Adobe today announced the immediate availability of Adobe Flash Player 9 Update 3 software, previously code named Moviestar. Adobe Flash Player 9 now includes H.264 standard video support, the same standard deployed in Blu-Ray and HD-DVD high definition video players, and High Efficiency AAC (HE-AAC) audio capabilities. The latest update also features hardware accelerated, multi-core enhanced, full-screen video playback for high-resolution viewing across major operating systems and browsers. The combination of Adobe Flash Player 9 and Adobe Flash Media Server 3 (also announced today) enables the delivery of HD quality video to the broadest online audience.

MacDailyNews Note: H.264 is the next-generation video compression technology in the MPEG-4 standard, also known as MPEG-4 Part 10. H.264 can match the best possible MPEG-2 quality at up to half the data rate. H.264 also delivers excellent video quality across the entire bandwidth spectrum — from 3G to HD and everything in between (from 40 Kbps to upwards of 10 Mbps). More info about H.264 here.

H.264 support is now integrated across the Adobe Flash family of products. Support extends to applications developed for Adobe AIR software, a cross-operating system application runtime that enables developers to use their existing skills to build and deploy rich Internet applications (RIAs) to the desktop. Expected to be available in early 2008, Adobe Media Player, the first application from Adobe built on Adobe AIR, will leverage both H.264 video and HE-AAC audio support. Adobe Media Player takes Flash streaming video experiences outside the Web browser delivering more viewing options, such as watching videos anytime, anywhere.

“FOXnews.com features an extensive and continuously updated video library of breaking news, high-profile interviews and compelling segments from news programs throughout the day,” said Jeff Misenti, vice president and general manager, FOX News Digital, in the press release. “Collaborating with Adobe allows us to enhance the viewer experience and meet the growing demand for Web video in high-definition.”

Since H.264 and HE-AAC are open industry standards and already integrated into existing authoring and publishing workflows, content producers can leverage their existing H.264 material and seamlessly play back the native content in Adobe Flash Player. This enables publishers to encode content once and then distribute it to multiple mediums, resulting in the potential for reduced costs and time savings.

Adobe Flash Player 9 is immediately available as a free download for Macintosh, Linux, and Windows.

More info and download links here.

iPhone.

Back in January, The New York Times’ John Markoff interviewed Apple CEO Steve Jobs who said in reply to a Flash on iPhone question, “You don’t need to have Flash to show YouTube. All you need to do is deal with YouTube. And plus, we could get ‘em to up their video resolution at the same time, by using H.264 instead of the old codec.”

Apple prompted Adobe to support H.264 in Flash either directly or indirectly.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader "Adam W." for the heads up.]