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Opera: Flash makes little sense for video

updated 01:55 pm EDT, Thu May 6, 2010

Opera says Flash relevancy soon to change

Opera involved itself in the debate over Flash today by criticizing Adobe for its long-term stance. Product analyst Phillip Grønvold said that browsers like Opera Mini still need to support Flash but that this will likely have to change. Flash is well-suited to "dynamic content" but is inefficient as a video wrapper because of the demands it puts on a device's resources.

"Flash as a video container makes very little sense for CPU, Wi-Fi battery usage et cetera -- you can cook an egg on [a handheld] once you start running Flash on them and there's a reason for that," Grønvold explained to TechRadar.

The Opera staffer also echoed Steve Jobs' views on openness, arguing that Flash isn't integrated with the "fabric of the web" and that Adobe needed to make Flash a genuine part of web standards if it expects to continue forward. It would still survive for about 1.5 years in its current state but wouldn't necessarily continue for much longer.

Most of Apple's arguments about web video on mobile devices have followed Grønvold's approach, as Jobs pointed out that depending too much on the software rendering of Flash versus the much more hardware-aware HTML5 affected performance and battery life; it also leaned heavily on a plugin that wouldn't be available on every platform. Adobe has noted, however, that Flash 10.1 should evade some of these problems when it's eventually released.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Jonathan-Tanya

    Joined: Dec 1969



    The flash wrapper is there to 'prevent' copying, even though its easy to break, the thought is, even if it takes 2 brain cells to figure out, 99% of people will be thwarted.


    The real shame is the wasted bandwidth, given how congested 3g networks are already.

    For example, my son (age 2 1/2) loves 'the duck song'. So we have to return to youtube over and over again, essentially downloading (streaming) the same video, over and over. No adverstisements, no links, no restrictions on views, no cost charged by essentially no justification for this particular access path - its just waste.

    Now, we can assume the reason is they will add something links, advertisements, etc. eventually.

    Still wouldn't it be nice, if they accomplish that someday goal, without forcing the redownload or restream of a a cached copy of the video in some encrypted format/hidden away somewhere...sure smart people will break that, just as smart people can save any flash download now...but it'll have the same '2 brain cell protection'......and the point being that just thinking about things a little bit, and not being 'lazy' - could save tons of network bandwidth.

    But adobe has no skin in that game, and thats why they have these bad solutions.

  1. slapppy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Another Dumb Flash Use

    I'm not sorry for you, more sorry for users who visit sites that uses Flash for the menus and navigation links. Pleeeeeese, STOP doing that!

  1. jnicholas

    Joined: Dec 1969


    1.5 years?

    IE6 is still 7.9% of browsers and IE7 is 9.3%. Does anyone really think that we won't still have the problem of legacy browsers that can't play the latest HTML tricks in just a year and a half?

    Also it's a dangerous move for Opera to jump on this bandwagon. With Apple and MS backing H.264 for HTML5 video playback, a format that Opera cannot play, they could get left out. Since flash is what's allowing Opera to play most web video right now maybe they should be working with Adobe like Google is to solve the complaints against flash.

  1. hayesk

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Flash makes little sense for a lot of things

    - Flash makes little sense for video
    - Flash makes little sense for formatted headlines - I'm actually seeing flash used instead of a simple PNG. Pathetic how little care some web authors take to avoid wasting our RAM and CPU usage.
    - Flash makes little sense for drop down menus
    - Flash makes little sense for ads

    What does Flash make sense for? Other than online games, I'm not seeing why anyone would want to use Flash on the web.

  1. ilovestevejobs

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Opera please!

    Seriously I doubt you would be saying the same thing if Apple denied your App in the first place.
    I guess companies and celebraties will just about say a lot of bullshit just to stay in Apples evil graces

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