Adobe releases Flash Player ‘Gala’ preview release with hardware accelerated H.264 video playback

Apple Online StoreAdobe has released a Flash Player preview release, code-named ‘Gala,’ which introduces support for H.264 video hardware decoding on Mac OS X 10.6.3 Snow Leopard.

Gala allows developers to preview Flash Player with hardware acceleration of H.264 video on supported Mac computers equipped with the following GPUs: NVIDIA GeForce 9400M, GeForce 320M or GeForce GT 330M.

The hardware acceleration functionality in the Gala preview release of Flash Player is expected to be included in an update following the release of Flash Player 10.1.

According to Adobe, the H.264 video codec supported by Flash Player provides excellent quality, but without hardware acceleration, H.264 requires a great deal of CPU processing power to decode. To date, support for hardware accelerated H.264 video playback in Flash Player has only been possible on Windows PCs and x86-based netbooks. Beginning with Gala, Mac users will also benefit from hardware decoding of H.264 video in Flash Player, the number one platform for video on the Web.

The preview release of Flash Player Gala is based on Flash Player 10.1, which will ship the first half of this year and is now available as a release candidate.

The Gala preview release is an opportunity for developers to preview this functionality and to test compatibility with existing content on supported Mac computers.

More info here.

MacDailyNews Take: Just think, soon Adobe will be treating Mac users, the platform users without whom Adobe would not exist, almost as well as they treat Windows users.

Help kill Adobe’s Flash:
• Ask CBS via online feedback form to offer HTML5 video here.
• Ask MarketWatch via the customer support web form to offer HTML5 video here.
• Ask CNBC via the customer support web form to offer HTML5 video here.
• Contact Hulu via email and ask them to offer HTML5 video:
• Ask ESPN360 via their feedback page to offer HTML5 video instead Flash here.
• Join YouTube’s HTML5 beta here.
• On Vimeo, click the “Switch to HTML5 player” link below any video.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Lava_Head_UK” for the heads up.]

20 Comments

  1. Well, technically, by “years” you mean “since Snow Leopard when OpenCL 1.0 was made available offering hardware video acceleration (HVA) for the few *new* video cards at the time.”

    No, Adobe are not, and have never been, the “bad guys” for not offering HVA. They are the bad guys because Flash itself is a proven resource hog that boils down to sloppy architecture/coding along with their proven lack of desire in optimizing the code base for the platform. Video playing is a prime example of this.

    Adobe would like people to believe that HVA will be a cure-all and prove that Flash itself is not the poor application that it is; rather it has been Apple’s fault all along for not giving them the much needed HVA APIs. Yet, Flash still compares miserably to other video players available for OS X.

    It cannot be argued that much 264 video decoding on Macs is being done in software since there are a lot more video cards being used that do not support HVA and until recently Apple had no public APIs for HVA. In regards to video playing, Flash has been often shown to be a heavy tax on the CPU when playing videos. Adobe’s problem is that Mplayer, VLC, DivX and others all work fine with the same 264 sources with much less CPU loading. Likewise, Flash itself in Windows uses much less CPU resources for software decoding. A good case of optimizing for one platform (Windows) and poorly porting that code to the other platform (OS X) — something they have been guilty of for many years now.

    Adobe likes to tout the mantra “HVA! HVA!” While the players mentioned seem to have no major issues playing 264 video without heavy resource loading Flash does. Adobe is simply using HVA as a crutch to make their player appear to not be the bloated mess it is.

  2. Flash player is not only used to play videos. It’s an awesome platform that could be used to provide rich internet applications only posible with that technology. Keep in mind that..

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