CartoonSmart launches, Free XML Flash Twitter reader

Artificial Tweetener: Free XML Flash Twitter readerOkay folks, I’m finally launching this. Anyone thats followed my Twitter feed over the past couple weeks, has probably “heard” me experiment with this template with test tweets (= twests?) to catch any errors or just to have an update for the sake of it. Well, its totally done, and in your hands now because this Flash, XML, and Twitter template is FREE!!!! Go download it.  The “Pro” version isn’t quite so free, but I’ll go on about that in a moment.

If you’re curious, here’s how this project came about… I started coding this quant little reader for Twitter feeds. Not for tweeting, I’ll leave that up to advanced AIR apps like TweetDeck.   But Twitter makes it very easy (with the help of a proxy file) to bring your tweets into Flash and display them. And I’d gotten enough emails about doing this, that it needed teaching.  So I thought, “well this will be a short tutorial for a change.” Then I began thinking of ways to really make the feed look unique because with so many people showing their feeds publicly on their sites or blogs they might as well have a way to make them look really sweet. And if you look at some of the examples in the gallery, sweetness accomplished.  But then I thought, why not share the fun and just let everyone do this on their own with a template instead of requiring Flash.

Well, cut to 3 weeks later when the preferences XML file for customizing the template has way more than I planned (to your benefit, the more options the better )…

  • Custom background and header image (supports png, swf, jpg)
  • Custom profile icons (again supports png, swf, jpg). You can optionally display your tweets with your own icons next to them instead of your stored Twitter profile icon. You can randomly display 100’s or just a handful.
  • Optional scrolling ticker for showing your Twitter profile info (bio, followers, following, website, & random text). This can also show at 5 second intervals instead of scroll.
  • Font options like sizes and colors for specific things like @somebody, #tags, urls in tweets.
  • Advanced text formating, like line spacing, letter spacing, margins, drop shadows, glows.
  • Total control over arranging elements. You choose the x,y, width and height for images, text boxes, scrollbars, in the XML file.
  • Options for using the standard proxy.php to bring in your tweets, or a special sauce file of my own PHP tinkering that will do a cache and proxy type thing if you expect your site has a ton of traffic. Video notes on that option come with the free template.
  • Plus tons more tags. Video notes or comments in the XML file will guide you through each.
  • And again, TOTALLY FREE!

But if anyone is so kind, there is a Pro version which includes the .fla’s and Actionscript files for each of the many pre-made templates I included. Plus, your usual CartoonSmart-quality tutorial (instructed by yours truly). The free version has some short quick start movies, but the Pro version comes with 3-Plus hours of instruction on exactly how this template works, and if you’re so inclined, how to start from scratch and build a mini-version of the template.

Finally, I decided this template was so sweet, it needed an equally appropriate name and domain, hence you can find it at Also back at

Anyone feel like retweeting this?

Flash Twitter Reader Template


11 thoughts on “CartoonSmart launches, Free XML Flash Twitter reader

  1. pablo says:

    Hello Justin,

    I’ve recently purchased the Pro Version and I love it. But I’m having some problems on what I really want to do.

    Since this Twitter feed will be located inside a site made fully in Flash, I would like to integrated them. I’ve tried to load the twitter_feed.swf file inside another movieclip. But nothing happens. Even when I copy the AS code layer and all the elements from library and paste them on the other file, when published it comes with sintax erros or unloaded class.

    Could you give me some advise, please.

    Thanks in advance.


  2. Try to just do a normal parent-child load. So don’t try what your currently doing with copying and pasting the AS. Thats prone to more errors, especially with the x and y locations, and also the external .as files not being found.

    Best bet, upload all finished (correctly working) files, which should just be the swf and anything its loading in, and put that in the same folder with your parent swf. Then send me a link to that, and I can use the Activity Viewer in Safari to see what “Not found” errors are turning up. Most likely it has to do with the location of something not being rooted correctly.

  3. Kris says:

    Does Artificial Tweetener only support XML feeds out of the box? I have several json feeds that I’m interested in displaying through it and I’m trying to get a baseline for the level of effort involved.

  4. Actually it could support loading any XML data, you just have to know what to modify in the code. The Pro version has plenty of details on that. Thanks!

  5. Randy says:

    Is there a refresh timer setting on this or does it only refresh once the page reloads? If it has a timer, do you offer transition settings?

  6. You COULD add a timer, but you’ll probably end up going over Twitter’s call-limits and get your access blocked. I wouldn’t recommend it. Here’s some info… ..when I was testing the lesson, my IP got black-listed for a couple days because I was testing the files so much. So their call limits aren’t an idol threat.

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