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Flash vs. HTML5: What do I need to know?

Right now, many photographers entering the world of digital video are finding it tricky to navigate the thick jungle of new file formats, technical jargon and workflow processes. Adding to the confusion is the latest “standards war” between Flash video and HTML5 that’s been raging since the announcement of the iPad. As a result, there’s been a lot of discussion about the topic in photography forums. As you probably are aware, Apple’s iPhone and iPad do not support the Adobe Flash Player. As a result, volumes of interactive content (videos,games and entire sites) are inaccessible from these devices. Web and interactive designers have been scrambling to find ways to support all their site visitors effectively

For photographers, the good news is that the debate between Flash and HTML 5 is largely a non-issue for now and in the future as the issue is really most pertinent to those who produce or publish massive quantities of video. Netflix, YouTube, CNN, Hulu, etc. are most affected by a shift from Flash video to HTML video because they will need to restructure their workflow and possibly must re-encode thousands of hours of legacy video. This is both time-consuming and potentially very costly to store, encode and deliver new files, or support two sets of files; one for Flash-enabled browsers and one for non-Flash enabled devices.

Small agencies, photography studios or design houses publishing video for their clients can breathe a little easier and base your video production decisions on the browsers used by your current site visitors, the mobile devices you wish to target and specific technical needs (transparency,  interactivity, etc.) associated with publishing your videos. By focusing on current needs and staying up on the discussion, you can easily roll with the changes and see how quickly consumers adopt HTML 5-friendly browsers.

Here are a few links to help sort fact from fiction and offer guidance for content creators to make sound decisions on video publishing.

An effective, broad overview of the advantages and disadvantages of each platform.

A business-focused discussion of how the large industry players are affected by the HTML vs. Flash debate.

A deeper, more technical look at the technologies behind video publishing.

A review of the legal issues around the H.264 codec, the most commonly used codec for iPhone, iPad and HTML 5.

Discussion

2 comments for “Flash vs. HTML5: What do I need to know?”

  1. […] on this week’s show: Tumblr, iPad,  Apple and cookie cutter apps from Tech Crunch, Facebook, Jay Kinghorn HTML 5 and Flash, Where are people going to view your Web site in the future. using WordPress.org for my Web site, […]

    Posted by New Media Photographer Podcast 91 | New Media Photographer | Digital marketing and Social Media for photographers | March 8, 2010, 12:37 pm
  2. […] Rosh talks about, Tumblr, iPad,  Apple and cookie cutter apps from Tech Crunch, Facebook, Jay Kinghorn HTML 5 and Flash, where are people going to view your Web site in the future, using Wordpress.org for my Web site, […]

    Posted by New Media Photographer Podcast – Episode 91 :: CurrentPhotographer.com | The latest digital photography news, tips, tools, techniques, how-tos and reviews for beginners through professionals | March 9, 2010, 9:56 am

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