Teaching Examples

Flash for video? Here’s why
October 10, 2006, 12:44 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

At The Washington Post, all video they post online is Flash video. No QuickTime, no Windows, no Real. If you want to know why The Post and other news sites have chosen Flash, read The Rise of Flash Video, Part 1, just published in Digital Web Magazine:

Nobody really expected the stranglehold that Apple, Microsoft and Real had on the web streaming market in 2003 to be broken. Yet by Spring 2005 … that is exactly what had happened. Those three web video delivery technologies practically vanished, replaced almost entirely by Flash Video. This is not to say QuickTime and Windows Media are dead technologies. They aren’t by a long shot, but when it comes to putting video on the web, the Flash Player has rapidly become the only game in town.

Part 1 of the article covers the rise of Flash video, where the technology is today and where it might go from here. Part 2 has not been published yet. Thanks to Craig for the tip!

After an overview of the kinds of bad experiences most of us who eschew the IE browser have with Windows Media Player (horrible!), Tom Green writes:

For me, Flash Video became “real” in 2000.

I was in New York attending the inaugural meeting of the New York Macromedia User Group and the evening’s speaker was Hillman Curtis. This was just before Hillman became famous and the room was filled with Director guys who were there to listen to Hillman talk about motion graphics in Flash. During the course of his presentation Hillman played some video in Flash. To say he got my attention would be an understatement.

It wasn’t an instant leap from then up to now.

In 2004 Flash Video was still a bit of a novelty. Two years later it is a standard. It is the video format of choice for two of the most popular sites on the web: YouTube and MySpace. Those two sites are classic examples of that old business adage of “Being at the right place at the right time with the right product.” As the web evolved from a static, page-based format to what the pundits are calling “Social Networking,” the market is realizing that video is a more powerful communications medium than words and images.

And as to the future:

Experimenting with After Effects, I have come to the conclusion that the boundaries are blurring between what we’d call “Flash content” and “video content” in a Flash movie clip. I have been bending video around objects, putting the FLV in a movie clip and applying Alpha transparency and the Blend modes to the movie clip. The upshot is what I call a “meta movie clip.” That is content in a Flash movie clip that is a hybrid of Flash and video content.

I’m eagerly awaiting Part 2!

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