Robert Hall has just informed me that Adobe has announced Flash 9 will now support H.264. What does this mean for Viddler and others?

H.264 will be undoubtedly be the format for web delivery
This has been called the tipping point for H.264. There is no questions about this. With a standard as strong as h.264 being used in iPods, iTunes, AppleTV there will be no question about what format is standard for the web.

Higher Quality
With an open standard comes more support from people using video. Combine that with the fact that hardware accelerations now will be enabled on runtime that will significantly enhance the quality of video delivered in a way that On2 VP6 could never truly accomplish.

Double site storage
You *would* think that standardizing on a video format would shrink your storage. Not yet. There are still plenty of Flash 8 people and it took them 12 months to get to 90% ubiquity. Prepare for at least a year of multiple formats.

If you are delivering in Flash Video and not in MP4 (iPod format) you will know most definately want to start looking at a long-term migration path to this. We certainly are looking at this as a wakeup call to start transcoding in multiple formats.

Conclusion: Microsoft & Apple should be VERY worried
The upcoming Adobe Media Player (built on the new Adobe AIR) will be cross-platform, customizable, and with H.264 support. It will be ready to take on on iTunes and Windows Media Player and have a shot at being the desktop video application for Windows and Apple. We will have the ability to create our own desktop applications like it was Facebook Application Launch all over again.

Additional Resources:
Rob Hall
Ryan Stewart & ZDNet
Flash Player Engineer Tinic Uro
Flash Player Product Manager Emmy Huang
Richard McManus
Dion Almaer
Andy Plesser  – interview with CEO of On2 about strategy

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3 Responses to What does Adobe H.264 Support in Flash 9 Mean for Online Video Sites (including Viddler)?

  1. I’ve been learning compression for almost 2 years and this is big news. Last January, I decided to go with H264 and hope for the best, all while pushing viewers to download Quicktime 7, a “Free Download”. Once again, Windows WMV whatever is in the back of the bus.

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