August 21st 2007 | Jens C Brynildsen
The third beta version of the Flash Player will support the industry standard H264 video compression used in BlueRay and HD-DVD players. This will make web video easier than ever - also for the content producers.
H.264 is a highly efficient compression codec that aims to solve most problems with existing video codecs. Often referred to as MPEG4, the codec is able to scale from mobile phones to HD and beyond. It is a well documented ISO standard and completely vendor independent. It can be used for both downloadable or streamed video and it is already in wide use as the format for digital TV transmissions (DVB-T, ISDB-T DVM and more). What's so great about this then? The most important will be the need for video content producers to encode to only one format. The resulting file can then be played back using the Flash Player, Quicktime, Windows Media and other video players supporting the codec.
Google / YouTube recently started the conversion of all content to H.264 making it possible to play all their videos on mobile phones such as the Apple iPhone and a wide range of other devices. The Flash Player update also adds some support for the mobile video file format 3gp (based on H.264) and the professional AAC audio codec. This is a great move from Adobe that will save some headaches with content providers, but it will also somewhat reduce the Flash Player's importance in the video field.
The last few years, Flash video has been THE solution since next to everyone has the Flash Player installed. The drawback of this solution was that content providers got into a vendor lock-in since the FLV video files could only be played back using Flash Player. Now, we'll get a file format that all the major software video players can use. This makes it easier than ever to change what video player solution your site uses and ensures access to a huge selection of video encoding tools (If you use popular tools such as Sorenson Squeeze, Final Cut or Adobe Premiere, you are already able to encode H264/MPG4 files). Another great advantage is that content providers can now use dedicated hardware for compressing video, something that will seriously speed up the encoding process. The new player will be available on labs.adobe.com this afternoon
Read the details at Tinic Uro's blog
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