Flash Player performance – we need your input

Flash Player performance seems to be a popular topic on the Web these days. Although it’s been awhile since I’ve written here, I thought it would be a good time to check in and provide you some info from the source. I also want to remind folks of the resources that are available to you if you are having issues with Flash Player, and — maybe most importantly — where to report the issues to us.

A NY Times writer posted a blog about how the Flash videos he was watching got “slower and jerkier” the longer he watched them. According to the post, in a very short conversation the writer had with us, we confirmed there was a Flash Player memory leak. I wasn’t on the call so I can’t say exactly how the conversation went, but I do know that although a memory leak is a possibility we couldn’t say we knew for certain until we were able to reproduce the issue and make that determination. When people report a problem to us, we ask for the usual list of information we need to determine what type of issue exists: what browser is it working in; what operating system is the user on; what version of Flash Player is being used, what site is being accessed that causes the potential issue, what other software might be running, etc. Once we have this kind of information, the Flash Player team can “reconstruct” or reproduce the situation where the potential issue occurred and we see if we can make it happen again. If we can reproduce the problem in house, we are better able to diagnose the issue and create a fix.

At this time, we don’t know of a specific memory leak in Flash Player or what is causing the writer’s issue, but we are looking into it. We are also constantly looking into Flash Player performance and other issues and this is how you can help:
— If you are an end user having issues with Flash Player, and you’re not super technical or aren’t sure about filing an official bug, the first place to go is the forums. Although it isn’t an official support channel, many great community users and Adobe employees troll the boards to help people out (Bentley and Darren on our support team do their best to help here in their free time), plus you can search and see if there is a fix there for your particular issue.
— If you can’t find your issue/fix on the forums, you can also search our public bugbase to see if it is a known issue or tell us your story by joining our team of bug reporters. Go here to learn all about it. If you think there may be a bug and you just want to peruse the list we’re working on without signing up first, go here to learn how. Then if you don’t see the bug listed, please sign up. Don’t forget to include as much info as possible when discussing your issue. This is one case where ‘less’ isn’t more!

As a side note, we’re in the process of re-doing our blogging system and this summer we’ll be launching the Flash Platform blog. This new blog will unite all the Flash Platform conversations into one easy-to-read/search blog. More people will be writing, more updates, more info. Stay tuned…

7 Responses to Flash Player performance – we need your input

  1. nadavkav says:

    i am using Flash 10 on debian 5 64bit.i have Nvidia (with latest drivers)FP is working just fine 90% of the time.when i watch videos (Normal OR HD) it is always using 2-3 time more CPU power than playing them directly from the tmp folder with Mplayer/Xine/VLCfull-screen is jerky and slow to draw too in HDplaying the same videos with stand alone player (Full-Screen) works fine.do you have a debug version i can use to generate some useful reports ?

  2. When I saw this headline I really thought you were going to be discussing the much more popular issue (at least in the flash gaming community) of increasing the graphical rendering power of flash; 3D. Even with the new 3D api, Flash player still chugs real badly when trying to render more complex objects. With the birth of Unity and 3D in the web becoming so popular, a lot of Flash developers are flocking to either Iphone or Unity 3D development simply because Flash can not handle a really intense graphical experience.Of course all the popular 3D engines out there like papervision, away 3d, etc, have been trying as hard as they can to optimize and squeeze every bit of performance out of flash (using pixel bender seems to be the newest way to squeeze more performance out of it) as they possibly can.Why Adobe has not publicly acknowledged (supported) the fact that Flash is a gaming platform I will never understand. So many conferences, websites, whole companies revolve around Flash as a gaming platform, and this should really be embraced and supported. The gaming industry is a billion dollar industry and a great place for adobe expand there business.Forgive me if this is not the type of response you were looking for, but this is a “Flash Player performance” related issue that needs to be addressed. To be more specific is the ability to allow Flash player to access the graphics card of the host computer, I know there are security issues, but Unity Player does it (or something similar I believe) and they have excellent 3D in the browser. Why can’t Adobe do something similar?Thanks for listening, hopefully the Flash Player team are working on something to improve the ability of the player in this regard

  3. Vic says:

    I think same thing: 3D.But for video and others, I assume you will take more advantage of hardware as promised.If “Vista” reports your performance as 3… then you need to get a GPU, just like apple has on ALL their laptop’s and PCs.If you have Intel doing your graphics and video decompression, then you need to notify user via “grayed” out video or something else.But most of the problems are Adobe self inflicted, ex: Flex coders are encourage to write slow code.Solution is to be like games, ex: Crysis, where you have 3 settings: average users (core2 duo/no gpu), moderate (ati mid level cards), and high (for us that use the Nvidia 295 – why should we suffer). Just in about box show the performance, like Vista does.High compresion lets video work over wireless but needs GPU. (Intell is the only one selling you can use CPU to do GPU, but it’s a sales job).Papervsion I think is what needs to be fast on high end hardware, that’s all, like Unity.hth,.V

  4. Cekvenich says:

    Apple video approach is best, ALL of their HW has 3D in HW. Flash one day will need 2 grades of support, no GPU is level 0, and GPU is level 1.

  5. steve says:

    Nice of you to finally look into this – since it has been discussed by customers on the forums ever since Flash Player 10 was released. Are you going to solve the “no sound on Windows” problem next year?Your statements conflict with your actions.I’ll judge you by your actions.

  6. emmy says:

    Hi,Nadavkav: Debug players: http://www.adobe.com/support/flashplayer/downloads.html Performance in the standalone player or other media player will differ. There are parts of integrating with the browser that impact the resources available to Flash Player, and it isn’t apples to apples to compare Flash Player (runtime) to a single purpose media player.Joseph/Vic: yes, we hear you on the desire for greater hardware acceleration, 3D, etc.Steve: if people have reproducible steps and can file bugs, we’ll take them. 🙂

  7. wonderwhy-er says:

    There are various problems with MovieClips animations and their optimization.
    Fact that animation plays does not depend on it being added to stage, hidden or anything. They also do not have a way to determine if they are playing or not.
    This all makes it very hard to optimize heavy UI’s with many animated components parts of which hare hidden until needed but still eat up CPU.