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MacRumors
Dec 4, 2007, 11:57 AM
http://www.macrumors.com/images/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com)

Adobe has released Flash Player 9 Update 3 (http://www.adobe.com/aboutadobe/pressroom/pressreleases/200712/120407adobemoviestar.html) which includes support for H.264 video, support for which was announced in August (http://www.macrumors.com/2007/08/21/adobe-annouces-h-264-support-in-flash/).

Adobe Flash Player 9 now includes H.264 standard video support, the same standard deployed in Blu-Ray® and HD-DVD® high definition video players, and High Efficiency AAC (HE-AAC) audio capabilities. The latest update also features hardware accelerated, multi-core enhanced, full-screen video playback for high-resolution viewing across major operating systems and browsers.

The support for H.264 in Flash will be beneficial for both content producers and end users:
- Better image/sound quality for those content providers that elect to use the H.264 functionality.
- Hardware encoding solutions are available for content producers that can encode at better than realtime.

Though speculative, another future benefit may end up being the ability for mobile and set-top devices like the iPhone and Apple TV to be able have better access to content, as such devices that support H.264 include hardware decoders (for battery life optimization on mobile devices). Apple has stated several times that it heavily values battery life on the iPhone, and may be a key reason why a Flash plug-in has not been developed to date.

Article Link (http://www.macrumors.com/2007/12/04/adobe-releases-flash-update-incorporating-h-264/)



arkitect
Dec 4, 2007, 11:58 AM
…another future benefit may end up being the ability for mobile and set-top devices like the iPhone and Apple TV to be able have better access to content, as such devices that support H.264 include hardware decoders (for battery life optimization on mobile devices). Apple has stated several times that it heavily values battery life on the iPhone, and may be a key reason why a Flash plug-in has not been developed to date.

Fingers crossed. :)
Cannot wait for Flash to make it to the iPhone…

ppc_michael
Dec 4, 2007, 12:04 PM
Sweet! Do you think YouTube will be migrating to H.264 for its website (I know they do this for iPhone/iPod Touch already)?

ilogic
Dec 4, 2007, 12:06 PM
will it mean I can play flash games from my iphone? Noob Question, is the encoding of Youtube done for the iphone done in H.264? So what does it all mean?

chr1s60
Dec 4, 2007, 12:06 PM
I really hope Flash gets on the iPhone soon. As long as they do something about the battery life issue, I think it will be ok. I would love the ability to play Flash videos on my phone and Flash is needed for quite a few sites in order to view anything. Some people couldn't care less about Flash, but I think it is needed in order to offer the full internet.

dernhelm
Dec 4, 2007, 12:09 PM
I really hope Flash gets on the iPhone soon. As long as they do something about the battery life issue, I think it will be ok. I would love the ability to play Flash videos on my phone and Flash is needed for quite a few sites in order to view anything. Some people could care less about Flash, but I think it is needed in order to offer the full internet.

As long as they also offer the ability to turn OFF Flash, I have no issue with them supporting it.

For me, Flash ads are _more_ annoying than popup ads, and are unavoidable without some sort of Flash blocker add-in (a la Camino). Build in a flash blocker to Safari, and I am with you 100%.

ifjake
Dec 4, 2007, 12:09 PM
hulu.com, NBC and Fox's joint streaming site, already uses it for their new "HD Gallery", which only consists of movie trailers. Being HD, the requirements for use are pretty steep. Doesn't even run on my G4 powerbook. Quicktime runs okay at 720p for me, frame rate suffers just a little, but 1080 is too stuttered. It would be nice if H264 became the flash norm, and specialized hardware H264 decoders could be cheaply built into the least of graphics processors (on board graphics, mobile graphics like the iPhone), so that processor requirements could be relaxed a little and your barebones devices could do HD without having to be multi-super-not-cheap-core.

iSee
Dec 4, 2007, 12:10 PM
I've been suprised how little I miss Flash on the iPhone.

But I still hope this somehow means the Flash player is a little closer to the iPhone.

JFreak
Dec 4, 2007, 12:11 PM
This is great news! :)

Stridder44
Dec 4, 2007, 12:11 PM
Wow these seems to run a lot smoother!

InLikeALion
Dec 4, 2007, 12:14 PM
will it mean I can play flash games from my iphone? Noob Question, is the encoding of Youtube done for the iphone done in H.264? So what does it all mean?

It will not mean that you can play flash games on your iphone. h.264 encoding in flash is simply a movie codec, as far as I can tell, and does not offer the interactivity of flash that games would require. Essentially, i believe, it is like flash now has the ability to be a media player of h.264 video, but any interface/interactivity elements will still be subject to .swf files?

Can someone who knows more about the technical side of this clarify? I'm just beginning to do flash programing and don't quite understand all the ins and outs.

chr1s60
Dec 4, 2007, 12:15 PM
As long as they also offer the ability to turn OFF Flash, I have no issue with them supporting it.

For me, Flash ads are _more_ annoying than popup ads, and are unavoidable without some sort of Flash blocker add-in (a la Camino). Build in a flash blocker to Safari, and I am with you 100%.

I think the ability to turn off Flash will be included if it ever comes to iPhone, it just makes sense. As far as the ads go, I agree that they are annoying, but they aren't nearly as frustrating as being out somewhere and needing some info from a site and finding out it is a flash based site and your phone is useless.

Eidorian
Dec 4, 2007, 12:16 PM
Works in Leopard. :D

kornyboy
Dec 4, 2007, 12:17 PM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU like Mac OS X; en) AppleWebKit/420.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.0 Mobile/3B48b Safari/419.3)

I'm still looking forward to flash compatibility with the iPhone.

Yvan256
Dec 4, 2007, 12:21 PM
Good news since it means the whole industry is accepting H.264 as the new video standard.

Perhaps now those with .wmv and .avi/DivX files on their websites will replace them with H.264

I'm looking at you, Blizzard! :p

longofest
Dec 4, 2007, 12:41 PM
I've been suprised how little I miss Flash on the iPhone.

But I still hope this somehow means the Flash player is a little closer to the iPhone.

I don't miss Flash too much in websites, but I do miss some TV content on my iPhone and :apple:TV. With NBC disappearing from iTunes, I'd like to be able to view Hulu or something like that from iPhone or :apple:TV.

ale500
Dec 4, 2007, 12:59 PM
All that sound very nice, but did they fix the problem with the printing engine in flash ?, and the bug that causes application controls in tabs to not get initialized even if they are shown ?, and the bugs that cause Sprite not to render anything ?, the list goes on... :mad::mad:

happydude
Dec 4, 2007, 12:59 PM
looking forward to jumping into the iphone pool in the next version, so hopefully the battery issue will be solved for both flash (what about flash takes up so much battery) and 3G. however, with pop up flash ads, i hope they have a preference to be able to turn flash capability on and off.

BornAgainMac
Dec 4, 2007, 01:00 PM
Had the iPod not gone video, I bet we would live in a Microsoft Windows Media Format world. H.264 seems to have won. I love seeing so many third-party tools to convert from WMV to this new standard for the average Joe.

dashiel
Dec 4, 2007, 01:02 PM
if anything this signals a longer wait for flash.

at some point this year a three way conversation happened between google, apple and adobe that resulted in google converting their entire youtube library to h.264. google then told adobe they don't plan on supporting duplicate libraries in .flv and .h264 and adobe would need to accommodate them.

i don't believe this was entirely altruistic on google's part mind you, i suspect google was very interested in not being locked in to flash to play video on their android platform.

also adobe was almost certainly working on some form of HD support to compete with microsoft's silverlight.

returning to my initial point though, now the most ubiquitous video player in the world will support a a video format that is also supported by the iphone. in other words there will be even less need to support flash on the phone than there was yesterday.

EagerDragon
Dec 4, 2007, 01:18 PM
Any word on the release of this in the stand alone player?

wiseguy
Dec 4, 2007, 01:21 PM
This is great news for multimedia publishers, now we can put interactive layers over H.264 movies in Flash. No need to convert to .flv anymore. No more time wasted to please .wmv player or .flv player, now the standard will be H.264, for Web, HD, DVD, mobile... finally... Now it's time to make a standard between HD DVD or Blue Ray and everything will speak the same language...
I'm sure next Quicktime update will be Flash compatible.

FightTheFuture
Dec 4, 2007, 01:36 PM
i'm hoping that this helps educate the majority of people who think windows media is the best method of encoding video right now - it may help bring focus to how quicktime has been using h264 for sometime now, and break away the conception that quicktime is a media player in the same league as realplayer... ugh. very annoying.

Had the iPod not gone video, I bet we would
live in a Microsoft Windows Media Format world.
i'm not so sure it was the iPod as much as flash (youtube) that kept video content sites away from windows media.

even though its already planned for netflix's 'watch now' feature to go to Silverlight, i hope they may consider flash+h264 as a good method of delivering DRM streams too.

WolfgangK
Dec 4, 2007, 01:37 PM
this is great news...I hope that this does lead to some level of compatibility on the iPhone, even if it's just for Flash video. Also, as said, needed to compete with Silverlight.

Slightly off-topic, what do people think about Apple supporting Adobe/Flash technology in the face of competition in this arena from MS?

Apple and Adobe sure seem to have a cantankerous relationship sometimes...when it seems that the alternative would put them in even more formidable positions in their respective markets. I know that's a whole 'nother debate. But I would think they'd want to see Flash succeed against competition from MS.

paddykev
Dec 4, 2007, 01:38 PM
Will this update help prevent my MBP fans going crazy at times when viewing Flash websites.
I haven't noticed it as much since upgrading to Leopard but on occasions i still notice that the fans start to kick in when viewing lots of flash on websites... and no im not viewing pr0n :p

dashiel
Dec 4, 2007, 01:44 PM
Slightly off-topic, what do people think about Apple supporting Adobe/Flash technology in the face of competition in this arena from MS?

silverlight is stillborn. it will carve out a niche, especially where microsoft funds development, but in general in offers no compelling reasons for content developers or end-users to use it.

as for apple helping adobe - i don't think they need to. apple seems to be going along with the firefox/google route and betting on DHTML, local/offline storage. at best apple/firefox/google need to avoid actively competing against them. microsoft's lock-in and half-assed efforts will continue to tread water as newer developers (especially of web apps) loathe microsoft's weak support for the cutting edge web technologies.

TitoC
Dec 4, 2007, 02:44 PM
It will not mean that you can play flash games on your iphone. h.264 encoding in flash is simply a movie codec, as far as I can tell, and does not offer the interactivity of flash that games would require. Essentially, i believe, it is like flash now has the ability to be a media player of h.264 video, but any interface/interactivity elements will still be subject to .swf files?

Can someone who knows more about the technical side of this clarify? I'm just beginning to do flash programing and don't quite understand all the ins and outs.

You are absolutely correct on this. All this means is that Flash can now support an alternative from an FLV file (i.e. Flash video file) to another type of Movie codec (i.e. h.264). This has nothing to do with actually playing a SWF file (Shockwave File) which all Flash sites contain. A Flash site contains the SWF file (where your menus, vector animations, artwork, etc. all live). Then, these SWF files can call up any number of "external" files, such as an FLV video, XML file, PHP, etc. and now of course, h.264 video file.

The main problem with Flash as far as the iPhone is concerned, is that Flash can be quite a bit of battery drain (regardless of any video a Flash file does or does not have). Files such as an h.264 video for example, is that these types of files grab a majority of there energy requirements and some video playback requirements from hardware, compared to a typical Flash file, which grabs most of its energy requirements from software and/or a video card. Until Adobe rewires a new type of Flash file that can grab its energy from hardware and not software/video card (something sort of like Flash Lite, which is used primarily for Mobile device interfaces) nothing is going to change this obstacle in getting Flash sites and games on the iPhone.

jasonfj
Dec 4, 2007, 03:13 PM
does this mean I can now embed h.264 QuickTime movies in my Flash projects and not have to convert to .FLV?

chris200x9
Dec 4, 2007, 03:33 PM
Sweet! Do you think YouTube will be migrating to H.264 for its website (I know they do this for iPhone/iPod Touch already)?


I'm pretty sure they are, but wouldn't this make youtube downloadable?

I mean right now it's VERY easy with safari to download youptube if it's already h.264/mp4 wouldn't it be that much easier.


or is it just the h.264 codec? so still won't play in quicktime?

TitoC
Dec 4, 2007, 03:44 PM
does this mean I can now embed h.264 QuickTime movies in my Flash projects and not have to convert to .FLV?

Well you wouldn't actually "embed" an h.264 video as much as having Flash "call for" an external h.264 video (as opposed to an FLV file). What I'm trying to say is that right now, you can have Flash either EMBED an FLV file into your SWF or have Flash look for an external FLV file that it is "calling for." With this newer version, you can not EMBED an h.264 video, but rather have Flash link to an external h.264 video instead.

winterspan
Dec 4, 2007, 04:46 PM
I'm pretty sure they are, but wouldn't this make youtube downloadable?

I mean right now it's VERY easy with safari to download youptube if it's already h.264/mp4 wouldn't it be that much easier.


or is it just the h.264 codec? so still won't play in quicktime?

Although I'm not exactly sure how those websites/software rip the actual video from the SWF file, It doesn't seem like it would matter what the actual codec of the movie file is. Current websites that use flash to stream video use the Flash Video format "FLV". FLVs are usually encoded in the H.263 format which is similar to DivX/Xvid and also is the predecessor to H.264.

Quicktime shouldn't be able to directly play youtube videos. But as i said before, I'm not quite sure about the technical details involved with ripping a FLV stream, but unless Adobe and/or Youtube makes changes to their streaming process now, It seems like you'll still be able to download youtube videos that are H.264 as you do now with H.263/FLVs.

Can someone comment on this... How do these youtube 'ripping' tools work? I assume they can't get access to the original media, they must somehow grab the bitstream from the flash player somehow? On a similar note.. How does DRM work with the flash media server? Will sites like Hulu.com be able to block these flash video rippers from working?

ezekielrage_99
Dec 4, 2007, 04:52 PM
All I can say is that it's about time Adobe releases this.... it's seems to take Adobe sometime to get onto some industry requirements.

Jphillippe
Dec 4, 2007, 05:10 PM
I support the fact that they want longer battery, but option to have flash should be up to the user. There should be a switch in settings that would give the option of turning flash on and off. I just want xtube on my phone...lol

wizard
Dec 4, 2007, 05:31 PM
Fingers crossed. :)
Cannot wait for Flash to make it to the iPhone…

This is really what I was hoping for when I saw the word FLASH! Without flash there is little sense in buying an iPhone. It is not that I like FLASH either but sometimes you don't have a choice.

Dave

MrCrowbar
Dec 4, 2007, 05:49 PM
Sweet. I want those H.264 youtube videos on my Mac. Looks so mucht better on an iPhone right now, it's ridiculous.

sockdoggy
Dec 4, 2007, 05:50 PM
Correct me if I'm wrong here (probably am, don't know much about video codecs etc), but from what I understand, Flash now supports H.264, but H.264 doesn't support flash...

I don't see how this benefits the iPhone...

Unless YouTube converts all its videos to h.264 because then anyone with flash on can watch them and anyone on an iPhone can watch them.

Anyone see what I'm saying?

twoodcc
Dec 4, 2007, 06:03 PM
sounds like good news to me. looking forward to flash in my iPhone :apple:

FreeState
Dec 4, 2007, 06:05 PM
After this update I can not play any DVD's with DVD Player - I get a black screen with a few small artifacts - the sound plays only. Its the only update I have installed in the last few weeks and I have played DVD's yesterday on my Mac....

Anyone else experiencing this?

nologo
Dec 4, 2007, 06:54 PM
Well you wouldn't actually "embed" an h.264 video as much as having Flash "call for" an external h.264 video (as opposed to an FLV file). What I'm trying to say is that right now, you can have Flash either EMBED an FLV file into your SWF or have Flash look for an external FLV file that it is "calling for." With this newer version, you can not EMBED an h.264 video, but rather have Flash link to an external h.264 video instead.

I was hoping that the implementation of this would be an update to flash cs3 that supported h.264 as an .flv codec (instead of on2 or vp6 of whatever the current Flv codec conversion options are). So essentially this allows external calls for m4v files encoded with h.264?

jasonfj
Dec 4, 2007, 06:54 PM
Well you wouldn't actually "embed" an h.264 video as much as having Flash "call for" an external h.264 video (as opposed to an FLV file). What I'm trying to say is that right now, you can have Flash either EMBED an FLV file into your SWF or have Flash look for an external FLV file that it is "calling for." With this newer version, you can not EMBED an h.264 video, but rather have Flash link to an external h.264 video instead.


What I'd like to replicate is the fixed video window in my current site:
www.jasonfisherjones.com

I used to have an HTML site and I'm not as happy with the playback smoothness from .FLV as with .MOV (everyone I show THINKS the clips play fine, but I see slight jerkiness and frame dropping in all the clips. It's subtle but very important in my business).

ppc_michael
Dec 4, 2007, 07:00 PM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPod; U; CPU like Mac OS X; en) AppleWebKit/420.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.0 Mobile/3A110a Safari/419.3)

Correct me if I'm wrong here (probably am, don't know much about video codecs etc), but from what I understand, Flash now supports H.264, but H.264 doesn't support flash...

I don't see how this benefits the iPhone...

Unless YouTube converts all its videos to h.264 because then anyone with flash on can watch them and anyone on an iPhone can watch them.

Anyone see what I'm saying?

They do that already.

bmstrong
Dec 4, 2007, 07:17 PM
>>sounds like good news to me. looking forward to flash in my iPhone

So do I. I hate not being able to go to ESPN and not view the site properly on my iPhone...

TitoC
Dec 4, 2007, 08:43 PM
I was hoping that the implementation of this would be an update to flash cs3 that supported h.264 as an .flv codec (instead of on2 or vp6 of whatever the current Flv codec conversion options are). So essentially this allows external calls for m4v files encoded with h.264?

Exactly.

Adobe is trying to slowly phase out their proprietary FLV system and start relying more on straight codecs such as h.264 (and eventually what the next "new" MPEG system might be - h.265, etc.). But in doing so, it will use more "external" video repositories since none of these codec systems can be embedded within a Flash SWF file. But actually embedding an FLV video directly into a Flash file should be strongly cautioned anyway (unless the video file is short and not too large in size). Doing so in this manner only makes your video sluggish and would begin to play the video out of sync with the audio. Having your SWF file call an external video file works best and what is highly recommended within the industry.

TitoC
Dec 4, 2007, 08:58 PM
A couple of notes to some:

sounds like good news to me. looking forward to flash in my iPhone :apple:

I said it before, but I'll say it again to those who missed it:

All this means is that Flash can now support an alternative from an FLV file (i.e. Flash video file) to another type of Movie codec (i.e. h.264). This has nothing to do with actually playing a SWF file (Shockwave File) which all Flash sites contain. A Flash site contains the SWF file (where your menus, vector animations, artwork, etc. all live). Then, these SWF files can call up any number of "external" files, such as an FLV video, XML file, PHP, etc. and now of course, h.264 video file.

The main problem with Flash as far as the iPhone is concerned, is that Flash can be quite a bit of battery drain (regardless of any video a Flash file does or does not have). Files such as an h.264 video for example, is that these types of files grab a majority of there energy requirements and some video playback requirements from hardware, compared to a typical Flash file, which grabs most of its energy requirements from software and/or a video card. Until Adobe rewires a new type of Flash file that can grab its energy from hardware and not software/video card (something sort of like Flash Lite, which is used primarily for Mobile device interfaces) nothing is going to change this obstacle in getting Flash sites and games on the iPhone

This is really what I was hoping for when I saw the word FLASH! Without flash there is little sense in buying an iPhone. It is not that I like FLASH either but sometimes you don't have a choice.
Dave

Really? Without Flash, there is little sense in buying an iPhone? Really?

Hey, I love love Flash like a lot of people. Heck, I even make my living doing Flash interfaces, Flash web sites and even Flash Lite content for several Cell Phone clients. I work in Flash all day long. But even I have an iPhone and see a whole lot of benefits to owning one. Let's see: A phone, visual voicemail, an email client, the best web on ANY Mobile device, all of my Calendar events, quite a few 3rd party apps, an amazing iPod and video device . . . . . the list goes on and on and on.

Do I wish it had Flash? Sure why not. But NOT at the expense of my battery life. So if you ask me "What would you rather have on your iPhone, Flash or a very good battery life?" I would most definitely say "Battery life!" (and this is from someone who makes his living off of Flash).

We could all do with some "Flash-less" sites in our day.

TitoC
Dec 4, 2007, 09:08 PM
What I'd like to replicate is the fixed video window in my current site:
www.jasonfisherjones.com

I used to have an HTML site and I'm not as happy with the playback smoothness from .FLV as with .MOV (everyone I show THINKS the clips play fine, but I see slight jerkiness and frame dropping in all the clips. It's subtle but very important in my business).

Nice site BTW.

Yes, using an h.264 should work fine for you. All you would have to do is to make your external videos in the h.264 codec rather than FLV files.

The videos look very smooth and nice to me (of course I only watched a few). I am also in a similar line of work as you (I'm a graphic designer working mostly in the interactive and rich media field of the web). It looks like we have even worked with some of the same companies (such as Razorfish).

The main problem I am seeing with this site is that the video seems to want to start to play before it has had a chance to buffer enough into the cache.

P.S. I watched a few more, and did see some that might possibly have a few dropped frames in them (hard to tell without watching the original file). These seemed to be videos that were quite fast and had very quick moments. But overall, I think the videos look very well.

phillc
Dec 5, 2007, 04:50 AM
Here's an example of an online video site already using Flash to display H.264 content:

http://www.kapitalmototv.com/flash/

All these videos are QuickTime .mov files, encoded using H.264.

agwah
Dec 5, 2007, 06:56 AM
having the codec be the same across a lot of different platforms is great, now we just need to adjust the colors to be same on mac and windows gamma

just discovered that quicktime adjusts for the gamma of the system icc profile when it is displayed inside of safari (similar to how photoshop takes the icc into account before displaying the colors)

i wish that flash would do the same thing, then we could have our stuff look the same on windows and mac no matter what gamma people had their monitor displaying

lectro33
Dec 5, 2007, 10:19 AM
Hasn't anyone actually stopped to think about this?

While certain Flash apps may be CPU hungry, that's not the reason there is no Flash Player on the iPhone. It's the interface.

If you click a drop-down menu on a web page, you get this fancy custom drop-down thing on the iPhone. Drop-downs and similar elements in Flash are created by each app's desinger, so there's no standard for the iPhone to recognize. Furthermore, there's no dragging on the iPhone (just look at Google Maps in Safari on iPhone - there's a reason Apple made a custom app). Flash apps also rely on being able to detect hover states and things like mouse-down and mouse-up events, as well as keypresses. How are you going to press a key on the iPhone when they keyboard is only on screen if a text field has focus?

The only Flash files that would operate within the iPhone's interface would be the annoying banner ads that just blink and bob around without any user input, and nobody likes those. Sorry, but Flash on the iPhone just isn't going to happen. I wish it would, as I'm a Flash developer and I have an iPhone, but I'm sure Apple doesn't want a bunch of non-functional applications sullying its slick little browser.

TitoC
Dec 5, 2007, 11:31 AM
Hasn't anyone actually stopped to think about this?

While certain Flash apps may be CPU hungry, that's not the reason there is no Flash Player on the iPhone. It's the interface.

If you click a drop-down menu on a web page, you get this fancy custom drop-down thing on the iPhone. Drop-downs and similar elements in Flash are created by each app's desinger, so there's no standard for the iPhone to recognize. Furthermore, there's no dragging on the iPhone (just look at Google Maps in Safari on iPhone - there's a reason Apple made a custom app). Flash apps also rely on being able to detect hover states and things like mouse-down and mouse-up events, as well as keypresses. How are you going to press a key on the iPhone when they keyboard is only on screen if a text field has focus?

The only Flash files that would operate within the iPhone's interface would be the annoying banner ads that just blink and bob around without any user input, and nobody likes those. Sorry, but Flash on the iPhone just isn't going to happen. I wish it would, as I'm a Flash developer and I have an iPhone, but I'm sure Apple doesn't want a bunch of non-functional applications sullying its slick little browser.

You're absolutely right! Many of us in the Flash developer community have focused so much on the battery drain issue of Flash as it concerns the iPhone, we have almost forgotten about the most obvious issue: mouse interactions.

This is why I believe that if Adobe & Apple want Flash on the iPhone, they are going to have to come up with an entirely new form of it. One that would have a lot more limitations than the current version (menu RollOvers, etc.), but still have some of the basic functionality, interactions and effects of Flash.

As a Flash developer who has designed quite a few interfaces, I can see many of the obstacles that would need to be overcome before anything "Flash" can end up on the iPhone.

One possibility would be a way to export a traditional Flash format, but also have it export a format that can be iPhone friendly. Something sort of like Flash Lite, which is used a lot with many cell phone interfaces. Of course this would mean sites would have to carry more than one version of their sites - one for traditional Flash, and one for Flash "iPhone." Just a thought. But you make a very good point.

WICKEDfour
Dec 5, 2007, 07:25 PM
Everybody, I think it'll go something like this. Thanks to phillc for providing the KapitalMoto link, because that site more or less proves that this is extremely realistic. Adobe's H.264 support is quite brilliant news, but in my eyes, it has everything to do with video and nothing at all to do with Flash, ironically.

First off, YouTube/Flash video rippers are really quite simple. I haven't built an automated one, but grabbing the video yourself is pathetically easy. Just load up a YouTube video and open Safari's Activity window (Cmd+Opt+A). Take a look at the resources for the page you're viewing:
http://web.mac.com/kohlmannj/img/SafariActivityWindow.png
See the 13.0 MB file that's still loading? That's the video file the Flash object is streaming. It's a "Flash video," that is, a .FLV file, or a video encoded in H.263, according to winterspan. (By the way, just drag that URI from the Activity window to Safari's Downloads window to grab the movie. Then you can play it back in VLC or QT with Perian. You may also convert it with whatever utility you like that supports .FLV.)

The only thing changing with Flash Player 9 Update 3 is that the Flash object can now do the same thing it's already been doing with an H.264-encoded video file, such as a QuickTime .MOV file. If you take a look at the KapitalMoto page with Safari's Activity window, you'll see that this is indeed the case - the Flash object now streams a .mov file instead of a .flv file. With regards to playing video, Update 3 makes Flash nothing more than a bloated QuickTime plugin, which is actually really good news...

Now, where's the brilliance? Simple. Instead of building a version of Flash for the iPhone/iPod touch just to play back "Flash video," MobileSafari could effectively bypass the need for Flash altogether by detecting the HTML element of a Flash file that streams H.264-encoded video files and loading the QuickTime file in place of the Flash object. Heck, we could do this on the desktop if we wanted with a little JavaScript or maybe even a Safari plugin.

Of course, doing something like this is unnecessary for YouTube on iPhone/iPod touch since it has its own separate application. Another option might be something like allowing an updated YouTube application to tap into other video sites and then stream those "Flash videos" that reference an H.264 video file.

If anything, I'd guess that my previous proposal would be more likely, but the point is that Adobe's H.264 support will really make things interesting if it catches on. Potentially this means that Apple doesn't need Flash on the iPhone/iPod touch. Well, not for videos anyway.

This makes a lot of sense considering the amount of development time Apple has given to WebKit - why build an interface in Flash if you can build it in HTML/CSS/JavaScript? There are definitely Flash-based interfaces that could never be built with the current versions of HTML, CSS, & JS, but if Safari supports the right number of future improvements to the latter three languages, such as animation (http://webkit.org/blog/138/css-animation/) or the <canvas> tag, then there's an even greater chance of making Flash obsolete.

Maybe I'm crazy, but this move might very well make the web less Flash-dependent than it's been since the advent of .FLV. Meanwhile, as detailed above, Flash's most useful bits continue to be replicated in HTML/CSS/JS + hardware support. Apple is certainly taking aim at eventually eliminating the need for Flash altogether.

John Musbach
Dec 6, 2007, 12:54 AM
http://www.macrumors.com/images/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com)

Adobe has released Flash Player 9 Update 3 (http://www.adobe.com/aboutadobe/pressroom/pressreleases/200712/120407adobemoviestar.html) which includes support for H.264 video, support for which was announced in August (http://www.macrumors.com/2007/08/21/adobe-annouces-h-264-support-in-flash/).



The support for H.264 in Flash will be beneficial for both content producers and end users:
- Better image/sound quality for those content providers that elect to use the H.264 functionality.
- Hardware encoding solutions are available for content producers that can encode at better than realtime.

Though speculative, another future benefit may end up being the ability for mobile and set-top devices like the iPhone and Apple TV to be able have better access to content, as such devices that support H.264 include hardware decoders (for battery life optimization on mobile devices). Apple has stated several times that it heavily values battery life on the iPhone, and may be a key reason why a Flash plug-in has not been developed to date.

Article Link (http://www.macrumors.com/2007/12/04/adobe-releases-flash-update-incorporating-h-264/)

Interesting, I wonder if this has anything to do with the YouTube video format conversion for playback on the iPhone and if this will affect that transition at all...