AVC/H.264 to be supported in Flash Player 9 update 3
Adobe announced this week that the next update to Flash Player 9 (currently given the long name Flash Player 9 update 3) will include support for the popular AVC/H.264 video codec that can be utilized by the MPEG-4 file format. Anyone can go to Adobe Labs and download beta 2 of Flash Player 9 update 3 and start testing MP4 files right away! I’ve already tested the MP4 files I’ve included with my new Flash Video book‘s DVD-ROM and the beta player can play them quite nicely. On my MacBook, I was noticing frame dropping about a minute into one of my MP4 files–it might have been caused by me switching to another app while watching the video and then coming back to the browser window. The frame rate didn’t recover until I reloaded the test SWF file I built to play the MP4 file. I couldn’t get the current FLVPlayback component (shipping with Adobe Flash CS3 Professional) to play my MP4 files, but I could play the content by writing simple custom ActionScript 2.0 video playback code utilizing NetConnection and NetStream classes. Technically speaking, playing MP4 files is identical to playing FLV files. The audio tracks of my initial test files were also encoded with the AAC codec (the successor to the MP3 codec), and this audio format seemed to be playing fine in the current beta as well–the AAC codec is also included with Flash Player 9 update 3. The press release from Adobe states that the High Efficiency AAC codec (HE-AAC) is supported, but I haven’t tested this encoding yet. With the other enhancements to Flash Player 9, we’ll have the potential to play fullscreen jaw-dropping HD quality video with the Flash Player. I do have concerns, however, over Adobe’s non-commercial decoding license from MPEG-LA for the AVC/H.264 codec. MPEG-related licensing vagueness, however, is by no means exclusive to the Flash Player. I’m in the middle of writing an article for Community MX where I discuss licensing implications in a bit more detail.
For more information on the announcement, read these pages posted by Adobe:
Adobe’s official press release
Adobe engineer Tinic Uro’s blog post
20 Aug 2007 12:47 pm
My “Save John from Cincinnati” postcard
I know there is already an amazing effort to get “Save John from Cincinnati” postcards printed and sent to HBO, but I wanted to make my own postcards on which I could hand-write personalized comments. I took the poster image available at impawards.com and did some work in Adobe Photoshop CS3 to rework the wording on the poster to read, “Something is off the air”, and “HBO, Don’t dump out!”. I also added a question mark to the “New Episodes Sunday 9PM” tagline at the bottom of the poster. Of course, I needed to add “SAVE” above the title line too. You can download a JPEG copy of my file. If anyone wants my PSD file or another format (PDF, etc.), I can post more versions. I plan to send this postcard out to the HBO execs listed on the Save John From Cincinnati campaign site.
18 Aug 2007 06:39 am
Disappointed with HBO’s decision with John from Cincinnati
What is up with HBO? I’ve been a loyal subscriber to HBO via Comcast (Portland, Ore.) and Adelphia (Los Angeles) for over eight years, and I’m sick of HBO canceling unfinished shows. Carnivale, Deadwood, and now John from Cincinnati. I don’t know why HBO can’t give these types of shows a better chance–I think the execs just want total smash successes out of the gate within the first season, but hey, the world doesn’t work that way any more! We have PVRs, Tivos, DVD releases, and so on. We don’t watch TV the same these days, HBO. I only started to watch John from Cincinnati this past week with Comcast On Demand, and I watched the whole first season in about four nights. HBO, do you know why I only watched the first season after it aired? My first baby daughter was born this summer, that’s why! Maybe you should take into consideration THAT portion of your aging demographic too, when it comes to why it might take more time for a new show to gain momentum. You’ve disappointed me, HBO. I don’t know if I’ll give ANY new series from you another chance–maybe it’s time to switch my subscription dollars over to Showtime.
John From Cincinnati
[Repost from my submission at John From Cincinnati Episodes Blog]
[Event] Upcoming conferences…
I’ll be heading out to four conferences over the next few months. I’ll be presenting updated Flash Video sessions, showcasing new Flash CS3 features related to Flash Video as well as examples from my latest book, Adobe Flash CS3 Professional Video Studio Techniques.
Boston, September 19-21
Presenting on Friday, September 21
Chicago, September 30 – October 3
Presenting on Monday, October 1, and Tuesday, October 2
Hollywood, October 22-23
Teaching on pre-conference workshop day, Sunday, October 21, and presentation slot TBA
Flash on the Beach
Brighton Beach, UK, November 4-7
Presenting on Tuesday, November 6
My new Flash Video book is out!
This week, Peachpit released my newest book, Adobe Flash CS3 Professional Video Studio Techniques! I’m incredibly proud of this new book, and part of its cost is due to the huge DVD-9 disc (8.5 gigs of content! lots of HD video samples to play with) included with the book. You can order the book on Amazon.com at the link below:
(Amazon.com might still list it as a pre-order, but the books started shipping to distributors on Monday.)
If you have any questions about the book, feel free to ask!
02 Aug 2007 05:32 pm
Need to know which application has a lock on your Windows file?
Have you ever wanted to delete or copy a file that had a sharing violation, and couldn’t find out which application or system process was using it? Check out this freeware utility, WhoLockMe:
I just used it to help troubleshoot some migration issues I’m having with Microsoft Exchange 2003 and 2007. It works nicely, especially from the command line.