Since the debut of Flash 6 video has been available in the Flash Player. It has taken quite a while to catch on but if you are browsing around these days it is impossible not to stumble across a site that uses Flash Video. Sites like YouTube, Google Video, and MySpace have embraced flash video as their standard for delivering video to millions of users per day.
I am a common visitor to digg.com and I usually find most of the comments bashing Flash. Advertisers and ugly "skip intro" home pages have been the reason behind most of the bad blood. For video though Flash is hands down the best option. Flash is ubiquitous, universal and works across every common operating systems. It also is integrated with most of the gaming consoles that enable browsing. I can't say that I always agree with John C. Dvorak but I definetily agree with a recent quote in PC Magazine. Unless you're streaming hi-def content to the TV over the network so that you can watch IPTV shows, anything you plan on your computer should be Flash and only Flash. One of my favorite websites chicagobears.com has driven this point home for me. They have interviews and audio available on the site, if you attempt to click on the player UI you just get a broken image with no explanation. Most users wouldn't have a clue why it is not working. The video requires real player but without it you don't have a clue what is wrong. With Flash Player there are well-documented detection techniques that can provide alternate content and messaging to users that do not have the correct player installed. You just can't beat the experience you can provide as a developer. There are other options (Windows Media Player, Quicktime, and Realplayer) each of them have the positive and negative points but if you compare all of the options across all OS's and browsers Flash definitely comes out the winner.
One of the common complaints with Flash video is full screen mode. With WMV content you can double click on the content and push it out to full screen. With a recent beta release of Flash 9 on labs.adobe.com 9,0,18,60 introduces full screen mode. This allows sites to deliver on the full immersive experience many people posting video to the web would like to provide for their viewers.
There is a lot of great content over at the Flash Video Devcenter that can help you get started with Flash Video.
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