Adobe's introduced a powerful new component it'll be placing into its Flash Video Player 9, adding support for that red-hot H.264 codec, the video compression routine that's behind Blu-ray, HD DVD and lots of HD goodness all over the videoscape. Adobe's also heightened the efficiency of Flash audio, adding AAC audio compression. Perhaps the most important part of the announcement is the addition of hardware acceleration for playback of all different types of full-screen video.

What does that mean for us? Over the next few months, watching video over the web (think YouTube, MySpace video, streaming video everywhere) will be noticeably improved, finally taking advantage of those fancy graphics cards you have tucked into your PCs and Macs and H.264, too. Another big plus is that the AAC audio codec is so efficient that it frees up more processor power for handling video. Adobe also told us it's slipped in better support of multi-core processors as well.


Adobe's offering this latest addition to Flash 9, code-named Moviestar, as a beta download now, and says this fall it will be rolling out as an automatic download into the Flash support that's spread across 98% of the Web.