Adobe Flash *Fix* for PowerBook G4 / Choppy YouTube videos etc

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by ProvenGuilty, Aug 19, 2009.

  1. ProvenGuilty macrumors newbie

    Aug 19, 2009
    Phoenix, AZ
    Hello World,

    I found this forum through a google search, and wanted to put the word out. It seems choppy, laggy or otherwise unplayable youtube videos and other streams using Adobe Flash 9 or 10 on OS X 10.3, 10.4 and 10.5 is a very common headache with no clear resolution other than, 'Your CPU is too slow".

    It seems I may have found a suitable fix to allow flash videos (as poorly as adobe flash is coded for Linux and OS X platforms) to finally play on my old, but very much alive 12" PowerBook G4. I'm not talking HD videos in DVD glass pond-like quality, but I'm talking 1fps to an estimated 10-15fps with mp3 quality audio that doesn't stutter.

    My specs as tested and functioning:

    System: 1Ghz PowerPC G4 12" aluminum
    Version: OS X 10.5.8 (originally came with 10.3.9)
    Video: GeForce FX Go5200 32MB
    Memory: 768MB DDR (upgraded from stock)
    HDD: 160GB Western Digital (upgraded from stock)

    ALL I had to do (not perfect, but very very noticeable improvement!) was right-click the video while it was playing, and choose the 'settings' menu for Adobe Flash player. From there, I simply unchecked the "Use Hardware Acceleration" on the Display tab, and bump the "Local Storage" tab slider bar up to 10MB.

    If anyone else is or was experiencing this problem, please try this quick and easy work-around out and share your experiences. If we can get a few to confirm, I'd be happy to seed it on the google interwebs so others can find the information easily.

    Best Regards,

    Christopher-John :apple:
  2. cbruno macrumors newbie

    Sep 12, 2009
    Yes it works

    I did what you said and yes my powerbook G4 showed decent improvement in youtube flash playback. Went from being barely watchable to watchable.


    Powerbook G4 1.5 GHz
    1.25 GB RAM
    Nvidia 5200 64 MB
    80 GB Hard Drive
  3. Freyqq macrumors 601

    Dec 13, 2004
    turning off hardware acceleration improves performance?
  4. janihenn macrumors newbie

    Apr 3, 2010
    Those setting options aren't available with Flash 9, which I downgraded to in order to watch Youtube it just in Flash 10?
  5. ArtM16 macrumors newbie

    Apr 10, 2010
    I found some workarounds (at least for my 1.5Ghz G4, 1GB ram, with Leopard 10.5.8)

    Install a G4 Optimized version of one of these browsers:
    Optimized Firefox 3.6.3 for G4
    Optimized Camino 2.0.2 for G4

    Install Flash 10.0.4
    - many people are saying that Flash 10 is too slow, but you need it to run latest web apps, Hulu, or to watch HD videos - there is little choice here, but its ok because it should still work for most 1Ghz+ powerbooks

    Launch any flash video (YouTube, Hulu, etc.).
    When the video comes up right click on it, you should see a Flash Plugin Menu. Go into:
    - settings: enable hardware acceleration (disable it if it causes problems)
    - settings: increase storage limit to 10MB
    - quality: set to Medium or Low (depending on your system)

    Change your computer power settings:
    Make sure power is set to "Normal" or "Better Performance". If set to "Battery Energy Savings" videos can still get a little slow.

    My configuration:
    1.5Ghz G4, 1GB ram, with Leopard 10.5.8
    G4 Optimized Firefox 3.6.3
    Flash 10.0.4 (quality medium, enabled hardware acceleration, 10MB storage)
    (computer power setting on "normal" when watching videos)

    With these settings I can watch any YouTube video or Hulu video with pretty decent frame rate, even in Full Screen!

    Hope this helps. I will try to post again once my 2GB ram upgrade comes in.
  6. embenak macrumors newbie

    Sep 18, 2010
    Thanks ArtM16! Your post was most useful for debugging the video problem on my wife's G4. I am still stunned that the power settings actually made a difference.
  7. raysfan81 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 6, 2009
    North Carolina
    The reason the power settings make a difference is because flash is almost completely processor based and to save power, the the processor and other system hardware speed are slowed down. :)
  8. MacHamster68 macrumors 68040


    Sep 17, 2009
    so to make things more clear
    i did geekbench results on the different energy safer settings on my

    iMac G5 1.8ghz , 1gb ram ,GeForce FX 5200 64mb vram

    highest setting geekbench result : 1131
    (perfectly watchable video @ 480p no noticeable frame drops )
    processor fan goes to ~3700rpm processor temp to 72 degree celsius max

    reduced setting geekbench result : 535
    video gets choppy @480p , but videos watchable @360p with rarely noticable frame drops
    processor fan goes to ~2100rpm processor temp to 66 degree celsius max

    now it gets really interesting

    automatic setting geekbench result : 1126
    watchable video @480 no noticable frame drops
    processor fan goes up to 4000rpm and the processor temp to 74 degree celsius !!!

    and to make it a fair thing i always did shut down the computer and let it cool down for half an hour before i did each test

    not even ripping a dvd brings these peaks in fan speeds and processor temp at highest and automatic setting

    for most daily tasks reduced setting is sufficient as then the fan only idles around between 1500 and 1600 and only youtube brings it up to 2100rpm
    and i dont need 480p as i cant really see the difference at youtube videos anyway
  9. mikeypizano macrumors member

    Apr 13, 2008
    Pittston PA
    I tried what is posted in the first post on my Power Mac G4 (933mhz) and it is still choppy. :(
  10. MarkSliced macrumors newbie


    Sep 23, 2010
    That's a bummer - I just tried with an old 1.33GHz PowerBook G4 12" in my office and there's a very noticeable improvement.
  11. mikeypizano macrumors member

    Apr 13, 2008
    Pittston PA
    Maybe I don't see any improvement is because my CPU is too slow?
  12. raysfan81 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 6, 2009
    North Carolina
    Use flash 9. I can play youtube (360p) on my sawtooth and its slower than yours is.
  13. bradmorris64 macrumors newbie

    Nov 30, 2010
    Old Processor

    I find it interesting that my "old processor" (1 GHZ G4) can still play full screen DVD's flawlessly. Oh, and that it can play extremely large streaming wmv files (via the flip 4 Mac plugin), but it chokes on 360 YouTube videos. Blaming an old processor for this is BS. This is just Apple forcing the G4 into obsolescence through lack of support and has nothing to do with real technological advancement. It's simply a matter of them not wanting youtube videos to play on the G4 platforms.
  14. iThinkergoiMac macrumors 68030

    Jan 20, 2010
    Oh wow. Are you aware of how much Apple hates Flash and how they don't even include it in the latest MBA?

    Apple has nothing to do with how poorly PowerPC processors process Flash. It has everything to do with how Flash is optimized both for Intel processors and Windows. If what you were saying was true, Apple would be committing some pretty serious license agreements that Adobe would sue for in a heartbeat by modifying Flash to not work on older computers.

    That being said, Flash never ran well on PowerPC processors, so you are in a way correct by saying that blaming older processors is BS. My Windows laptop of the same age as my PowerBook G4 plays SD Flash content fine. But the age of the processor does play a role as well.

    Also, the G4 is obsolete. The last one was introduced more than 5 years ago (and it's support status is still listed as "Supported"). What more could you expect?
  15. Hrududu macrumors 68020


    Jul 25, 2008
    Central US
    Its called piss-poor coding. There is no reason a decent G4 should have more trouble with flash than a Pentium 4. The P4 was trash and it manages flash just fine, but struggles with processes the G4 has no trouble with. Blame Adobe, not PPC or RISC architecture. Apple really doesn't have much to do with it.
  16. Imixmuan macrumors 6502

    Dec 18, 2010
    flash replacer (for youtube anyway)

    So I have struggled mightly with flash on my g4 ibook, 10.1 was an improvement but not a cure. I tried a firefox plugin called flash videoreplacer which replaces flash with quicktime in youtube and vimeo. It was a vast improvement, particularly with vimeo, but it's a linux app and buggy, after awhile I gave up on it. I then was turned onto youview, a standalone app that plays uses ffmpeg instead of flash to play youtube and its mindblowing, 480p plays without a hiccup, my ibook stays cool to the touch. Its a paid app and I want to make it clear I have no relation to product, and is pretty much fully functional without paying up for it, just can't download and save videos. Developer says he's working on a system wide replacement for flash, in which case I will jump for joy.
  17. VoidSlaad macrumors member

    Dec 11, 2010
    Hello...this may seem a bit absurd but I was wondering, would some of the tricks here be usable on an old G3 iMac (700MHz)?
  18. cocacolakid macrumors 65816


    Dec 18, 2010
    Mactubes works better than Youview and it's 100% free.
  19. cocacolakid macrumors 65816


    Dec 18, 2010
    You can download a G3 optimized build of Firefox at furbism here (plus G4 G5, Intel, and Intel 64 builds), it is definitely way faster than normal Firefox.

    I think Mactubes will run on a G3, you must be on 10.4.2 or newer. Mactubes page.
  20. MacHamster68 macrumors 68040


    Sep 17, 2009
    if you are running tiger then there is another alternative which made it even possible on my iMac g3 to watch youtube videos without the chops and lags up to 240p so loads bettter then safari or even camino (ok not fullscreen but hey who wants to watch youtube videos on fullscreen anyway:confused: )

    tenfourfox is the answer
  21. danny0085 macrumors newbie

    Jan 29, 2011
    Flash player

    I use this flash player for linux . It worked for me. It has advanced features such as full screen mode and playlists
  22. Jiten macrumors 6502a


    Jul 16, 2008
    I think it is more of an Adobe issue then a Apple problem as Apple have been pushing Adobe to improve Flash performance on Macs for quite a while now.
  23. R20B05 macrumors newbie

    Apr 5, 2011

    I just tried what some of you guys have suggested and right clicked a youtube video while its playing, then chose Settings, but strangely i didn't find any option called "use hardware acceleration" or the "local storage" tab!! and so apparently i couldn't fix the problem with the low video quality:( anyone knows why it didn't display these options?


    PowerBook G4 15" 1.67 GHz
    Memory: 1 GB
    Version: 1.0
  24. Imixmuan macrumors 6502

    Dec 18, 2010
    numerous posts and fixes....

    ...for this "problem". To summarize: the absolute best thing is to avoid flash if you can, performance is terrible on PPC macs, terrible on macs in general. The simplest fix is to use mactubes, with that you can browse and play youtube videos outside of the browser in 480p. Just set your player to quicktime and enjoy. There is also Youview, does the same thing but is a paid for application.

    There are also several fixes one can employ with tenfourfox, they involve extensions and a little copying and pasting, but they also work well. Search for quicktime enabler, downloadhelper and flashvideoreplacer. You will find lots of previous posts.

    If you have 20 bucks burning a hole in your pocket you can pay for Coreplayer and that will enable you to stream HD video on your Powerbook G4.
  25. Frankyxo macrumors newbie

    Dec 16, 2011

    I have the same computer and by mistake uninstall the flash and cant intall it again..can you help me..??


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