Flash Player Administration Guide for IT admins

Someone asked in comments if we had a document like this (http://blogs.msdn.com/tims/archive/2007/09/28/deploying-silverlight-in-the-enterprise.aspx) for Flash Player.

Why, yes we do!

The Flash Player Administration Guide went live August 27th. It covers the environment, installation, admin settings, user settings, and security considerations. Please send feedback!

Flash Player 9 @ 93.3% in September penetration study

The September stats are now up on Adobe.com. Thanks to Millward-Brown and our web team for giving us a quick turnaround so we could get these live before Adobe MAX.

The first row is how we present the data on the website. It tells you the percentage of people that can view a SWF of that version. The second row, is the % of the population with that player version installed (the delta between v and v+1).

September 2007 – Mature Markets v6 v7 v8 v9
% able to view content by SWF version 99.1% 99.1% 98.4% 93.3%
Install base by version 0.0%* 0.7% 5.1% 93.3%

* Looks like people finally retired their old machines and are upgrading to more current hardware 🙂

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Making it official: the next major release of Flash Player is codenamed “Astro”

In the category of “better late than never,” JD stopped by the other day to tell me that Ted Patrick debuted the codename of the next major release of Flash Player on his blog. And that I had left Ted hanging by not providing a solid, reference-able source for that detail out on the web.

“Good point”, I said. Then promptly forgot to deal with it in the flurry of the standard daily Flash Player activities. Since the community is eager to see what we will show at MAX, and is already starting to talk about it, I wanted to make sure that I publicly confirmed that the codename is Astro.

We’ve obviously been hard at work since Flash Player 9 released in June 2006 (seems soooooo long ago). Tamarin was open sourced in November, the Linux player was released in January. We added support for Intel Macs and Vista. We rolled out full screen mode. And of course, the latest Flash Player 9 “Moviestar” beta has delivered H.264 and AAC support, along with performance enhancements and other useful bits. All these things make the time fly by.

But now it’s time to start focusing on life after “Moviestar,” and we have more bunnies to pull out of our hats. Our platform has been behind some of the most creative content on the web since Flash first hit the web over ten years ago, and we intend to continue delivering the capabilities you need to deliver on the fresh, innovative, and mind-blowing ideas that you all have floating around in your heads. More on that…at Adobe MAX 2007. Come and check out what we’re thinking about for Astro and beyond!

Flash Player June 2007 stats live on adobe.com

The June 2007 stats have been published on adobe.com. The September surveys should be going out soon, so hopefully we’ll have the data back in time for MAX!

Need a way to project penetration for player releases? Read on…

This is great question, and I’m happy to say it is not a difficult one for me to answer. We have a lot of historical data on new player releases, and can validate that it follows a fairly consistent path. This is how we have been able to state that historically, new releases took 12 months to reach 80% — but with Flash Player 8 and Flash Player 9, it now takes 9 months to reach 80% and 12 months to reach 90%.

We have our data, but also we hear anecdotal stats from our customers that validate the penetration study we run every quarter. I always try to remind folks that the Millward Brown study is sampling to mirror an general internet-connected PC population, so your site’s demographics are likely to differ. But for large sites with broad reach and a broad customer base, the numbers you get should be fairly consistent with the numbers we publish. Use our numbers as a general guide on the penetration of Flash Player, but the best way for you to know what the penetration is for YOUR particular audience is to check it yourself.

So here is a basic guideline that you can use to project penetration of a particular release:
@3 months = 30 – 40%
@6 months = 55 – 65
@9 months = 80 – 85%
@12 months = 90+%

So working with the release date, you can figure out the penetration of a specific version and later. For example, Flash Player 9r28 with the full screen feature went out in November. That’s about 9 months since initial release. Therefore, PCs that have 9r28 or a later version should be around 80%. Check your site, and see how that matches up for your audience.

Again, I said this is the “typical” trend. If every major site in the world decided to start pushing Moviestar the day we launch, the penetration rate would be faster in the first two periods. The trend tends to flatten out once it hits 80% on it’s way to 90% and beyond.

To find out about the player dot release enhancements, fixes and versions, visit the release notes here. Unfortunately, they don’t have release dates (maybe a good thing to add moving forward, now that I mention it) but I believe I’ve blogged availability for every release so far for Flash Player 9.

Flash Player penetration study page here. Note, the June data is horribly late and I apologize for that. We’re working on getting it posted. The Flash Player 9 penetration was at 90.3% for mature markets, v8 was at 98.5%, and v6 and v7 were at 99.3%. Putting it in other terms, it means:

90.3% of PCs can view SWF9 or below
98.5% of PCs can view SWF8 or below
99.3% of PCs can view SWF 7 or below, and we can drop testing of SWF6 moving forward.

And if you don’t like that presentation, the above can also be read as:
90.3% of PCs have Flash Player 9 installed
8.2% of PCs have Flash Player 8 installed
0.8% of PCs have Flash Player 7 installed

Fun with numbers 🙂 Hope this helps.

Moviestar premieres on Adobe Labs

Ok, it’s live now.

Updated release notes and a new H.264 FAQ are available, as well as a demo. If the progressive download is hurting, it means too many of you are trying to view it at the same time. You can take a break and check it out later, or build your own local test. 😉

Big day for web video: Adobe announces support for H.264 and HE-AAC in Flash Player

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.

Detection kit: SWFFix 0.2 public alpha now available

The SWFFix Dev blog announced on Wednesday the public alpha of a new open source detection kit. The best detection minds are working together to solve your Flash Player embedding and detection issues — the project was started by Geoff Stearns (of SWFObject), Bobby Van der Sluis (of UFO) and Michael Williams from the Flash Player team (Adobe detection kit and Express Install).

Finally…SWF and FLV File Format Spec for v9 is available

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.