flash on it’s way out? i doubt it.

19 05 2009

this post is in response to another post I read recently:


iphone from williamhook on flickr


flash video is not on its way out. apple does not currently support flash (on iphone and ipod) due to the resource heavy nature of the software and the low processing capabilities of the iphone and ipod touch. recently a rumor has surfaced that apple and adobe are working together to try are bring flash to the iphone and ipod touch devices.

the ipod touch and iphone are not perfect devices. They follow apple’s classic tactic of forcing their users to follow strict rules to put content on to the devices (iphone app approval process and forcing youtube to recode their library to h.264)

I think that the future of video is most likely going to stick with flash. and luckily, adobe is doing its part to improve the software. There are some who are worried that the proprietary nature of flash has harmed the online community, but adobe has countered that idea with the creation of the Open Screen Project, which plans to create an open version of the popular format.

for now, this seems to be the way of online video. it will continue to be based in flash until some new, better technology is picked up by a major company. sure, h.264 could qualify, but it has not shown the kind of adoption needed to become a viable replacement for flash.

picture thanks to williamhook on flickr.




One response

19 05 2009

Of course flash video isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. What the iPhone does or doesn’t support isn’t really very relevant, considering the vast majority of people watching videos online are using PCs or other devices supporting flash. Flash has a massive install base… like 95+% of all internet-enabled PCs. And flash video isn’t really that bad — it supports streaming h.264 video, and it’s very easy to develop for. Only real problem is that it’s proprietary, and while this is a rather big problem, there’s not much we can do about it right now, considering how hard it would be for any new technology to match the install base of flash.

The only thing I can think of that could possibly replace flash for streaming video in the distant future is theora, as it might end up being the preferred method of using the tag in HTML5, though that’s a long ways off and Nokia and Apple aren’t happy with it being included in the HTML5 spec.

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