The Rise & Rise of Flash Video….

As any regular viewer of online video’s knows by now, Flash Video is getting huge. YouTube, Google Video, Blip…etc. New flash video sharing services are ‘wired’. The application of the Flash Platform as a videoplayer for all these services is great news for us Flash Developers; not only is it relying on the high penetration rates of the Flash Plugin, when they start with it, Flash 8 video on these sites should be a great push for the Flash 8 Plugin penetration.

The quality of the Flash 8 Video plugin is simply amazing as one of my favorite examples shows very well. (choose supersized, and make sure you have the Flash 8 Plugin), and thus should be a good incentive for end-users to start downloading the Flash 8 Plugin. At Satama Amsterdam we now have some good experience with Flash 8 Video, due to the House Of Tomorrow project. Although converting a video to Flash 8 Video is pretty straightforward, be careful before implementing it at bigger display sizes, and especially be weary for the performance hit alpha channeled video’s can cause. Tinic had posted on this, and you need to believe him…Really. Both of ‘em combined could be killer to any CPU. During the project Elvin has done a great job to optimize the supplied keyed .mov’s for Flash usage as good as possible, and we’ve really seen a performance increase out of this. These optimisations unfortunally also lead to a longer processing time of the video’s then we anticipated, thus also affecting the flexibility with which we could handle the video’s. Another issue the project bumped into, where I did not know that much about (but luckily the production company did) was the problem of the raw input material. The shoots for the project had been done on both XD Cam and DV, and unfortunatly, the DV material quality lacked, thus forcing us to use the XD Material everywhere (the DV cam was running continuosly to record the loops, to be used in the house’s overview mode; later on these where replaced by the XD loops, which fortunatly could be manipulated enough to be usefull).

Meanwhile, the MPAA and RIAA are probably getting very nervous out of aforementioned services too; I’ve already seen several movies, music video’s and series passing by. Flash video has been hiding away from the stream downloads, but with keepvid, the mainstream will be able to quickly save their favorite videos. Martijn’s FLV player is getting huge downloads, seemingly he’s going out of 40Gb bandwidth, without having the actual player hosted on that server. Wow. So…now the waiting comes for the all in one download&playback tool, and soon enough one off these services is getting sued.

The implication of people having bunches of .flv’s on their hardrives is very cool too. Although now most of these files are played back through FLV Player, this could open up the door for more and more Flash Applications. Let’s see where this is going in the near future. I’ll keep on dreaming.

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