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I am building a site where the index page is a flash image,This may not be what you want to hear, but with very rare excecptions, MacroMedia's advise on Flash intros is don't! A survey found around 80% hate Flash. There was no statistical difference betwenn broadband and dial-up (iirc, broadband was slightly higher).
The best was for you to avoid showing Flash the second time is don't show it the first. Flash is a good way to loose visitors. If you want to offer it as an option, go ahead, but make sure the default is off.
Don't get me wrong. Flash is very nice and has it's place, but the intro isn't one of them. Flash is a very nice thing to offer people, but it's a unplesent thing to force on people.
More people will probibly hit the back button instead of the skip. I'll repeat what I said before, MacroMedia, the owners of Flash, advise against it for intros.
Now that that's out of the way, there are realy only two ways to ID a user: login and cookies. For many of the details, check out [url]http://php.net[url].
The first thing you do is check if cookies are set using isset().
But a website is NOT essentially a passive medium like film or TV. It's an interactive medium and expecting even a first time visitor to sit passively through a "presentation" is just not, well, web-like.
I once did some work for a very big corporation. They created a Flash intro against my advice, but because of my caution they watched their metrics very closely. After 6 days, the $40,000 intro went into the bit-bucket never to return.
Make the Flash opt-in instead of opt-out and you never need to worry about cookies.