since youtube’s blown up, and a handful of other similar sites have followed in its footsteps, I’ve noticed a trend in embedded movie files on a large number of websites moving away from wmv and mov embeds, and instead using the flash .flv embeds, like youtube provides.
- no special codecs needed. just flash, which is easier to handle, and more compatable than wmv and quicktime. No flipformac plugin is needed on macs. quicktime doesnt crash the browser.
- easier video loading: i find myself waiting for wmv preload all the time. “buffering: xx%” seems to constantly crop up, often for no obvious reason, and when you’d expect the number to get closer to 100% it goes back down. i dont know of anything more annoying. With flash preloading, a simple status bar shows the progress of the preload in relation to the playback cursor. simple. beautiful. perfect
- saving files to your local machine. sure, there are firefox workarounds for this, but thats a bit of a pain in the neck. and then you need an FLV player/transcoder. all around, annoying. I guess, depending on who you are, this could be viewed as an advantage (mpaa, etc).
- it is flash. I think some players (like myspace) require newer versions of flash than are supported on some non-windows platform (like flash9 beta supposedly crashes macs, so i have been hesitant to upgrade).
So I maintain that my personal preference is flash based video playback. I’m lucky enough to get to play with some of that technology for a project at work in upcoming months, and will be reporting back my learnings as they come.
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