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Adobe Releases Its Own HTML5 Video Player 139

Posted by timothy
from the our-very-own-kitchen-sink dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Webmonkey has an interesting tidbit about Adobe's release of its own HTML5 video player: 'Adobe has released an embeddable video player that plays HTML5 native video in browsers that support it, and falls back to Flash in browsers that don't. It's cross-browser and cross-platform, so it works on iPhones, iPads and other devices that don't support Flash. Using Adobe's new player, these devices can show videos in web pages without the Flash plug-in.'"
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Adobe Releases Its Own HTML5 Video Player

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  • Where is it? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by paul248 (536459) on Saturday October 23, 2010 @08:27PM (#34000446) Homepage

    So does anyone have an actual link to an example of the player? That seems like a rather blatant omission from the article.

  • So... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Lanteran (1883836) on Saturday October 23, 2010 @08:35PM (#34000492) Homepage Journal
    So where's the link to the source code? I'd like to compile and test this video player.
  • Superb !! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Ynot_82 (1023749) on Saturday October 23, 2010 @08:37PM (#34000506)

    A browser plugin designed to play embedded HTML5 video
    HTML5 video, whose selling point is to provide video without the need for a browser plugin

    I think this just about tops MS and their opaque-binary embedded XML

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Abcd1234 (188840)

      Huh? The selling point is that you can break away from a proprietary format. HTML5 is about openness, not freedom from plugins.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by joost (87285)

        It is just that. It's basically an HTML generator that generates HTML5 for you. I just tried it, the code is clean, it created valid HTML, basically it is very awesome. It has graceful degradation in place to insert the flashplayer. The HTML5 video is browser native, the Flash player is open source. Really, don't take my word for it but try it yourself. It's a pretty goddamn great solution from Adobe. Kudos to them.

      • The selling point is that you can break away from a proprietary format.

        Say I open a WebM video in a browser that doesn't support WebM, such as Safari, IE 8, or IE 9 on a machine whose administrator hasn't yet installed the WebM plug-in. So it falls back to Flash Player, but does Flash Player support WebM now? Or am I trading one non-free format (SWF, which is documented but patented) for another (MPEG-4, which is documented but patented)?

        As joost pointed out, it appears to be Adobe's counterpart to video4all [google.com], and one who uploads a video has to buy patent licenses for MPEG-4

    • by AHuxley (892839)
      All in the branding, like selling you bottled tap water as an expensive lifestyle choice no "spring" needed.
    • by Kilrah_il (1692978) on Saturday October 23, 2010 @08:51PM (#34000592)

      Maybe future versions of the plug-in will use Flash to show HTML5 content. That could really be something!

    • by wygit (696674)

      I don't think it's a browser plugin, at least not if the point is to make something that "works on iPhones, iPads and other devices that don't support Flash"

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by mr100percent (57156)

      It seems more like the system is designed to default to HTML5, but if the client can't view it, it will fall back to Flash. Granted, I'd rather the site/browser detect that for me.

      • by calzones (890942)

        Where can I get the opposite?

        If the user doesn't have Flash, it translate the content and plays HTML 5 content.

        Seems to me THAT'S what would actually bring value to the consumer.

        • Re:Superb !! (Score:5, Insightful)

          by omfgnosis (963606) on Saturday October 23, 2010 @09:55PM (#34000898)

          You can do both without any library. The markup for HTML5 video with Flash as a fallback is, basically, a video tag wrapping source and object tags, and the object tag wrapping an embed tag. The markup for Flash with HTML5 video as a fallback is to simply move the object tag to the top of the hierarchy and the video tag within it. The relevant part of the HTML5 spec was designed *specifically* to make this possible, and it has been possible ever since the first browser with video-tag capability was released. No Adobe library (borrowed though it is) is necessary to achieve this.

          With all of that said, I can't imagine why you'd want to use Flash at the top of the hierarchy unless you're a sadist. Flash has more wrong with it than the fact that it's not open and requires a plugin.

          • With all of that said, I can't imagine why you'd want to use Flash at the top of the hierarchy unless you're a sadist.

            How does fallback for video element work if the element itself is supported, but the codec specified is not. Will it fall back to the object/embed inside it, or will it just fail to play?

            If the latter, and given that Firefox will only play Theora today (and is otherwise the most popular HTML5-video-enabled browser), it would make more sense to default to Flash if available so that you can provide the higher-quality H.264 stream if possible.

            • by omfgnosis (963606)

              It does fall back to the object/embed inside.

              Regarding quality, the vast majority of web video is not served at a high enough quality that the codec matters that much. But you can still accomplish that with HTML5 video as the default, by simply not providing a Theora version.

              • But you can still accomplish that with HTML5 video as the default, by simply not providing a Theora version.

                So are you implying that if I provide a WebM (VP8+Vorbis) version, I should be safe? Or are you talking about patented formats?

          • by calzones (890942)

            No, I wanted a converter, as a user. So that I don't need to have flash installed.

            As a developer, I don't give a crap. I don't bother with Flash period.

            It's all moot anyway because it was more of a joke than a serious question. Of course Adobe won't release a Flash2HTML5 converter.

            • by omfgnosis (963606)

              Ah, I get you. Well, some of the more competent Flash blockers will display H.264 content in an HTML5 video container from known players (ClickToFlash does this for YouTube for instance).

            • by cgenman (325138)

              Of course Adobe won't release a Flash2HTML5 converter.

              If Flash ever becomes irrelevant as a web tool, they might setup their flash dev environment to export to HTML5. No reason to not to attempt to become the default HTML5 tool for people to buy.

              • by calzones (890942)

                Yes, that thought crossed my mind as well.

                But it seems like the difficulty of reliably translating everything that's possible to create with Flash into an HTML 5 equivalent would be prohibitive. For simple things like showing movies, it's a no-brainer. But try to make a flash game into HTML 5 and things are going to get hairy. Basically, the developers that rely on Flash and love it will be upset because HTML5 will do things differently. And the people who don't know about Flash but like HTML 5 won't eve

      • by omfgnosis (963606)

        It essentially *does* let the browser determine that for you, but with a bunch of unnecessary JavaScript in the middle for no apparent reason. A better design is already possible, with video at the top of the hierarchy, and the flash object/embed tags as child elements. The only conceivable "benefit" of using JavaScript to do the detection is to enforce branding in the player UI by having Flash be the default if JavaScript is disabled. But looking at the source code of the library, they didn't even make *th

    • Re:Superb !! (Score:5, Informative)

      by stoanhart (876182) on Saturday October 23, 2010 @09:28PM (#34000780)

      It's not a browser plug-in. It's HTML/Javascript code that you place in your page where you want the video to appear. It will try to use HTML5 first, and then use Flash if it fails.

      • Re:Superb !! (Score:5, Informative)

        by Firehed (942385) on Saturday October 23, 2010 @10:34PM (#34001066) Homepage

        Isn't that called... HTML5? Such as

        <video>
                <source src="file.mp4" type="video/mp4"/>
                <source src="file.ogv" type="video/ogg"/>
                <embed>fallback flash player</embed>
        </video>

        • by Anonymous Coward

          The problem with your code is that content of the "embed" element. IE: You actually need to have created some .swf version of the video. It would be nice if you could just specify the video name and the client would either view it directly or - if it is not supported - convert it to flash and view it without you having to create a separate .swf file on the server.

          If I understand TFA correctly, that's what this player does. Views the video as it should be done in HTML 5 but if that doesn't work, it is displa

          • You can use a generic flash video player and feed it the same H264 video you asked HTML5 to play. If you want it to work in older flash versions that only support .flv video then you will need another encode.

          • by tepples (727027)

            You actually need to have created some .swf version of the video.

            You, or somebody else? I've heard good things about Flowplayer [flowplayer.org], if you and your viewers happen to live in a country without MPEG-4 software patents.

        • by cgenman (325138)

          If you have to fall back to flash because HTML5 is unsupported in the current browser, how well do HTML4-based browsers support the video tag above?

          • by pavon (30274)

            It has always been part of the HTML standard that browsers should ignore any tags they don't recognize. Every browser I have tested that doesn't have HTML 5 video support (or has it but doesn't support the codec given), properly falls back on flash in the above example.

    • by Sir_Sri (199544)

      seems more like a back end than front end technology. Embed this bit of code in dreamweaver and it will take care of deciding the end user can support html 5 or not. I'm guessing this is adobe slowly creeping away from flash, and acknowledging that their tools need to support HTML 5.0, while at the same time providing their customers with a. shall we politely call flash.. a depreciated option.

    • by Urkki (668283)

      A browser plugin designed to play embedded HTML5 video
      HTML5 video, whose selling point is to provide video without the need for a browser plugin

      I think this just about tops MS and their opaque-binary embedded XML

      I think as of yet, there's no video format that works on every browser natively. So plugins are needed. Might as well go for a universal plugin. I'm sure a cross-platform plugin would rule that kind of a niche, even if it sucked in oh so many ways. I wonder why such a thing doesn't already exist... oh wait.

  • by Y-Crate (540566) on Saturday October 23, 2010 @08:41PM (#34000550)

    It will let you view GIFs, JPEGs and PNGs on any page you visit.

  • But why? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mr100percent (57156) on Saturday October 23, 2010 @08:54PM (#34000626) Homepage Journal

    I don't understand how this makes tactical sense for Adobe. They've been leaning heavily on their talking points that "80% of online video is in Flash format" and that Apple is depriving their customers by sticking with HTML5 (and not flash). I think there was even a fear that Adobe would jump into the working group and delay HTML5 just to protect Flash. If Adobe is supposedly king of the hill, why would they cede turf by moving towards HTML5? It can't be just to be more buzzword-compliant.

    • I don't know... but perhaps for similar reasons that big oil companies are investing so much money into the 'green' alternative fuel space.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by 0123456 (636235)

        I don't know... but perhaps for similar reasons that big oil companies are investing so much money into the 'green' alternative fuel space.

        You mean that Western governments are going to give massive subsidies to Adobe for putting an HTML5 interface on top of Flash?

    • Re:But why? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Tharsman (1364603) on Saturday October 23, 2010 @09:26PM (#34000776)

      Elementary, my dear Watson.

      Adobe is not in the business of selling Flash Plugins, they are in the business of selling Flash Authoring Tools and Server Side technology. iTechnology has been selling like crazy, and hate as you may, it has started to result in pages that are designed to run in iDevices.

      With all these pages now out there, Flash suddenly becomes optional, it will not take long before Flash's buggy security issues make many to opt out of using Flash and just fall back on the HTML5 pages that were designed for the iDevices. It is wise of them to try to stop the flocking early, avoid people from developing their own home grown HTML5 Plug N Play migration tools, and offer them first.

      Once the big players opt to go Adobe's route, they may secure their web authoring dominance in a Flash Free World Wide Web.

      • by guruevi (827432)

        Actually, the iDevices kinda forced the market to adopt open standards and lo-and-behold everybody profits from having an open (or at least a non-single-vendor) standard. If Steve had allowed Flash on the iDevices, we would've never seen HTML5 being adopted like this by the big players.

        Heck, even obscure porn sites are beginning to offer HTML5 video options besides Flash, the only ones not doing it are the TV networks full episode players.

        I'm definitely seeing the result on my Nokia N800 and older Pentium 3

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Tharsman (1364603)

          Don't take me wrong, I am a proud owner of an iPhone 3G, an iPad WiFi, an iPod Touch 4G, a Mac Mini, and just got from Best Buy from buying a Powerbook for my wife (her choice, not mine, I insisted she could handle with my current laptop.) This is on top of my Windows Desktop (main system,) Windows Netbook (very effecctive paperweight) and $500 Compaq Laptop (I get what I pay for, it just developed battery incontinence... it poops the battery out every 5 minutes.)

          My point? I'm not a mac guy, but at the sa

    • Re:But why? (Score:4, Informative)

      by omfgnosis (963606) on Saturday October 23, 2010 @10:04PM (#34000940)

      Adobe gave up on Flash having a monopoly on Internet video when they agreed to put WebM into Flash. They have completely shifted gears in their web strategy by promoting their software as tools to generate HTML5/etc-buzzword output. More and more, Flash will be driven even more in the two opposite directions it's been going for a couple years now: as an animation tool, eventually preferentially targeting SVG/canvas output; and as an application development tool, eventually preferentially targeting quasi-native environments like AIR.

    • Re:But why? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by KingMotley (944240) * on Saturday October 23, 2010 @11:01PM (#34001176) Journal

      Because Adobe realizes no matter what they do, HTML5 is the next big "thing". They can either jump on board and try and be at the forefront of it all, making great tools and plug ins, or they can dig themselves in and try to hold back the avalache armed with a shovel. Typically companies that try the dig in approach fail and fail miserably.

    • by falser (11170)

      In the finance world it's called hedging your bets. You want to dip your toes in both ends of the pool, just in case.

  • by rta (559125) on Saturday October 23, 2010 @08:54PM (#34000632)

    This is good an all, but it doesn't address the biggest issues with Flash:

    1) Adobe (and Macromedia before it) give virtually NO control to the end user over how flash objects run. You can't stop them, you can't pause them, you can't unload them, nothing. Technically you can control if they store local shared objects (LSOs) on your machine but the interface for that is terrible. Half the time the pop-up window it prompts with can't even be accessed because of various z-index issues on the page. That is you can't even click the button.

    2) It is a CPU hog. Forget the fact that its inherent performance isn't great. The issue is that if you browse the web for any length of time and have multiple tabs open you'll find that your Flash plug-in is taking up all your cpu (or a whole core). Why? because there are all sorts of little flash movies playing in all the pages. Mostly Ads but also paused video players, random web bugs and such. Plus, some of these random are poorly written and have memory leaks. Thus BECAUSE Adobe gives the user no control, you have to just kill the plugin.

    Instead of trying to horn in on HTML5 maybe they should fix the fact that Flash is the SPAM of the web. (And yes, Flash itself could be fine... but the business practices they've chose to pursue make it a scourge rather than a blessing).

  • by notsoclever (748131) on Saturday October 23, 2010 @09:11PM (#34000726) Journal
    Nearly everyone seems to be missing the point to this. It's not something the user installs, it's something that content providers use to provide their video on the server side. This is a GOOD THING - it makes it much easier for websites to transition to HTML5 without alienating users who don't have HTML5-capable browsers.
    • Or, said another way, it's for Windows users who only use IE.

      http://www.deepbluesky.com/blog/-/browser-support-for-css3-and-html5_72/ [deepbluesky.com]

    • by omfgnosis (963606)

      It would be a good thing, if it weren't a particularly bad implementation. The solution's design ignores properties inherent to HTML5 (and implemented correctly in all browsers with HTML5 video support, and designed specifically to be backwards compatible on browsers without) that make the solution itself unnecessary. A much nicer solution would have looked basically like this:

      A video tag, containing WebM, H.264 and Theora source tags, an object and embed tag with the same WebM and H.264 sources as argument

      • I see it as being beneficial mostly to the vast majority of web designers who don't actually know HTML and just export stuff directly from DreamWeaver or whatever. Also, I haven't looked at this particular player, but I would hope it has a nicer set of controls than the default HTML5 video container's controls.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by omfgnosis (963606)

          I see it as being beneficial mostly to the vast majority of web designers who don't actually know HTML and just export stuff directly from DreamWeaver or whatever.

          I made that point in another comment. But I added: on second thought, maybe I don't want to see their videos.

          But seriously, yeah. Adobe doesn't have a history of giving people good off the shelf web tools. To some extent, this is an improvement on that reputation. Just... not good enough.

          Also, I haven't looked at this particular player, but I would hope it has a nicer set of controls than the default HTML5 video container's controls.

          Default HTML5 controls are implementation-specific. The controls in what Adobe's pushing are lacking compared to, for instance, Safari's implementation. Adobe's offering has a "full screen" button which, in HTML5 mode, fill

  • It's not exactly difficult to set this sort of thing up yourself - I've certainly done it, and I suspect most of you who're involved in web development have too. All using Adobe's tool will get you is increased vulnerability for your audience to whatever exploits the black hats end up finding in Adobe's "solution".

  • Not a support issue (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Angst Badger (8636) on Sunday October 24, 2010 @01:48AM (#34001830)

    It's cross-browser and cross-platform, so it works on iPhones, iPads and other devices that don't support Flash.

    It would be more accurate to say that iPhones and iPads don't permit Flash. Adobe would be more than happy to support Flash on those platforms -- and probably has code ready to go -- if Apple allowed them to deploy it. The difference is significant and should not be ignored: Flash doesn't work on iDevices because Apple doesn't want it to. It's a repeat of Microsoft's unofficial MSDOS-era policy, "DOS isn't done until Lotus won't run," only much, much more brazen.

    (Before we resurrect the flamewar about why Apple doesn't allow Flash on its iDevices, allow me to note that I detest Flash and understand Apple's objections, at least the technical ones. I just think that users should be allowed to use whatever software they want on the devices that they've paid for, no matter how much it sucks.)

    • by omfgnosis (963606)

      Not trying to start that flamewar but... why isn't Adobe distributing Flash as an Ad Hoc app? (I mean, they could also ship it to Jailbreak iDevices, but I can imagine why they're not doing that.) It seems to me that Adobe could provide Flash to those brave souls who want it, but they don't. I strongly suspect that Adobe knows that Flash is not suited to run on hardware with the relative power and battery life of a mobile device.

    • by Yvan256 (722131)

      One difference is that Flash needs to be a plug-in, not an application. That would mean Safari for iOS being coded to allow for plug-ins in the first place.

  • Video for Everybody is simply a chunk of HTML code that embeds a video into a website using the HTML5 <video> element, falling back to Flash automatically, without the use of JavaScript or browser-sniffing. It therefore works in RSS readers (no JavaScript), on the iPhone / iPad (don’t support Flash) and on many, many browsers and platforms.

    http://camendesign.com/code/video_for_everybody [camendesign.com]

  • by ShenTheWise (1277986) on Sunday October 24, 2010 @08:39AM (#34003226)

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