April 07, 2010

Flash video, Daring Fireball, & Engadget

This is quite possibly my own personal, irrelevant hangup, but I keep getting annoyed by the lack of precision in how people talk about online video.

On Daring Fireball today, John Gruber writes, “Ironically, Engadget’s video demos are only available in Flash. Why would a website devoted to leading-edge gadgetry continue to embed video in a format that can’t be played on the best web-reading gadget?”

It’s not that they’ve chosen a format that won’t play on the iPad; it’s that they haven’t yet done the additional work (necessitated by Apple not allowing Flash on the iPad) to target a different player. That is, they need to set up a switch that’ll let them target Flash Player in Mac/Windows Web browsers (giving them 98% desktop viewership) and target the Video tag in Mobile Safari. They can use the same format (H.264) in both cases.

I’d fully expect them to do so: as I’ve written previously, content creators & publishers will use whatever combination of technologies let them reach customers most effectively. On the desktop that means Flash Player; on iPad/iPhone, it has to mean something else.

Posted by John Nack at 3:25 PM on April 07, 2010

Comments

  • Jay Robinson — 3:58 PM on April 07, 2010

    I believe Joshua Toplosky’s comments were approximately: 95% of our readers do not have an iPad.

  • Hendrik — 4:41 PM on April 07, 2010

    Well, it is not like the word “format” can only refer to the encoding format of the video stream. I think it is fair to assume that John was using it in the more general sense as defined in the dictionary: “format: the way in which something is arranged or set out”.
    Just replace “format” with “way” in his sentence.

  • Mike Haugland — 4:42 PM on April 07, 2010

    So everyone should support a device that’s been on the market for less than a week? I know it’s supposed to hit it large, but I think the early adopters know that the premium treatment will be a couple months off.

  • Anastasiy — 4:48 PM on April 07, 2010

    Looks like someone is invested money into new html and is trying to promote it by blogging such kind of nonsenses all around Internet. There are a lot of misinformation nowdays about its benefits and mostly it’s bull*t. It’s a pity seeing, how people get brainwashed.

  • Cole Carrera — 5:14 PM on April 07, 2010

    boner
    (you may use HTML tags for style)

  • Mark — 5:43 PM on April 07, 2010

    The iPad is an anti-technology device targeting consumers who are too lazy/stupid to use or want a keyboard or mouse or stylus. Why should a website focusing on tech-savvy people modify their code to play along with the silly-ass marketing scheme Apple plays making its airhead users _think_ they’re some kind of pioneers?

  • Paulson — 5:48 PM on April 07, 2010

    Look: certain writers, bloggers and zealot websites have invested a lot of copy in a narrative that somehow concludes with iPad winning and Flash losing. I like most of Gruber’s articles as much as the next guy, but there’s really no more room for objectivity on this subject. He’s placed his bets on the iPad succeeding despite a lack of Flash support just as much as Apple has. Meanwhile, Adobe seems to have crafted something really incredible with its AIR technology that doesn’t get nearly as much copy (anywhere beyond most of the Adobe blogs…and a Mac|Life article this week). Gruber himself is still skeptical of the ‘write once, play anywhere’ story, which is fine. Adobe’s got at least a couple of strong moves, which can play out concurrently: 1) offering developers the most flexible tools possible for creating interactivity across platforms via AIR and, 2) retooling future versions of Creative Suite to be the very best solution to author in Flash, HTML5, and whatever else makes people feel like the iPad is still the best thing ever.

  • John C. Welch — 5:54 PM on April 07, 2010

    Given the *current available release state* of the Flash plugin, i can easily see why people hate using it.
    Considering Adobe’s responses to all Flash problems is one of two replies:
    1) “you’re some kind of blind raving fanatical unpaid Apple astroturfer!” (to be fair, this seems to be the domain of Dowdell, the Adobe CTO and a couple other Flash PR people)
    2) “10.1 will fix everything. No, we don’t have a release date. but it will fix everything, so all complaints about 10.0 are invalid.”
    are you REALLY surprised that people kind of hate the plugin? when flash stops crashing my browser, and the Flash team stops telling me all problems with Flash are in my head, i’ll start viewing Flash as more than a pox upon my browser.

  • John Dowdell — 6:13 PM on April 07, 2010

    John N, I’m surprised at you, this is like Steve Allen lipsynching to The Stones, or something…. ;-)
    fwiw, this weekend Dan Rayburn was discussing those costs to content creators for crafting special versions for audiences with limitations… not a killer cost, just expensive:
    http://seekingalpha.com/article/196849-ipad-s-lack-of-flash-is-not-due-to-any-shortcomings-with-flash-blames-apple
    jd/adobe

  • J-Man — 6:15 PM on April 07, 2010

    @Hendrick, bringing up a dictionary definition for format, really? Of course Gruber meant video format and can’t control his fanboy loathing of Flash and unbridled iPassion long enough to get the concepts of codec, format, or player right. Maybe he meant “the process of preparing a hard disk or other storage medium for use, including setting up an empty file system”?

  • Steph Boudreau — 6:19 PM on April 07, 2010

    John, rest assured you are not the only one driven to near madness by all the incomplete/inaccurate detailing and strange assumptions going on in the interweb.
    Interweb, I’m talking to you now.
    Why all the fuss Interweb? It’s not like you’ve signed a contract to buy and use an iPad for all your computing needs. No one is forcing anyone to buy or use an iPad.
    No one is forcing anyone to support it either. Those that want to have their content available to all users will make the necessary adjustments to their video delivery technologies. Those that deem 2%-5% to be to small a market will not do anything. Let’s compare this to public transportation. personally I find public transportation too restrictive. Firstly it’s cramped, has strange smells and sometimes sticky seats. Public transportation is made for a very generalized type of user. Much like the iPad.
    Relax Interweb, give it more than 24hrs and let the market play with this new thing. It will all sort itself out and most people will be happy with the way they navigate their media and devices.

  • Matthew Fabb — 6:19 PM on April 07, 2010

    Flash Player 10.1 is likely to come out around the same time as Flash CS5, likely in May.
    Meanwhile, if Flash really is crashing your browser then submit a bug report to Adobe’s open bug database. From what I’ve seen Adobe has been pretty good at tackling any major bugs and rolling them out into Flash updates.

  • Matthew Fabb — 6:42 PM on April 07, 2010

    With all the talk about how Web 2.0 is changing the media, I really wish there was an easy way notify writers corrections to their articles, when mistakes are made. As a number of the more high profile websites get enough volume of comments that writers don’t pay any attention to them. Because you’re right in that most articles make all sorts of pretty bad basic mistakes, especially these days when it comes to online video. I still see the occasional comment listing one of the pros of HTML5 video is not having to use one of the Adobe’s video servers, not understanding that this is not needed for most basic Flash video.

  • Mike James — 7:37 PM on April 07, 2010

    John–enough already about the no Flash on the iPad. We’re sick of hearing it. You sound like a whiner.
    [Come on, man, give me a break. A) I told you that this topic might not be of general interest, letting you know to skip it. B) I’m not whining; I’m seeking clarity. I think sites like Engadget *should* use an alternate player on iPhone/iPad, because I want to see their content on whatever device I’m using. Of course, when they take that pragmatic, non-ideological step, it’ll get hailed by a bunch of shrill ideologues as “Hah hah lolz Flash suxxxxx time2dieeee !!” –J.]
    People who wanna play Flash won’t buy the iPad. Who cares that Apple is drawing a line in the sand.
    [Well, given that I just tried to watch a movie on my iPad (which happened to be embedded via Microsoft Silverlight) and got denied, I care. I like the device and would like to see it work better. Whenever Apple is ready to take that step, the Flash team is ready to assist. –J.]
    Move on and talk about all the good in the Adobe world.
    [Don’t worry: I have tons in the queue. –J.]

  • Stirling Hewitt — 7:41 PM on April 07, 2010

    Regardless of the fact he was talking about the iPhone. It remains that all of the most popular mobile devices including 99% of android phones and all of the Pre’s do do not run flash!
    We keep hearing promises of flash coming to these platforms but the demos are crashy and lackluster, and the proof has yet to show itself in any kind of pudding. I mean the Pre got an that allows you to download an app that at some point later you will be able to install flash with. WTF?
    Dont pretend like the mobile space isn’t happening. Every day more people live without flash as they are out and about, and in the long run NONE of them really gives a shit except the whiny tech nerds that remind me of what i was like when i was 18.
    I paid to learn Flash in school, and it’s rare that i ever abandon a tool set, but I dont offer clients flash anymore, because it is not friendly.

  • gh — 7:55 PM on April 07, 2010

    Speaking most technically in Video Terms for sure, a codec is a format? Correct? Flash Player is a technology? I love flash by the way, single greatest thing to creativity on the web, in a while anyhow. Rarely if ever had a problem running flash as a plugin, although generally I run pretty current macs, and not with 50 tabs open. Still in the JDI flavor, mostly I get his point. Totally h264 is a good codec to run in flash, although not the only choice anymore. But the article I believe refers to a PC (non – apple) based tablet device, without looking at the article, its just rehashing the rehashed.

  • Andrew Odri — 8:02 PM on April 07, 2010

    Ahh, I’d just ignore DF all together IMHO. I actually unsubscribed from the DF RSS feed about 2 weeks ago – for one there is so much hype about any new device I can handle. And second, it became really clear that the articles aren’t objective articles that happen to be about Apple products, but generally ranged from heavily biased to deceptive and many time downright infactual.
    I’d like to think that anyone with enough clout would be able to pick up on the trend. It is a shame that a lot of people take this stuff as gospel though.

  • Michael — 8:32 PM on April 07, 2010

    We’ve used script tags for our video service since the beginning and adopted h.264 videos in Flash when it was available, so when the time came, it was easy to dynamically switch out our flash players to something that would work on the iPhone and iPad. A bit of foresight and honestly probably a bit of a fluke, but now all our client’s videos work on iPhone and iPad and they didn’t have to lift a finger.
    We have had a couple of issues with some content management systems not allowing our clients to paste in script tags but for the most part it’s worked really well and also allowed us to do some other things without our clients having to be involved and changing embed codes.
    Here’s some more on it.
    http://www.resorts-interactive.com/promotions/iphone_flash_video.php

  • Rand — 10:50 PM on April 07, 2010

    It’s not about Objective reporting, Andrew. Like the majority of good tech blogs, you’re getting a clearly subjective experience.
    But is that such a bad thing? Whether you agree with him or not, John Gruber is one of the best versed to offer commentary on technology and design. It’s subjective, you may disagree with him, but it fuels healthy debate. I’d hate to only be reading content online that agreed with my current point of view. Reasoned debate is important in technology more than any other industry, and the power of the crowd is in effect here more than anywhere.

  • amy — 11:57 PM on April 07, 2010

    How can I find out what format they are actually using? Can we assume all Flashes are playing H.264 nowadays?

  • DrWatson — 12:38 AM on April 08, 2010

    “on iPad/iPhone, it has to mean something else”
    Well, I keep getting annoyed by this lack of precision, too. It’s not only iPad/iPhone/iPod touch. It’s a whole bunch of smartphone devices that don’t do Flash.
    [Yet. –J.]
    iP*d might be the one that’s least likely to support Flash for quite a time, but Flash 10.1 (aka the grail) simply is NOT out there in the wild. Just build a stunningly good Flash Player. IF Flash Player works great on e.g. Android, WebOS et al., THEN let’s talk again.
    [Fair enough. –J.]

  • Niklas — 4:12 AM on April 08, 2010

    The Joojoo really brought forward the merits of Flash Player version 10.1, didn’t it? ;)
    [No, because 10.1 isn’t done. But don’t stop beleeeevin’… –J.]

  • Jim Pogozelski — 4:17 AM on April 08, 2010

    I looked through some posts, but there’s so many. You write as if the Adobe product dearest to your heart is swf. (At least there are no pontifications about DreamWeaver or Soundbooth, so that’s good, but aren’t you a PS guy?)
    [Pontifications? Give me an effing break, Jim. Seriously. I’m advocating for pragmatism (which means using a non-Flash solution in some cases) and accuracy. Sorry if you can’t hang with that. –J.]
    Anyway as Fake Steve Jobs says, if you don’t like the product (iPad in this case), get something else.
    [Your reading comprehension sucks. NOWHERE did I say anything about not liking the iPad. But to you, I guess, and to a legion of zealots, saying that something could be better is heresy (until, of course, Apple makes it better). –J.]
    Give your money to an HP tablet or something. YOu really don’t HAVE to watch your Silverlight movie on this one.
    [Right, right–so if Apple doesn’t presently allow something, then that something is by definition irrelevant or undesirable–until, of course, Apple makes it possible, at which time it becomes by definition godly & just. What a bunch of slavish crap. –J.]

  • Zandr — 7:59 AM on April 08, 2010

    [Replying to JNack’s embedded comments, not Mike’s original post.]
    Ha Ha. Flash Sucks. Time to die.
    No, seriously. I have a GMA950 Mac Mini hooked up to my TV. It will play 720p H.264 action movies all day long with nary a stutter using either QT or VLC.
    Flash? If I run the very latest plugin under Safari (which runs Flash out-of-process, using the Cocoa interfaces) then I can get around 10fps watching the Daily Show in SD. It’s bad, but for a chat show, it’s just barely watchable. Try using Hulu Desktop, and that falls back to about 2fps.
    So it’s *not* just about mobile devices. If the goal is to deliver video, Flash does it very badly.
    Unfortunately, the HTML5 Video world is at an impasse on codecs (both sides are quite right, a third way is needed) so we’re stuck using Flash as a legal wrapper around H.264 even when it’s a very poor technical wrapper.

  • John C. Welch — 8:10 AM on April 08, 2010

    I sat in the Flash team’s office and talked to them about the problems i see. I figure that should work.
    As well, honestly, if anyone is going to try to tell me that flash’s problems are not *copiously* documented by now? So not buying it.
    Oh, and i did, because it’s part of my job, download the 10.1 RC. what do i get?
    some lame installer that won’t work with any of my tools, unless i hack it and yank the actual installer package out of it.
    The installer package, the real one, without all the stupid chrome that does nothing useful to install the package has a postflight application. i say “application” instead of script, because although postflight files are normally shell scripts, this one is a friggin’ binary. why? we don’t know. it’s not for speed increases, the amount of time saved is negligible. So why hide the contents of the postflight script.
    Building trust, teh flash team is doin’ it rong.
    the sad thing is, if you ignore all the flash chrome bullshit, and just yank that installer package out from under it, what you have is a decent installer that finally doesn’t pull the one stunt that made installing Flash suck: the whole “you must quit your browser” crap.
    finally, i have a version of Flash that i can push out to all my macs, that won’t require me to hack the actual installer. I finally have the installer that IT pros have wanted, and yet, like someone with a tube of “Make My Logo Bigger Cream”, someone in Flash marketing had to have a thick, gloopy wrapper of useless suck around it.
    don’t know why, nor do i care. but that’s flash for you. Good core functionality, surrounded by gloopy suck.
    Oh…yeah, i still watch Safari and the flash plugin process lose their goddamned minds when playing Flash video at 720p on YouTube.
    but i’m sure Dowdell will spout his party line how it’s all my fault for using a weaker browser, and that i’m just a MacMac fanboy for criticizing Flash in the first place. then he’ll complain about all the ad hominem against flash. It’s his Kung Fu.

  • Derik — 8:19 AM on April 08, 2010

    I’d report the bugs, but unfortunately, Flash crashes my browser before I can finish the report.
    More seriously, how would I report it? “Flash crashed my browser… again. No, I don’t know how.”

  • John Dowdell — 8:33 AM on April 08, 2010

    “Ha Ha. Flash Sucks. Time to die.”
    Bad metaphor. People die every day. Flash will outlive many of us. Choosing another way to speak will be less creepy.
    “It will play 720p H.264 action movies all day long with nary a stutter using either QT or VLC. Flash? If I run the very latest plugin under Safari (which runs Flash out-of-process, using the Cocoa interfaces) then I can get around 10fps watching the Daily Show in SD.”
    Precisely. A video decoder outside of a browser will not have to deal with the additional costs of rendering within a browser. Proprietary hardware support will make a difference too (cf QT APIs). Some of these problems will be mitigated by Safari and Player now supporting Core Animation. If you’d like your experience improved, it’s kinky to bite those trying to improve it.
    jd/adobe

  • Bobby Orr — 10:02 AM on April 08, 2010

    This is the line of thinking I subscribe to. If someone doesn’t want to play ball, find someone else to play ball with and do that well. If flash 10.1/air is implemented well on android et al., killer apps will dent apple’s market hold enough to have them cave or risk irrelevancy. Sounds like a far fetched battle but if the experience is truly richer then people will be there. If the experience is lacking, then the technology wasn’t that compelling after all. As a web dev, I’m anxiously awaiting what is going to be unlocked when this stuff is supposed to happen. When phones are finally up to replacing things like field pda’s for mobile capture then businesses will be snagging them in droves. If air can allow me to build a web/flash app that can work in both online and offline modes on a phone, I can ditch proprietary mobile dev that is locked to small subsets of devices and build a site that is accessible from phone or desktop and just worry about the css for interface layout for whichever medium the client is using.

  • Zandr — 11:42 AM on April 08, 2010

    John,
    I must not understand something you’re saying here. What I think you’re saying is that you’re trying to fix the problem having to run inside the browser by adding an extra layer (Flash) *between* the browser and the player.
    It’s been said that there is no problem in computer science that cannot be solved with another layer of indirection. I would suggest that performance is the exception that proves the rule.

  • Mark Alan Thomas — 1:32 PM on April 08, 2010

    98% platform penetration is meaningless when there’s a platform shift afoot. Flash* is dead.
    (*Wherein by “Flash” I mean any web technology requiring proprietary third-party plug-ins.)

  • Mark Alan Thomas — 2:23 PM on April 08, 2010

    Repeating this line about Flash being compatible with H.264 video — as if this makes Flash videos somehow not dependent on a proprietary, poorly-performing plug-in technology that Adobe spent a billion dollars acquiring — is deliberately misleading. When people talk about H.264 vs Flash what they mean is video versus that same video inexplicably requiring the Flash plug-in to play back. And what’s really unfortunate is that you know this and are spouting the party line anyway in an attempt to deflect attention away from the truth which is that Flash is unnecessary obsolete proprietary crap. Let me say that again:
    Flash is unnecessary obsolete proprietary crap.
    The only reason the other doomed tablet platforms are patronizing Adobe over this issue is because they’re desperately looking for a way to spin the iPad hype against Apple. They want to be able to say “We have something Apple doesn’t! Apple is evil!” when in reality not being dependent on Flash is a huge advantage to the platform.

  • Ron — 3:10 PM on April 08, 2010

    In the words of the great ameliorator Rodney King, “Care for a spot of tea and crumpets, old chaps?”.
    (I paraphrase, but you get the idea)
    [I’m all for the proverbial peace, love, and understanding. Various other folks get excited by the idea of associating themselves with Apple & being on the side of triumph (“One people, with one will, one resolve, one cause… we shall prevail!!”), so they find conflict titillating. –J.]

  • Bobby Orr — 3:39 PM on April 08, 2010

    You can make a case that for video flash is quickly becoming an extraneous layer in an html5 world, but to completely knock it out of the equation for ria’s is a bit of a reach. When you talk proprietary, what’s more proprietary than apple releasing a new TOS that says “use our tools or go home” –
    [3.3.1 — Applications may only use Documented APIs in the manner prescribed by Apple and must not use or call any private APIs. Applications must be originally written in Objective-C, C, C++, or JavaScript as executed by the iPhone OS WebKit engine, and only code written in C, C++, and Objective-C may compile and directly link against the Documented APIs (e.g., Applications that link to Documented APIs through an intermediary translation or compatibility layer or tool are prohibited)]? Apple wants to thwart all competition by holding all the keys to their kingdom and telling the dev world they have to learn objective-c because they won’t get into their club with adobe’s upcoming flash to iphone compiler or any other alternative for that matter (titanium, phonegap, etc.)

  • BJN — 4:10 PM on April 08, 2010

    And they’re saying, “Buy from our store or go home”. The Apple way is warm, pretty customer castration.

  • David S — 4:51 PM on April 08, 2010

    I think we can basically all agree that most users don’t care what semantics are behind the word “format” (codec, player, container, profile, aspect ratio, color depth).
    All this mindless quibbling is totally lost on people who just want it to work, not argue about whether flash playing .flv is different from flash playing h264.
    It doesn’t work. That’s all that matters.

  • Mark Alan Thomas — 7:02 PM on April 08, 2010

    But you see it’s Apple’s computers. It’s Apple’s OS. It’s not like Microsoft trying to tell Dell and HP and IBM and Compaq et all what to do with their computers. And Apple’s not trying to force the iPhone OS onto other non-Apple devices. Either do it their way, or not.

  • Phil Brown — 8:52 PM on April 08, 2010

    No, but what is happening, Mark, is that people are complaining about proprietary technology in one breath (Adobe and Flash) and then praising Apple in the next (who are entirely about being proprietary).
    Yes, it’s a case of do it Apple’s way or not at all, but far too many people are not prepared to tell Apple they’re doing it wrong (I’m not saying they are or are not in this case).
    Apple isn’t some holy grail that never makes mistakes or always makes the best choices and it’s the fanboi language that implies otherwise that is a constant pain when any attempt at a real discussion occurs.
    Apple will live or die by their decisions, of course, but let’s keep things in perspective – they’re 10% of the market in round numbers and even if we call it 20% to be generous, it’s still a minor player.
    iPad is an example of how Apple might bypass some of that – create a paradigm in which computers aren’t required to do a lot of what people want to do online. That will greatly increase their market share potentially. In the meantime, end users are suffering a lesser experience because Apple won’t budge – you can have a full experience only when they’re good and ready. That sucks and it’s not good customer focus, imho.
    In the meantime, use a Windows PC or get an HP tablet when it’s out and enjoy Flash. I can’t recall *ever* having Flash crash on me under Windows which is not to say it can’t or that it didn’t, but it’s such a non-issue that I can’t remember any examples.
    Both parties need to work together to improve the experience for end-users, but Apple never *seems* to want to be the ones to move (and I emphasise seems because I don’t deal with them directly very much – close enough to nil – and so I only have a perception).

  • haleonearth — 8:57 PM on April 08, 2010

    I see most of you are deciding to go down with the ship. I can respect that.
    [Your comment is too ignorant for words. –J.]

  • haleonearth — 9:13 PM on April 08, 2010

    Passion John. Goddamned passion! Is the passion of the Apple loyalists a frickin’ phenomenon or what! A force so rarely seen in the commercial world. Unfreakinbelievable isn’t it? I remember when Adobe used to inspire some passion. Alas, that was a long time ago.
    [If “passion” means “unwillingness or inability to read, to think critically & pragmatically, and to disassociate one’s identity from the perceived interests of a distant corporate entity,” then you can keep that crap. –J.]

  • judah — 10:58 PM on April 08, 2010

    I don’t like to argue. I’m concerned about solutions.
    All the problems Adobe and Flash are having in the world can be solved by listening and responding to it’s users. Fix the bugs in the bugbase, listen and fix what users say needs to be fixed. Hire me. I’ll get it done.

  • Steve Howard — 11:01 PM on April 08, 2010

    It’s Apple’s computers? So we don’t own the phone/pod/phad/Mac that we paid for. So what, then? Did we just pay a rental fee?

  • Niklas — 3:15 AM on April 09, 2010

    It is the 10.1 beta, I give you that for correctness. But do you really expect the finished 10.1 to deliver something around 5x to 10x the current beta performance? I want that to be true, but seriously, can we expect that?
    You keep asking for pragmatism and truth about what is happening today and the truth is that as the number of mobile devices are exploding the weakness that is Flash (overhead) performance is becoming more and more apparent because it no longer has a desktop grade CPU to tax.
    I really want to cheer Adobe and I want to to continue being the king of graphics and publishing – I was an early Quark switcher, I used Photoshop for 2/3 of my life, I use illustrator five days a week and was once a happy Dreamweaver. And used Flash as a tool to sketch interfaces and UI testing. But all this does not prevent me from saying what I experience to be the truth about Flash on the web: There are some places it does not belong, and video is one of those.
    Imagine for a moment Adobe taking the first step to a fully HTML5 compatible publishing suite combining the force that is Flex/Air/Flash/Dreamweaver into a package capable of producing plugin-free content. Imagine you not having to devote resources to producing plugins for multiple platforms and multiple web browsers on these platforms? Where is the future John? Where is your sense of innovation? All I see is a turf war with Apple? Why not sidestep it like everyone sidestep a spoiled brat. And by sidestepping I mean ignore it and produce awesome stuff instead.
    I am sorry to see Apple on the winning side because in the end I probably care more about your software than Apple’s and the proof is in the metaphorical pudding because when I use my mac I use Adobe software, when I use my PC I use Adobe software.
    Though I am sorry to se less and less awesome from you as time go by. Don’t do that, please…

  • Niklas — 3:44 AM on April 09, 2010

    The argument “X’s computer / X’s product” is an argument from the developers, producers and resellers point of view. What it is saying is “X can produce any product they want and not be forced by Y to include (or not include) product Z”. For a real world example: Microsoft can not force HP to not include Netscape on HP computers.
    The consumer argument is “I can choose to buy/not buy X’s device/service, when I bought it I can choose to forgo the service and put a sledgehammer to the screen because it is my device”. The iProduct is still my product but if I choose to modify it with a sledgehammer or jailbreak I also choose to forgo the service that among things is warranty.

  • Steve Howard — 4:36 AM on April 09, 2010

    And it’s so much bollox. Are my shoes somehow ‘damaged’ if I wear the wrong socks?

  • Petter — 6:38 AM on April 09, 2010

    Seriously, unless using RTMP-streaming why target flash on a Mac at all. They will have a better experience using “Click To Flash” and choosing to play the MP4-file (encoded with H.264 and AAC) in quicktime any way. (Which only works when the sites actually use accessible MP4-files).
    Just target the Video tag for Safari and Chrome no matter the operating system, (on desktops) with a fall back for flash. Of course Firefox on Mac users will be left with Flash.
    However the video service engadget uses have no support of directly accessing the video-file. But it’s coming, http://blog.viddler.com/sandieman/html5-support-coming-soon/ Looks like it was not MP4.

  • Chris — 7:05 AM on April 09, 2010

    Well if Apple doesn’t want the Flash plugin, even if it is new and improved. Do you think you could give Sony a call and get me some updated Flash goodness, and perhaps webkit, on my PS3.
    Rocking a buggy version of Flash 8 and some half assed browser that renders as reliably as IE6 isn’t helping my sanity.
    p.s. AIR would be nice too :)

  • Chris — 7:09 AM on April 09, 2010

    Well if Apple doesn’t want the Flash plugin, even if it is new and improved. Do you think you could give Sony a call and get me some updated Flash goodness, and perhaps webkit, on my PS3.
    Rocking a buggy version of Flash 8 and some half assed browser that renders as reliably as IE6 isn’t helping my sanity.
    p.s. AIR would be nice too :)

  • Niklas — 8:25 AM on April 09, 2010

    Perhaps? Your argument being what, exactly? Besides “bollox”, that is…

  • Randy — 8:41 AM on April 09, 2010

    All this is really very very weird. I am a PC user and I use mainly Opera for a browser. It never crashed after opening (because of) a site full of flash. Now, I own an iPhone and I love it. I don’t think I’ll buy an iPad for now, but God, does the world have to change it’s habits because of what Mr. Jobs says or because 6% or 7% of computer users ask (sorry, demand) the change? Please stop all this craziness!

  • kent Porter — 1:59 AM on April 09, 2010

    Wow it’s getting ugly in here.

    [If “passion” means “unwillingness or inability to read, to think critically & pragmatically, and to disassociate one’s identity from the perceived interests of a distant corporate entity,” then you can keep that crap. –J.]

    But um, isn’t this what you’re doing to a certain extant here John? Except you’re passionately on the side of the not-so-distant corporation that employs you. Difference of opinion aside, you seem really personally, if not passionately bothered by some of the things being said here and it’s kinda strange to me. This whole thread seems unusually vitriolic for this blog. I enjoy your blog because most of the time the tone is casual and informative. Seems like you’ve been lured into a petty flame war. Anyway…

    [Yes, you’re right, Kent. But here’s the thing: I came to Adobe with the selfish goal of building the tools that I wanted to use, to solve my own problems–and not to further enrich a bunch of people who got their pans into the stream long before I did. After I leave here my interests will be the same: expressing myself & helping others to do the same. Adobe is, for me, a means to an end.

    That’s why I’m trying–although maybe failing–to come down on the side of simply Getting Things Done. If and when that means using Flash and/or other tech from Adobe, great; when it means using other tools, that’s fine, too. I keep trying to say that people should defend their own self interests.

    So, when someone tells me “You didn’t WANT to watch that video, because it was encoded in a format other than the one Apple likes,” I think a screw has popped loose. At that point a person’s desire to feel like part of a team/tribe/whatever has trumped practicality–call it ideology over functionality. I think that sucks, and I’ve said so. –J.]

    Adobe and Apple both promote proprietary solutions. So what? Apple fans are displaying the zealous attitude they usually do which shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. Who cares? Both companies innovate, and both have agendas which aren’t coinciding on this device. This happens all the time in the world of tech does it not?

    Why is everyone so butt-sore about this? Can we resume our regularly scheduled programming now?

  • Wilhelm Reuch — 6:03 PM on April 09, 2010

    The trouble is that Adobe keep going at it. One wish Adobe could actually hear what Jobs is saying: their Flash services is not needed on the iPhone OS.
    Instead Adobe makes as much racket about it as possible and they keep coming back with ugly things like the iPhone IPA.
    Really Adobe – let it go. You cant repair 15 years of neglect in an evening just because you suddenly found out Apple has one or two runaway hits you would like to have bite of.
    As long as there is an alternative (W3C-standard) way to access data I have no problem with sites using Flash. Nor with Adobe selling the product.

  • Ron rydeberg — 12:45 PM on April 12, 2010

    It is absurd, in this day and age, that Flash will put any and all browsers on their knees and use over 95% of the CPU for a jerky presentation.
    It is most definitely not for videos.
    Now, whether Adobe fixes it or not is irrelevant: the product is crap and a better one will bury it.
    One would have thought that upper management at Adobe was a cut above the ugly mediocrity of management, but apparently they truly represent the incompetents just like most other companies.

  • Pissed Mac Developer — 2:04 PM on April 12, 2010

    Yes, absurd that it only does that on MacOS, despite the Flash Player engineers repeatedly asking Apple to open up the APIs needed to make it faster, and Apple only recently starting to work on it (http://www.kaourantin.net/).
    I just love watching Apple blaming Adobe for Apple’s own problems.
    And the fanbois repeating the FUD without ever checking a fact.

  • Patrick — 2:14 PM on April 12, 2010

    I don’t understand this about Flash Player’s performance on Mac. It’s constantly made out to be the performing exceptionally bad; lately I’ve seen comments like the above declare it the worst piece of software ever written.
    I take it on good faith that such an uproar brings up a valid point, but I cannot relate, and as the words get harsher, I can’t help but feel like its just spin. Though I can only speak for my own experience, I got a MacBook Pro almost a year ago and have been browsing with Firefox and Flash 10.x. The experience has been as smooth as on my Win7 machine, which is very stable. I really haven’t been bugged by it at all. I haven’t looked at the Activity Monitor enough to give you a CPU #, but there just hasn’t really been a reason for me to do so.
    Perhaps this is a result of the performance improvements in FP 10.x and a testament of Firefox’s stability (I don’t use Safari)? Give it a shot.

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