Become a Flash (video) Master

[by Jay Kinghorn]

Despite the recent dustup between Flash Video and HTML 5, the majority of online video today is delivered in the Flash Video (FLV) format.

To get the best video quality at the smallest file size, be sure to check out Robert Reinhardt’s Flash Video Bitrate Calculator. Not only does it help you determine which sizes and settings are optimal for use in your video compression software, but it also allows you to download your settings for use in Sorenson Squeeze and On2Flix software.

By Jay Kinghorn | Posted: July 9th, 2010 | 2 comments


2 Responses to 'Become a Flash (video) Master'

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  1. Flash does not work in the Safari browser on the iPhone or iPad. Adobe has now said it is changing it’s format to use QuickTime because performance was miserable as Steve Jobs mentioned in his open letter. Nearly every company serving video including YouTube and Hulu that used flash is now changing or has completely changed to use QuickTime in order to be on these devices. HTML 5 is free flash is not. There are plenty of non flash image galleries out there that work with any design all benchmarked faster then flash. As a member it hurts to read this post. Before I went full time photographer I spent 15 years in the tech / web business. I still work in the field to supplement my photography. Recommending flash when Adobe now admits it was wrong when it came to Apple and that they are now looking looking to build a new product is bad advice.

    By Matthew | Jul 9, 2010


  2. Matthew,

    Thanks for your comment. I’ve been following the Flash and HTML 5 issue closely and I’ve come to a different conclusion than you on this issue.
    - Flash performance on the Macs has been an issue. Adobe admits this and is making changes to improve video performance on the Mac platform. One of their key areas for improvement is finally gaining access from Apple to use hardware (GPU) acceleration for video playback.
    - YouTube and Hulu are not ditching flash video, rather they are re-encoding some videos for specific mobile audiences. For Hulu, they are offering an iPad application allowing you to stream content with ads for $9.95/month. It’s great to see companies beginning to charge for online content because this is a potential new revenue source for photographers!
    - There are interactive features found in flash that cannot (yet) be replicated using HTML 5 page markup. This is one of the primary reasons a majority of the large video delivery systems (YouTube, Hulu, ESPN, etc) are still using Flash Video.

    Certainly the file format and encoding specifications for online video will change over time. Google recently released the Web M specification, which aims to be a web encoding standard for HTML 5, unencumbered by patents. This too, has run into trouble as several companies are issuing patent challenges against it and there are questions of whether the quality matches Flash and QuickTime/H.264.

    The lesson I’ve taken away from all this is that it pays to maintain a versatile, adaptable workflow. More and more, it makes sense to encode video to one specification for a desktop, browser-based audience and a second for a mobile audience. As the mobile technologies mature I think we’ll have a simpler workflow for video encoding. For now, it pays to watch your site statistics and ensure you’re creating content that all your visitors can access, regardless of their device, platform or browser.

    By Jay Kinghorn | Jul 9, 2010



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