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Is there some way to force Firefox to preload the animated image file (GIFs, for example) before playing them so that I have a still shot of the first frame until the browser downloads the whole file and then it plays it nice and smoothly instead of this terrible flickering as if it were 1 frame per 2 seconds until the whole thing loads? That's how iPad's Safari deals with the GIFs, for example.

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I didn't know that Firefox had any problem with that. I use Firefox all the time, and animated GIF's play fine. Maybe your Firefox is too old? Maybe you have an ancient graphics card? –  BenjiWiebe Feb 1 '13 at 18:11
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@BenjiWiebe: Try a huge GIF (say 5-10 MB or so) on a slow connection if you want to know what he's talking about. :) FF will load and display the frames incrementally, whereas he wants it to display just the first frame and load the rest in the background, then start playing only when the entire file is available locally. –  Karan Feb 1 '13 at 20:36
    
Just as Karan said :) –  Straightfw Feb 2 '13 at 18:39
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