Big news today
Adobe announced support for industry standard H.264 video and HE-AAC audio in Adobe Flash Player. We are adding support for these codecs in Flash Player 9 Update 3 (code named “Moviestar”) currently available on Adobe Labs. The updated bits will be available for download later today (Tuesday) afternoon. I’ll post again when the Adobe Labs content goes live, where we will have an updated full screen demo with H.264 and an FAQ.
We’re really excited to bring this industry standard codec to the player, and it will also be coming to AIR. H.264 has a strong ecosystem and will give you more choice in terms of tools, content sources, and deployment options. The new codec also enjoys the other features introduced in Flash Player 9 update 3 – multi-core support for rendering and hardware accelerated full screen mode.
Until then, check out Tinic’s blog for some details of this new feature.
The v9 file format specification went out with tonight’s server push. It’s been a long wait, and I appreciate everyone’s patience. I promise to push for a faster turnaround for the next update so we don’t have such a long delay again.
Don’t miss the video.onflex.org video interview with Ryan Stewart and Tinic Uro about the video quality and performance improvements in Update 3 (now on Adobe Labs).
We recently published the Adobe YUM repository definition for the Linux Flash Player.
YUM is a way for users on RPM-based Linux distributions to check for updates and automatically install them. You can download it from the Linux player download center on Adobe.com.
Special thanks go out to player dev Mike Tilburg for initiating and seeing this project through, Sal M for testing, and the web team (Lisa, Russ, Todd R) for getting this live!
Another set of exciting betas are ready to go for our community! Tonight we have Flash Player 9 update 3, Flex 3 and the anticipated Adobe Integrated Runtime (formerly known as Apollo) betas available for immediate download from Adobe Labs. In addition to all the beta goodness, the Flex team has started the nightly build process and opened up their bugbase. Check out all the details of the Flex info here.
The Flash Player 9 update 3 beta (188.8.131.52) has a little something for everyone. In addition over 300 bug fixes, and the new player cache for Adobe platform components that Ted mentioned on Thursday, we’ve added performance enhancements that will improve your video and interactive content. The hot new feature is full-screen mode with hardware scaling, which can be used to deliver significant improvements in visual quality and performance for video. If you’re interested in the technical details behind this feature and the rest of the performance enhancements, Tinic will be talking about the under-the-hood details on his blog and has also written an article on Adobe Labs on the new API for accessing this feature. There is also a video you can use to see the difference between software and hardware full-screen mode. Check back, if it hasn’t gone live yet…
Note that the hardware scaling feature is enabled BY DEFAULT in beta 1 — it is important for us to get it tested thoroughly this round and get feedback, so if you run into any issues please use the bug form to report your issue and what graphics card you’re using. We will be switching that back in the next beta, so please remember to use the new API in your demos so they continue to work correctly.
In addition to bug fixes, other enhancements in beta 1 include:
* Support for the Accept-Language header in Internet Explorer
* Support for full-screen mode on Linux
* Support for Microsoft Active Accessibility (MSAA) in the Windows plugin (Oops! My mistake – this will be in the next beta)
Don’t forget to review the release notes, and the FAQ!
I see that my fellow product manager, Matt Chotin, has “committed” support for bi-directional text support in the next major version of Flash Player on the Flex Components Yahoo group.
Don’t worry, I’m not taking it back. Be assured that bi-di is a long requested capability that we do indeed intend to support in the platform. But I thought I’d clarify a bit since people will want more details.
First off, as everyone knows, the text layout engine in the current Flash Player does not support bi-di. There are plenty of ways that you can simulate it for certain use cases, but we acknowledge that it falls well-short of what our developers need. To address the shortcomings and limitations, we are improving the text layout capabilities in the next Flash Player so that at a low level it will enable support of bi-di and complex text in your applications. The new low level text framework will be used to build text components (probably a library of text components) with greater functionality than what we have today.
Want to help us figure out what we should be working on? Are there components you would expect Adobe to provide? What types of applications are you trying to build? Let us know what your requirements would be for improved text layout, bi-di or other things you’d like to do with text in your content and applications that you can’t do today.
If you’re testing the beta of Flash Player 9 for Solaris (x86, SPARC), there is a new beta drop available on Adobe Labs.
Updated players (Flash Player 184.108.40.206) for Windows and Mac are available. Flash Player 220.127.116.11 contains a few bug fixes that may impact content created with Flash CS3 Professional, but you don’t need to target 18.104.22.168 unless you specifically hit one of these issues. CS3 ships with 22.214.171.124, so in your local testing you wouldn’t see any content playback issues so please take a look at the technotes so you understand if the issues impact you, and test with previous v9 players before you release.
The issues and workarounds are described in the following TechNotes and impact playback in Flash Player 126.96.36.199 and earlier:
Technote KB401230: ActionScript 3.0 movie clips and components exported by Adobe Flash CS3 Professional incorrectly play through their timeline when ActionScript is used to prevent the timeline from playing. ActionScript 3 components will appear to flicker between their normal state and their skin settings. This issue only occurs in specific circumstances where a movie clip or component is placed on the stage on a keyframe other than the first keyframe, or if the object is removed later in the timeline.
Technote KB401350: ActionScript 3.0 code on Frame 1 will not run if the playhead causes a movie clip to be instantiated other than at its keyframe. If the playhead skips the keyframe by using an action like gotoAndStop() or gotoAndPlay(), the movie clip will be instantiated but the Frame 1 actions will be dropped.
Technote KB401348: ActionScript 3.0 classes that are exported to a specific frame other than Frame 1 by Adobe Flash CS3 Professional are only loaded if the playhead passes through the export frame. If ActionScript is used to skip over the frame specified in the Flash export settings, the class files will not be available while the application is running.
The Flash Player 188.8.131.52 release notes are here. (Sorry about the bad link! fixed now.)
Where is the Linux version? This update was a result of the need to fix these few CS3 issues, and the honest answer is that the Linux player doesn’t ship with the products so we chose to keep it on its original update schedule. The Linux update is still being worked on, we’re enabling full-screen and wmode as promised, and it is still on for later this year.
A little belated as I was out on vacation, but the beta version of Flash Player 9 for Solaris is available on Adobe Labs.
The release notes list the top known issues, which include lack of WMODE and full screen support, and there are AV synch issues in the beta version. Please test and provide feedback.
We published a new article today that is recommended reading for anyone that is hosting, or is considering hosting, a cross-domain policy file on their site. Cross-domain policy files are a Flash Player security control that site owners can use to enable data loading between domains, which has allowed developers to make some cool and interesting mashups and apps. But you do need understand the security implications of using a cross-domain policy file, and be mindful of the security concerns and potential risks as you determine the right architecture for your site and applications.