Flash (and Digital Editions) to support standards-based H.264 video

Today Adobe announced that Flash Player 9 will gain support for standards-based H.264 video , which will enable compatibility with MPEG-4, QuickTime, and 3GP mobile video content. H.264 support is coming in an imminent update “dot” release, a beta of which will be available on Adobe Labs later today.
Flash Video is of course already broadly proliferated on the Internet. But until now Flash Video has been limited to specialized codecs that have had limited adoption on mobile devices, not much integrated HW acceleration, and not a great deal of choice iin software encoding tools. Now we can have the best of both worlds: seamless end-user experiences in Flash Player, and interoperability with a wide variety of video creation tools and device and PC HW-acceleration options. This announcement is also another strong demonstration of Adobe’s commitment to the open standards community.
Adobe Digital Editions, our new application for reading and managing eBooks and other digital publications, is built on an extended Flash Player 9 runtime (in effect a precursor to Adobe AIR). Digital Editions 1.0 was just released in June, but we are already hard at work on an update to, among other things, localize to a number of languages. We decided some time back to synch our update with the impending “MovieStar” Flash Player dot release – but until today couldn’t disclose one of the key underlying motivations. I believe the added benefit of H.264 video support definitely makes it worth the wait. Many publishers are eager to enhance learning and entertainment experiences by adding video to eBooks and other digital publications: the ability to choose a standards-based video encoding will be a big plus, and is consistent with Digital Editions native support of open standards PDF and EPUB.