a pain but they tend to not redirect if the flash is embedded on a page (and as long as the user doesn't click in the flash).
Why doesn't some foregin (asian) characters show up?
Sadly not all characters can be extracted correctly from the flash files. Nothing I can do about it.
Why are some screenshots blank?
The system can only snap screens from the main time line in a flash file, if there are no frames there showing content by itself the screen will turn out blank. If a screenshot is white but have a small red dot in the lower right corner it means that screenshots couldn't be extracted from that flash (probably due to ActionScript), or simply that a screenshot haven't been taken yet if it's for the latest flash.
Who are you?
I'm a male Swede and you're browsing in Sweden.
Update August 2023: Server is finally using UTC now.
swfchan went online 5/5 -2008.
There is only one way to get banned on swfchan and that is to report a flash file that shouldn't be reported. If I do not believe the flash file should be deleted you will be banned X number of days (where "days" is 24 hours of time and "X" is a amount depending both on my current mood and on how many times you have filed a bad report). When banned you can't watch, download or report any flash files.
Each flash file on swfchan is assigned its own ID number and it is this number that appears in listings. If a flash file is deleted or fails to complete its adding procedure (for example due to an error or a power failure), the assigned ID number will go unused. This is why some ID numbers doesn't exist, and also why the newest ID number isn't equal to the number of items on the site.
The length of a flash file is calculated by dividing the number of frames in the main time line by the flash's framerate. This is fine for some flash files that act like a movie (the animation has a start and a end), but for other files the length turn out very wrong (due to loops/actionscript/animation below the main time line). So when you read the length take it as a "maybe" (very long flash files are often just badly structured and very short flash files are often loops).
A wise person realizes that everything placed on the Internet does no longer belong to anyone, unless special precautions were taken. If those precautions had been taken the flash file wouldn't be here in the first place. (Now is a good time to remind you that using the report feature to try to remove a non-illegal file on swfchan will only result in a ban.) I'm sorry but I don't have time to deal with people claiming I "stole" their flash, nobody cares and I didn't steal anything - the Internet did. Also I especially don't have time investigating which claims are real and which are not so don't bother. Feel proud about knowing that something you did actually has spread across the world and are being watched by maybe thousands of people, I know that's how I feel when I see my flashes on other sites.
Update: I wrote the above paragraph
Update: I wrote the above paragraph... many years ago. These days I basically won't delete anything on request unless the flash is known by few and one that won't be missed. You of course also still gotta prove its yours.
The "First Seen" date recorded for each flash file is the first time the server saw the file. Unfortunately flash files do not store the date they were first created, and even if they did it wouldn't be reliable. Flash files that have a first seen date before 12/5 -2008 were added from my personal archive and could be many, many years older than that. Looking at the flash version is a somewhat good way of telling how old a flash file is, but also not reliable since you can export flash files to any previous version.
The site is refreshed/updated every 5:th minute but newly added flash files can be found the second they are added on the last listing page. Adds happen as soon as a new flash file is discovered.
Before watching/downloading a flash file from swfchan you might have to prove you are human by entering some text into a text field that's displayed in a image. This is to prevent the site to be leeched to death by bots. After you've entered the text you will get between 5-10 "credits" which are used to get flashes. When you have no credits you will have to enter a new captcha code.
The first time a flash file is seen it will be added to the archive. The file size of that (first seen) flash file is the size that will be displayed, however other file size occurrences for the same flash will be noted (for use in the search system only).
The system will read "lol.swf" and "LOL.swf" as the same file name. The letter case that is first seen is used.
You can search swfchan through the form at the top of the site. There is more info about searching, search blank or click here to see it.
You can also search swfchan.net (archived threads), more info on that can be found here.
Update: Being a VIP doesn't do anything special anymore.
swfchan is one site built over two domains: swfchan.com (this one) and swfchan.net. The dot com domain handles the flash files (makes screenshots, extracts data, keeps track of names/sizes). The dot net domain handles content relative to the flash files generated by the Anonymous/Chan network/community (such as archiving threads where flash files were seen and making it possible for people to contribute information about the files).
I first thought of swfchan early 2007, and later the same year on the 20:th of June I started working on it. Back then I intended the site to archive both flash files and its threads, and I actually completed a working system at the end of the summer. However I had not made a interface, there were no actual way of showing the collected files and due to other things in my life the site wasn't developed much after August, last time I meant to do some work on it was in mid October, but I wonder if I worked on the system even an hour during that entire month. Time passed and a few months later when I felt up for the task again I discovered how poorly I had written my source, it felt impossible to pick up where I left. So I remade swfchan from scratch starting 6:th of March with a simple goal of just putting my own vast (and not hand-picked) flash collection online. Some ideas were tossed, others improved, but finally only two months later the site was online, with a lot better core system than my original version. There was no thread saving implemented at that time, but I reckoned that it could always be implemented later if I got around to it. And so the site was finally launched on 5/5 -2008.
Update: On 22oct2008 the system for archiving threads was finished, swfchan.net was launched to host these threads (previously that domain had only redirected to swfchan.com).
Update: On 18jun2010 all archived threads were finally made searchable by implementing a working search feature on swfchan.net.
Update: On 8oct2010 the categories were first introduced on swfchan. People may help out building the index anonymously if they want.
Update: On 2nov2010 a mirror server was deployed in order to speed up browsing the site. The subdomains files2 and images2 were added.
Update: Around February 2011 the imageboard on swfchan.org was launched. People can now upload flashes.
Update: On 11aug2011 the service department came online where you can convert SWF files to APK files for Android phones.
Update: On 2feb2012 the mix came into existance.
Update: During 2012 lots of other stuff happened. The old mirror server stopped being used. A new server for files2/images2 is rented. CloudFlare is used for files3 (and most of the rest of the site). Main server bandwidth upgraded from 10 Mbps to 30 Mbps. Can now make flash loops in services. Tried a client-hosted mirror application for distribution (failed, lives on as a stand-alone file server download). The what's popular page came into existance.
Update: On 24mar2013 advanced searching was added to the swfchan.com search. Improved its usefulness a lot.
Update: On 9jan2015 PopTops started being recorded.
Update: On 6feb2015 collections were added to the site.
This list is far from complete, many milestones are missing. For example there are no entries at all for 2009.