HTML 5 Won’t Kill Adobe Flash Video Player

HTML 5 Wont Kill Adobe Flash Video Player

Let's face it, people, for some unknown reason, want HTML 5 to crush Flash. But as far as I'm concerned, it just won't happen and here's why.

Here are my top 5 reasons why HTML 5 won't kill Flash.

1. Robustness – The Flash video player is far more than just a simple video player. It's a tool that, when wielded properly can give you massive amounts of flexibility and power. With features like 3D effects, advanced text support, hardware acceleration and dynamic streaming…Flash is way ahead.

2. Conformity - HTML 5 is a long way from completion. The HTML 5 tag is going to need a lot of work and support before it can comete with Flash. Additionally, there' the question of browser support and video file formats which it is not doing anything to fix at present.

3. Comfort - Flash is everywhere. Everyone knows about it and rarely does anyone who doesn't have it, have a problem installing it. Sure there's nothing to install for HTML5 (when it will be available) but it will require people to upgrade browsers or use specific ones to see videos on certain pages. Far more work than just downloading and installing the Adobe Flash Player.

4. Speed of Updates - HTML 5 has been in the works for how long? They're expecting it to be ready when? Right! Meanwhile Flash Player hit version 10, will probably hit version 11 prior to HTML 5 ever getting down to being fully approved and maybe even v12 before widespread use.

5. Corporation Giants – Moving away from any piece of software for a corporate giant is well, generally shied away from. So for a major corporation to change over from Flash to HTML 5, it's going to be a godo amount of resources, manpower and money. Frankly , I just don't see it happening in this economic climate. On top of that can you answer, even for a small company "why should be move away from a proven solution?"

OK, I've got a sixth reason – There's nothing wrong with Flash. Yes it's a pain to work with at times, yes it can have some issues (like their idiotic new Get Plus powered Adobe download manager that works for shit) and yes you generally have to pay to play in regards to development for it. But really, if you're just making videos to show specifically on the web and only need the most basic of features, then moving to HTML 5 and learning a whole new game is just not prudent. Everyone is pressed for time and money, we all have very important things to do. To stop one of them and take on a new learning process for something, well most of us just won't be into that.

But HTML 5 does have one thing going for it. When it does finish the approval process and when browsers start to support it, you can bet that there will be a massive rush of developers incorporating it into things like WordPress, page templates, website constructors and the like. Who knows, maybe they'll come up with more robust ways to use it without having to actually learn all about the tag, it's properties, elements and potential values. Maybe they'll be able to build in additional features with AJAX, PHP and the like.

Or maybe, just maybe, we'll all keep using Flash… Let me know what you think of the new HTML 5 potential.

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Posted in Video Platforms & Solutions, Video Technology
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About the Author -
Christophor Rick is a freelance writer specializing in technology, new media, video games, IPTV, online video advertising and consumer electronics. His past work has included press releases, copy-writing, travel writing and journalism. He also writes novel-length and short fiction as part of Three-Faced Media . View All Posts By -

What do you think? ▼
  • pianom4n

    There is only one reason why Flash (and Silverlight) won't die: DRM. Without it, Hulu, Pandora, and Netflix can't do what they do. Sadly, there's now way out of this. DRM requires a closed source solution.

    But are your serious? There's nothing wrong with Flash? It's a resource hog on Windows, is 5x worse on Mac, and is 20x worse on Linux. Why can't I full screen a youtube video without it dropping frame s when I can play it fine in a standalone player (and can fullscreen an Ogg Theora encoded version in Firefox 3.6 without a problem)?

    Firefox, Safari, and Chrome all fully support the canvas and video tags, and IE9 will have it too. Firefox and Opera will never include a h.264 codec, so Apple will give in an include Theora in Safari. Lack of hardware decoding for Theora is a hurddle right now, but better hardware in computers (and even smartphones) is making this less important. All that's missing is development tools, but they will come.

    This browser updating you talk about will be a non issue. Firefox/Chrome/Safari will have a combined market share above 50% when IE9 comes out (2010-11). IE6 support will be getting dropped left and right. The resistance to updating IE versions won't exist in the same we we've seen. IE8 is taking almost all of its market share from IE7, because there's no reason not to update because of compatibility mode (actually a smart decision on Microsoft's part).

    Has anybody ever waited for a spec to be finished before they used it? Why did draft-n routers come out 2 years before the spec was finalized? Html5 is already in use, and its use is going to speed up.

    By 2012, Flash won't be required like it is today. Instead, it will live side-by-side with html5 technologies.

  • Jiminy

    Even if we ignore its closed and proprietary nature, you are missing the two biggest flaws with Flash, which are probably the major reason that many corporations should dance with glee at the prospect of being able to ditch it:

    1. It is a nightmare to maintain. You only have to look at your site's usage stats to see what a travesty Adobe have made of their updating process. Looking in the stats for our site, we have had 64 different versions of Flash player used to view our pages this week. SIXTY-FOUR.

    Not only that, you have to maintain the update cycle of Flash separately from that of the browser which causes a plethora of headaches when it comes to testing new releases prior to deployment.

    2. With that comes the other major problem with Flash: it is a security nightmare. Due to the fragmentation of the installs, Adobe's very poor track record at shipping secure code and their slipshod updating process, Flash is the number 1 security hole in all browsers today. It provides a trivial attack vector for miscreants to exploit.

    Flash might not be replaced by HTML5 but we can surely hope that it is, because it is an awful, awful piece of technology.

  • http://www.techdirect.biz/ James Watt

    Flash isn't free. You write your article complaining as though these are two products, neglecting to realize that Flash cost money. It will be years before HTML 5 is widespread, but why continue to get ripped off and pump thousands of dollars into Adobe when there is a free solution?

    I for one am excited. Competition lowers prices. If HTML 5 is all that they say it is, Adobe will be forced to bring prices down. I do not see how this can be a bad thing for HTML 5 supporters or Adobe fanboys.

    • episode17

      Hum you have no idea what your talking about… Flash IS free… Download the SDK and fire up notepad and voila… free Flash.

    • Tim

      He actually does mention that you have to pay for Flash, "…you generally have to pay to play in regards to development for it." try reading things before you comment on them

  • george121212

    Good to know about the compatibility of flash video player. There have been a lot of complications about them before and now i am sure that many people will surely like it. Thanks for the great post…its awesome indeed.

  • http://www.VideoLeadsOnline.com/ Ronnie Bincer

    Isn't html5 supposed to let the "meta text" of a video be read by bots? Meaning Google could "crawl" the video content better allowing us Video SEO people to make our videos more useful for search engines? I think that is part of what might be GREAT about another technology that plays videos since right now Google can't really "see" what a video is about.

  • Getit

    Here's one reason why Flash will die: Flash is proprietary. This means that only a limited number of people are moving it forward. Get it?

    • http://www.reelseo.com/ Mark Robertson

      ever heard of adobe open source media framework? Get it?

    • episode17

      2 things :
      opensource.adobe.com/wiki/display/osmf/
      http://www.openscreenproject.org/

  • nobody

    It's not like you type in all the HTML to embed a flash player and corresponding video into a page. There is a system that does it for you, or you're just copying "that gibberish that youtube tells me to paste and it just works" code in. The best part is, the HTML to generate valid, video embed, is insanely easy. If you know how to make an [img] tag you could learn how to make a [video] tag very quickly. Anyway, the point was that it will be automated anyway.

    The other part is, websites can skin browser and make them look even more integrated with their website (especially powerful because of javascript that can interact with the video or the controls). Plus they could use javascript to pause the video and play an ad. (someone should write a jquery plugin for that).

    HTML5 Video had better take over. Everyone is sick of Adobe. Everyone would love to deal with Flash yet. Lets make a commitment to treating ourselves better.

    • Tim

      adding a video to a Flash website is as easy as dragging and dropping it….

  • RazorX

    Ok, so HTML 5 can replace a few static videos here and there, but that's where we know it all ends. HTML 5 is very limited and not INTERACTIVE.

    In reality the people who are sick of Adobe or want Flash to die are also the same people who don't have a high enough web development skill level to work or code in Flash; it makes for a great people filter. :)

    • whoa

      Very well said. Flash is not for everyone and not for every purpose. I you want eye popping vids and ads, go Flash. If you want something basic and trashy, HTML 5 is the way to go.

      • itsalljustaride

        Flash is annoying and superfluous. When I go to a product site, I don't give a rip about the "eye-popping vids and ads". I want to get where I need to go without dealing with all that annoying trash.

        9 out of 10 flash sites completely violate accepted web usability standards.

        Oh, but without Flash we wouldn't have those "awesome" intro screens. Right?

        Flash has its place, but too many web devs use it like it's the be-all end-all of web development. And that's just ignorant.

        • RazorX

          Re: itsalljustaride

          It's totally irrelevant for you to burst out with your emotional opinion that Flash is annoying. There are plenty of lame html sites that are simply annoying in my opinion too. But personal opinions are not the issue here… only facts are the issue; and the facts are that HTML 5 will only be good for a static video replacement, well that's only a "very small portion" of the total INTERACTIVE picture now isn't it.

          The fact is… people want video, people want animation, people want feature-rich web sites, people want interactivity. People don't want stiff and boring HTML sites. Flash is everywhere only because people demand it. Just look at how jQuery is a primitive attempt to simulate the animation ability of Flash. Pumping even more browser-sensitive and security-problem jQuery (Javascript) into a web site is a very very bad idea, and web developers know it.

          Flash will march right over HTML 5, because HTML 5 will shimmer for a moment in newness and then be back to boring. In fact, I'm already yawning over the forthcoming HTML 5, because Flash has had the ability to play video for YEARS!

        • itsalljustaride

          So, wait, how was my comment any less emotional and relevant than:

          "In reality the people who are sick of Adobe or want Flash to die are also the same people who don't have a high enough web development skill level to work or code in Flash"

          As if coding in Flash were so fundamentally different from coding in PHP or Javascript or Ruby/Rails as to make it the de facto standard for assessing web development skills.

        • RazorX

          Re: itsalljustaride

          I can tell by your reply you are not very experienced in Flash development, which clearly explains your animosity towards it. Flash IS without a doubt fundamentally different than PHP, Ruby, and JavaScript programming. Flash incorporates not only Java-like ActionScript programming, but also requires the developer to be skilled in design, animation, video encoding, video production, audio handling and editing. So Flash (to the person who has actually used it – like me – 8 years) it is very much a unique and different programming environment than anything else. Because it combines design, video, audio, animation, and programming it IS very much a "people separator" of who can handle all of those skill sets equally and effectively at once. Flash is the reason the best web development companies in the world (firstborn, 2Advanced, Group 94, Red Interactive, Visionaire Group, Big Spaceship, Unit 9, etc.) ALL use Flash extensively and are the highest paid agencies around.

        • itsalljustaride

          What you're describing is a skillset that is dependent on your end goal, not on the technology used to achieve it. Not all Flash sites require audio or video applications. Some have no audio or video components at all. Not all Flash developers are all that highly skilled in design or animation either (believe me, I've met them personally). Every Flash developer I've ever talked to, EVER, has told me categorically, "if you can program in Java, you can program in Flash". The hard truth of the matter is this, much of the sites that are built on Flash have very few attributes that require that they be built in Flash. They were built in Flash because that's what the developer that got hired knew how to use. A hefty portion of Flash use in the wild today is simple video embedding. Just a video in a player. HTML5 can solve that niche with much less fuss.

          I'm not saying Flash will die, and that it doesn't have a place. I'm merely saying that it's niche is going to be a little smaller as a result of the HTML5 additions for video handling. If I want to embed a video in my site, I no longer have to go and get the FLV plugin or whathaveyou, and instead just throw it in an HTML tag. Obviously this doesn't hold for applications that require DRM or sophisticated ad/playlist functionality.

        • sagarkrips

          Most of the Flash bashing is coming from ignorant end users who only seem to equate Flash with static animated ads and video delivery. The fact of the matter is that there is MUCH MORE to Flash then most people give it credit for. It is the preferred choice for casual gaming (which is huge if you haven't noticed) as well as RIAs.

          Flash is a tool, and like any other tool, it can be implemented poorly. As far as security, there are ways to minimize the security threats.
          IE in and of itself has been a giant security threat since it's inception, why aren't more people whining about that??? Please people, get a clue……

          HTML 5 can barely do what Flash was doing 10 years ago. The bar for rich user experiences is constantly set higher as times moves on, so are the content developers supposed to take a huge step back just to use HTML 5?? Yeah right……

          Another thing, HTML 5 's video support 'could' theoretically be a thorn in Adobe's side, if all browsers can use a standard codec. I won't hold my breath on that one…

          In summary, people are comparing apples and oranges. HTML 5 will have it's uses, and so will Flash. However, serious corporate adaptation of HTML 5 is many years away.

          Flash is here to stay, deal with it…

        • Ragnar

          While I do agree that Flash is here to stay, I do believe that it will be used much less once HTML5 hits.

          I think the biggest area that it will have an impact on is current flash video sites, such as YouTube and Hulu. Youtube actually already has a beta of the HTML5 markup running on their site. Will it take over other Flash pages, such as those extremely interactive and fancy movie websites? No, it won't, and I don't think it ever will.

          The area I am looking forward to most is HTML5 in mobile applications. Everyone gives Apple crap for not including Flash in the iPhone or iPad. I to, at one time gave, hated Apple for not giving me Flash on my iPod Touch. But believe it or not, Apple did have a reason for not including Flash in their mobile products. Flash, somehow, is STILL buggy and hugely resource intensive. Does this matter on a desktop machine? No, the resources available on a desktop platform are easily available to run Flash. But on a mobile platform resource usage and stability is key. No one wants their phone call interrupted because Flash decided to crash the phone while it was loading up a webpage. No one wants their phone's battery life cut from 8 hours to 2 hours because they decided to watch a 20 minute Hulu video.

          If Adobe takes the time to fix the bugs, decrease resource usage, and increase stability, I think Flash will go far. Hopefully in CS5, they will do that. If they don't, they are just paving the way for HTML5 in the mobile market.

        • http://twitter.com/evilmeteor Jaime Pinzon

          I can tell by your reply you're not very experienced on anything but Flash 'development'. Java-like ActionScript programming? Be more specific, what Java attributes or concepts are we comparing to Actionscript and how do they differ from Javascript's and Ruby's)? I've been a programmer for 15 years now, I'm also a designer, and a compositor. I find your arguments insulting by inferring that Flash development is actually 'harder'. It's not. If anything it's 'easier' at the expense of performance and control. Stop spreading around FUD trying to convince people so you don't end up wasting the time it took you to learn all those awesome flash skills. Flash has it's place, but it's not on the web.

          Oh, by the way, show me why you believe those are the best and highest paid 'webdevelopment' agencies, got any proof? Do you realize those are not really 'webdevelopment' agencies, but 'interactive media' or 'creative' agencies? Explain to me, if Actionscript and Flash are the top technologies for 'webdevelopment', why are they used in only a handfull of the top 100 websites today (and only because of the video playback capabilities!)? Just saying that Flash is actually a good platform for webdevelopment is the most retarded thing I've heard ever. Really.

        • RazorX

          Re: Jamie "Flash has it's place, but it's not on the web." First off, your use of "web" becomes a proper noun before the word "the" and should be spelled "the Web". Second your use of an apostrophe is incorrect. The correct usage is "its place" not "it's place". Flash has no place on the Web? Flash is not a good platform for web development? You couldn't possibly be serious about those statements, and therefore most people are not going to take anything else you said seriously either.

        • http://twitter.com/evilmeteor Jaime Pinzon

          You're awesome. For starters I applaud you efforts in finding typos in my comment. How about you stop trying to pick apart my grammar (By the way, the last post before your response has an error with your comma usage, but I won't go into it because I'm not a douche.), and actually answer my questions instead of a bullshit answer with no facts whatsoever. Riddle me this hotshot: If Flash really is such a great platform for web-development, why aren't Facebook, Twitter, Basecamp, Gmail, Digg, Google Search, et al. made in Flash? The reality is that the leading designers in the web-design industry are all anti-flash advocates. The only reason why anyone deems it necessary this days is for video and some games. The web-development industry aren't much keen in the use of flash either. The people that are really trying to change the perception of Flash belong to two groups: the marketer who wants his annoying flash ads everywhere, and the graphic designer slash programmer that wants to convert the "WEB" into a platform it's not. I do believe there's a place for Flash in all this tough: as a plugin for specific content embedding (games perhaps…), not as the medium itself on which content is distributed, though even then I'd contest it's reliability and use.

        • Tim

          I think you missed his point, he was trying to point out that you are a douche because you were playing semantics with what he said. what you apparently fail to realize is that Flash is not just a program made to make website. Its an animation program. It has been since its inception. HTML5 will have a very hard time catching up in that department. Flash video has a lot more capabilities right now than HTML5. I will concede that HTML5 has some features that Flash does not but they are pretty superfluous. Programming in flash is just as easy as any other programming language but GOOD Flash design isn't something that any programmer can do. It does require programming AND art skill set. You have to know how to animate unless you're building a static webpage (in which case why are you bothering using flash in the first place) HTML5 will be good for static websites. All those websites you listed are static websites. Yes, they update dynamically but at heart they are still static.

        • sagarkrips

          Your comments regarding "eye-popping vids and ads" and "awesome" intro screens proves your perception of Flash is that of "Flash circa-2000″. You can't blame Adobe for the misuse of their technology. Even if Flash was to go away, what technology you think would replace all the "eye-popping ads"?? uuummmm, html5 perhaps???

          The fact is that Flash is a robust platform for creating MUCH MORE than ads. Html 5 is a markup spec that won't be able to do many of the things modern Flash apps can do.

    • Jonathan

      HTML5 might not be interactive, but CSS can be used for many transitions already. Here's but one example:

      http://webkit.org/blog/138/css-animation/

      A combination of both will cover a large part of what Flash offers at the moment, but perhaps you don't have the web development skills to know this?

    • http://nightly.webkit.org/ Jonathan

      Your comments are woefully out of date and just flat out wrong. HTML 5 and CSS 3 are already very interactive. I suggest you visit the Surfin' Safari blog, download a WebKit nightly build from nightly.webkit.org and run through some of the demos out there that show just how interactive HTML5 and CSS 3 are. You could start here:

      webkit.org/demos/

      Then visit jilion.com/sublime/video to see how HTML5 is already kicking Flash's arse off the field of play when it comes to video playback. Also try camendesign.com/code/video_for_everybody to see how Flash video is going to be gradually phased out for everyone not using Internet Explorer (unless MS decides to get off its fat behind and join in the future like everyone else).

      Flash might not die in the near future, but it is deservedly going to decline quite rapidly.

      • RazorX

        RE: HTML5 is already kicking Flash's arse off? A nice emotional try, but the facts and the numbers clearly say your statement is wrong. The global riastats dot com currently show Flash saturation at 98%, where is HTML 5? Oh yeah, isn't not even on the list! IE people can't even view HTML 5 video yet! That's 49% of the global Web. You will need half on the entire global Web to upgrade to IE 9 before they can even use it. And i will takes years before HTML 5 is even finalized.

        • http://nightly.webkit.org/ Jonathan

          Try reading first, Flash fanbois; I didn't say that HTML5 has more penetration than Flash, what I said is that HTML5 playback is already kicking Flash's arse (and a useable spec for it is barely more than a few months old). When have you ever seen playback in a Flash player scale seamlessly as you resize a Window? When have you ever seen a Flash Player scrub through video content without having to continuously re-buffer? The people working with the video tags, JS and CSS3 are already able to do things that Flash can only dream of and they have only just started.

          If you had also bothered to read any of the links I posted you would also see that it doesn't matter if IE doesn't support HTML5 – the experience will degrade gracefully and permit them to suffer Flash playback as much as they already do now. The rest of us will get on with enjoying a crash and security black hole-free superior existence.

          Anyway, from your own figures, if IE has only 49% market share it means that close to 51% of the market is already using a browser that could be capable of playing back HTML5 content (assuming users upgrade to the latest versions).

          It also doesn't matter if HTML5 as a whole takes years to get finalised. The video tags are already in place and you can use them *now*. People already are using them now. Major corporations are already using them now. The replacement of Flash by HTML5 video is starting now.

      • episode17

        Geeze they really put alot of work in those demos!

    • vinodtonangi

      Not interactive? Have you even seen the demos yet?
      Use a real browser like Chrome or Safari and check out this link: http://mugtug.com/sketchpad/

      That's about as interactive as anything I've developed in Flash. It's basically Photoshop lite developed completely in HTML 5. No Flash, No Plugin. It's fast and quite frankly – amazing. I don't know why you love Flash so much. If it's because you are used to developing in it, just realize it'll be just as easy in HTML 5 (if not easier)

      • RazorX

        Re: vinodtonangi

        I went to the mugtug link you provided but nothing was there but a big black blank area. By the way, I'm using IE and so is 49% of the world browser population.

        Safari 4 is only 4.9% of the world browser population. Chrome 4 is only 1.5% of the world browser population.

        • vinodtonangi

          IE 9 will support HTML 5. I understand that 1/2 the world uses older versions, but when websites start supporting older browsers like they have already started to do (http://techcrunch.com/2009/07/14/youtube-will-be-next-to-kiss-ie6-support-goodbye/) this will not be a problem. You have to use a HTML 5 capable browser. IE is well behind the times. Why don't you do yourself a favor and check out the link. You will be extremely impressed.

    • http://twitter.com/evilmeteor Jaime Pinzon

      Tell that to the people that coded Facebook's backend in C++, or Twitter's in Scala. Tell that to 37 Signals where DHH created Rails on top of Ruby and leveraged it to create a bunch of completely awesome applications. Tell Google they're idiots for not adding Flash and Actionscript to their official languages, alongside C++, Java, and Python. Honestly… if I were hiring, and had any applicant come with your arguments, I'd dismiss him/her that very second.

  • james

    have you not read the html5 notes it is not done but it will be finished by march and will allow the developer to make there own controls using just css and also allow full-screen.

    yes it is not finished but give it a little longer and it will.

  • vinodtonangi

    The biggest reason why Flash *will* die is because there are just too many devices that don't support it. From Apple alone you have over 75+ million devices worldwide (Apple iPhone & iTouches), not to mention the countless other Blackberry and Android devices that don't support it either.

    More and more people are starting to use their smartphone or their primary means of web browsing. This means website owners will have to switch to HTML 5 if they want to capture that audience. YouTube & Vimeo have already started. I'm sure Hulu will do it before the end of the year (if not sooner). Other sites will follow as they will have no choice when they see their pageviews disappear – that doesn't too good to advertisers.

    • RazorX

      Re: vinodtonangi

      Wow… your reply post is full of so much misinformation. Flash is not dying it's GROWING!

      Flash apps and games are already available in the Apple store! Have you ever heard of Flash CS5? It goes public to developers in April.

      Adobe Announces Full Flash Player for BlackBerry Devices & 35 Funded Flash Apps – Oct. 4, 2009 Flash support is also expected for several other mobile platforms, including Google Android, Symbian, Palm webOS, and Windows Mobile. http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/full_flash_player_coming_to_blackberry_devices.php

      • http://www.reelseo.com/ Mark Robertson

        did you read the post?

    • RazorX

      Re: vinodtonangi

      Wow… your post is full of so much misinformation. Flash is not dying it's GROWING!

      Flash apps and games are already available in the Apple store! Have you ever heard
      of Flash CS5? It goes public to developers in April.

      A simple search and you will find this article:
      Adobe announced full Flash Player for BlackBerry Devices & 35 Funded Flash Apps – Oct. 4, 2009. Flash support is also expected for several other mobile platforms, including Google Android, Symbian, Palm webOS, and Windows Mobile.

      • vinodtonangi

        Again, Flash *will* die. It's only a matter of time. According to industry analysts like Gartner, by 2013 the mobile device will be the primary way people browse the web. There are just too many Blackberry, Android, and Apple mobile devices that can't view flash. These websites don't want to loose page views. There will still be a need for flash for some content like casual games, however in less then 2 years virtually no one will be using Flash as a medium to show video as it will be a standard in HTML 5. It will be completely unnecessary. In fact it's already unnecessary on YouTube and Vimeo already. You simply just need to opt-in the beta as I have.

        'Flash Apps' are not available in the App Store, as you have mistakenly stated. What Adobe has done is simply made a tool to construct apps using Flash software and export them to be used in the iPhoneOS. Adobe has simply made a 'Dreamweaver for the iPhoneOS'.

        You also fail to mention that Blackberry is not going to make Flash available on the millions of devices that have already been sold. It will only be on new devices as they need to make their handsets more robust in order to handle the excess CPU usage that Flash requires. The Android market is so fragmented that only the newest of Android devices will have this (potential) capability – leaving hundreds of thousands of other Android devices in the dust, and although Flash does work on Nokia devices right now it is often disabled. Firefox went so far as to disable it by default because it made the browser completely instable.

        Here is a direct quote from Mozilla:

        "We’ve decided to disable plugin (not to be confused with add-ons, which are supported) support for this release. The Adobe Flash plugin used on many sites degraded the performance of the browser to the point where it didn’t meet our standards."

        • RazorX

          Re: vinodtonangi

          Your emotional opinions are not what anyone cares to hear. Your personal assumptions are way off. Flash will not die at all, because the numerical projections show that its mobile growth will explode in the years to come.

          - Up to 9-10% of all smartphones will have a Flash 10.x player running by the end of 2010.
          - Strategy analytic reports estimate 53% of all smartphones will support Flash by the end of 2011.
          - Over 1 billion mobile devices will access the Web by 2013 – source IDC.
          - Android will overtake iPhone, BlackBerry and become the second most used mobile OS in the world by 2013, according to a new IDC estimate.
          - Mobile devices market to reach 2.25 billion by 2014 – source ABI Research.

        • vinodtonangi

          Most mobile phones are now attempting to have Flash running on them. However, they are failing as I think I've already mentioned. When Firefox tried to put Flash on a Memo (Nokia) device. It failed. Here is what they said on their blog (http://blog.pavlov.net/2010/01/27/firefox-for-maemo-rc3/)

          "We’ve decided to disable plugin (not to be confused with add-ons, which are supported) support for this release. The Adobe Flash plugin used on many sites degraded the performance of the browser to the point where it didn’t meet our standards. If you wish to enable our experimental plugin support, you will be able to manually via about:config, but do so at your own risk. "

          Right now no mobile device actually can use Flash at all. Yes, everyone says it's coming, but if it performs as poorly as it did on the Memo device I'm sure most people will have it disabled which means HTML 5 can still take over. I agree with you 100% that whatever happens on mobile devices will affect the laptop/desktop landscape because mobile devices will be the primary way most people view web content – however so far the tests done for Flash on these devices have failed.

          I don't think Android can beat out the iPhone just yet. They have terrible issues with software fragmentation which is why they have so few developers. The same Android app doesn't work on all software versions. You have different libraries that are selectively chosen by the carrier or manufacturer. Since it's open source the carrier holds the cards. There are people out there with older Android 1.5 OS's and complaining that they won't by another Android because they feel left out in the cold. Apps don't work for them – they have only older software – so no voice recognition, no new maps app – nothing. The Marketplace sucks for them.

          I know IDC is a relatively reputable company, but remember back in 2006 they predicted anti virus software for mobile devices was going to be HUGE by 08.

        • RazorX

          Re: vinodtonangi

          There are a bunch of recent videos on the Adobe TV web site showing Flash Player 10.1 running great on Motorola Droid, Palm Pre, HD2, Nexus One, Blackberry… and I even saw a video today of Flash running on an Nvidia based tablet. So perhaps there may have been issues before, but now those issues have been resolved and Flash Player for mobile devices is now a go.

  • Matthew

    Just because the HTML spec won't be finished for a while doesn't mean that HTML5 video can't be used. You do realize that youtube has a public beta with HTML5 video, right?? And that there are/will be ways to make HTML5 video do what people do with Flash video players now? There are people as good with JavaScript and CSS as some are with Flash, and those people will find innovative ways to make HTML5 video work the way FLV players do now.

    This is the beginning of the end for Flash video, and all other proprietary/closed web technologies. Remember when people used java applets on web pages? Flash is the new java applet.

  • gusskouras

    I am knowable in flash design and action script 1-2 -3 and while I love what flash does for creating designs that do not change in 99% of the browsers on the market and it does work ok for video, I have massive animosity aimed at adobe and flash player. Try watching a hulu video on ubuntu and you will see what I mean. They claim open source but the end product is sub-standard at best. It consumes WAY too much memory and has had, and does have, huge security flaws. Any body who has worked with projector files and a little vb could tell you about flash troj. back in the day. HTML5 and it's embedding ability is an advancement. HTML5 has not "officially" been released yet but it has already been adopted by youtube and if you really want a demo watch your mem. when using it. If Adobe wants to stay in the race it will need to move with the times.

  • RazorX

    HTML 5 hopefuls will be holding their breath for a very long time. It will take 2-3 years before it's all finalized; plus the other big problem it that even when the spec. is ready, many Web users still won't have the latest browser to even view HTML 5 video.

    As of this post the global IE browser stats for Jan. 2010 are: 10.41% still using IE 6, 15.59% using IE 7, and 23.69% using IE 8. That is a total of 49.69% IE users who "cannot" view HTML 5 video. You will need IE 9 to come out and then you will need every single IE user to upgrade to it. So the actual use of HTML 5 will likely be 3-4 years from now before you see web developers with much confidence to start coding for it.

    On the other side of the controversy coin, is that Flash on the iPhone is not really the issue for Apple. Apple also doesn't want Silverlight or Java on it either. The "real issue" is all about money. Apple gets a 30% cut for every application sold through their store (and they love that). The problem to them, is that IF Flash was available on the iPhone, then people would just start using the free apps. and playing the free games on the Web and stop buying as much from the Apple store.

    Unfortunately for Apple though, most all cell phones except iPhone and iPad will have a Flash player 10.1+ available by the end of 2011. Whether Apple likes it or not, people just want to have a choice for their Web experience. If you don't like Flash or don't want it running while you surf, you can just turn it off, however, it has to be available first!

    Apple is going to get a big lesson this year, and that lesson is that people don't like it when you mess with their freedom of choice and their Web experience. If you are a Flash hater then fine turn it off, but if you want to use Flash then you should at least be given the choice to use it if you want to.

    • http://nightly.webkit.org/ Jonathan

      Also, the "Free" Flash apps thing is a complete non-issue. As it seems like you have completely failed to notice, most of the apps on the Apple App Store are ALREADY FREE. Most app downloads on an iPhone already don't cost people anything.

      If, as a developer, you don't want to go via the App Store, you can create a (non-Flash) web app instead. Which, if you had been paying attention, can be extremely capable due to WebKit's support for CSS3, HTML5, and advanced JS and doesn't need you to use Flash.

      Apple don't want Flash on the iPhone because it is completely SHIT. Not because it poses any threat to their business model.

      • RazorX

        Re: Jonathan,

        It's not a big deal if you don't agree with any of my points, but I don't see why cursing is necessary or that it adds anything in a debate.

        I did miss the fact of free apps in the App store. I can concede to you the weight of that point.

        If Flash is supposed to be the center problem and it's supposed to be junk, then why won't they allow Silverlight either?

    • vinodtonangi

      The real issue with Apple actually isn't about money.
      If you actually checked out their financials you'd see that they make all of their money on hardware, very little on software, and they break even with content. Here is the link: http://techcrunch.com/2010/01/25/apple-q1-2010-results/

      Apple has a conference call when they do their financial statements. When asked about App Store & iTunes profitability here is what they said:

      "What about App Store revenue?
      PO: iTunes and App Store are still running “a bit over break-even.” We’re investing a lot in these stores – that’s where the revenue is going."

      Also keep in mind that 75% of Apps on the App Store are free. The problem is that Flash is incredibly CPU intensive, and extremely unreliable. It doesn't make sense not to acknowledge these issues. If Adobe would work on their plugin software we wouldn't even need this discussion because it would be available in all devices already – but they won't. They had years to fix the plugin issues on the Mac and they refused, and now they are begging Apple to allow flash on the iPad because they are scared that HTML 5 will remove some of their revenue.

      It's unbelievable that you would say Apple is blocking Flash purely because of monetary concerns, when Adobe is blocking HTML 5 advancement for exactly the same reason. They are both for-profit corporations, not charities of course they care about money. However, Apple isn't allowing Flash on the iPhone for technical issues.

      • RazorX

        In a recent statement, the Adobe CTO Kevin Lynch said, "480p video running on a 1.8GHz Mac mini uses 34 percent of the CPU in Mac OS X and just 16 percent in Windows. Flash 10.1 cuts CPU consumption in half". For Flash 10.x on a Mac… this is now 17 percent, which is almost exactly the Windows consumption percent. So previously Flash on a Mac was using a little more of the CPU, but with Flash 10.x it's now a non-issue.

        Most of your facts seem to be really far off, and you are very incorrect about Adobe blocking HTML 5 advancement. Adobe is THE lead supporter in HTML 5 advancement NOT Apple as you falsely believe. In fact, Adobe's planning to support HTML5 and Canvas in its products when the specification is ready – per John Nack a Principal Product Manager at Adobe.

        • http://twitter.com/evilmeteor Jaime Pinzon

          WOW are you being paid by Adobe? Flash is unstable in OSX… It's a resource hog in all platforms… and sucks mayor donkey balls in Linux. That's common knowledge. Period.

  • http://mcapraro.com/ michelangelo

    nice summation of what a lot of us in the web dev world are feeling. i have written my thoughts on the matter as well: http://mcapraro.com/flash-html5-browsers-vs-the-user/ – plug-ins like flash are here to stay for many of the reasons you mention…

  • http://666f6f.wordpress.com 666f6f

    I'm running Linux 64bit, as most linux users long since long time ago. Adobe Flash player is still in beta for Linux 64bit (http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/flashplayer10/), after all this time. If it were open source, the community would have fixed the problem, that's the problem with flash and that's the fundamental problem with every closed source software.

    I try to use HTML5 wherever possible. I surf with Google Chrome -open source software- so that I can watch (most) youtube videos in HTML5. I hope flash gets replaced soon.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000338267451 David Palma

      Completely agree with you. I use Ubuntu 64-bit and some time ago I coudn't control the videos with the old youtube video player, now flash is a little better but still can't play flash games that include the space bar in their controls. Why does flash only works good on Windows?

  • gowness

    ironic… flash crashed while reading this article.

  • Tom

    Awesome article, and for anyone out there that is providing videos for html they'll know that producing OGV's is a bloooming nightmare.

  • http://www.flashvideowebsites.com Flash-video-websites

    I agree with you on this. YouTube announced it will stay with Flash for now. Flash isn't going anywhere, but that isn't to say that HTML5 has the potential to take 'market share' away from flash. Especially if YouTube reverses its decision in the future…

  • The Heretic

    Reasons why I hate Flash:

    1) It crashes my browsers (not just Safari). Stable? Haha! Yeah – right.

    2) Resource hog. When I play a 1080p vid using Flash it takes 160% CPU (8 CPU machine). When I play the same vid in HTML5 it takes 15% CPU.

    3) Flash is often misused places where HTML is better – misused for navigation, for total website presentation. Slows down the site, makes it hard to bookmark or navigate. Just a mess.

    4) Not supported everywhere.

    6) Proprietary.

    • http://www.reelseo.com/about/mark/ Mark R Robertson

      you must be on a mac ;-)

  • Barnet

    People often have the idea that the coming out of new things would mean replacement of the old ones. However, this is sometimes not true as the old and new versions could sometimes have their own unique benefits.

  • Polok Szymon

    I don't personal think that HTML5 will kill Flash. The reason is very simple – there is simply too much variety when it comes to video codecs and formats… Firefox & Opera support OGV while Chrome, Safari, IE9 … went for h.264

    However there is more and more HTML5/Flash hybrid players which are a perfect solution (e.g. http://darkonyx.web-anatomy.com/en)

  • http://www.easyvideoplayer20.com easy video player

    I like your efforts you put in this article flash is free or not but you present the features in a great way and if any thing having good and valuable features then its worth….

  • Sam

    1 Reason why HTML5 kills Adobe….

    64-bit computing.

    How many decades do we need to wait for a 64-bit flash player for win64?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_YMSCMBBFO34TLZO3O5RRO4T43U Shin Chan

    Hey pianom4n – is Flash erased from the web yet? Just a few months left. :)

    "The Heretic" – link, proof, benchmarks please, or it didn't happen. And on a shitty Mac, it doesn't count, because we all know Apple is a hard ass about not letting Flash access hardware acceleration like it does on Windows. Apple's fault, not Adobe's. I've never seen Flash crash or hog a cpu, EVER.

    I am curious about one thing from the OP – "but it will require people to upgrade browsers or use specific ones to see videos on certain pages." What do you mean by this? Referring to how they can't even agree on a single video codec and how major browser vendors can't agree on what the standard should be?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_YMSCMBBFO34TLZO3O5RRO4T43U Shin Chan

    OP – You forgot a MAJOR factor: internal corporate intranet applications. A standardized virtual machine software platform delivered via web browser is ALL win, with none of the downsides of Flash + mobile (or even web). That's where Adobe Flex is probably biggest now, and it runs on Flash of course. You just can't beat a backwards compatible standard platform that's guaranteed to work the same years from now, regardless of what new browsers or crazy DOM/CSS piss-poor standardization schemes show up. Large, risk averse organizations love standardized environments and virtualization. (Just look at how hardware virtualization has taken off, software web app virtualization in the enterprise will be following for similar reasons.)

    There's also other major factors that Flex (for Flash) has going for it, most of which can't be done in JS scripting– like developer tools/productivity, the faster-than-anything-JS-based binary AMF protocol, two way UI bindings, and a true object oriented programming paradigm, for starters.

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