Adobe Flash 10.1 and AIR 2.0 Betas Released: Life Is Better Now

Illustration for article titled Adobe Flash 10.1 and AIR 2.0 Betas Released: Life Is Better Now

The first betas of Adobe Flash 10.1 and AIR 2.0—delivering full GPU acceleration of H.264 for buttery smooth HD Flash video playback and multitouch gesture support—are out. You should get them now.

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This is, to be clear, just the desktop version of Flash 10.1—the full-fledged Flash for Android, webOS, BlackBerry and Windows Mobile is still a ways down the pipe. It's worth getting excited over anyway, since I've watched an HP Mini 311 with an Ion graphics chip tear through an HD YouTube clip without breaking a sweat. For now, graphics acceleration is limited to Windows, unfortunately. But still, perfect timing, really, since YouTube's launching 1080p video this week (perhaps not so coincidentally).

The new version of AIR acts more like a native app, with full support for mass storage, multitouch gesture support, communication with actual native apps, and access to USB peripherals, p2p networking, and faster WebKit rendering, among other perks for developers. Maybe I'll stop hating it so much now.

They're both in beta, but god knows, they can't be any crashier or resource-whoring than anything else Adobe's foisted upon the internet. [Adobe via TechCrunch]

DISCUSSION

Installed it. Youtube works great, even at 1080p (when you add the &fmt=37 on some brand new 1080p videos).

The PureVideo2 implementation from Adobe is NOT as fast as CoreAVC's. Testing it on an older PC, a P4 at 3 Ghz (so we can see the speed difference more clearly), CoreAVC manages to playback 1080/30p video with just 15% CPU utilization, but Flash needs about 70%-90%.

For 720p video, it seems to be caching some stuff in the beginning and so it uses about 70%-80% in the beginning, but after it's done with that, it goes down to about 20%.

Vimeo.com on the other hand, has problems with Flash 10.1. Flash crashes when exiting from full screen (reproducible here), videos don't start to play when you press "play" (you will have to re-press play), if you press in the timeline to go to a different time in the video it won't play immediately (even if it's cashed), and in *some* h.264 Vimeo re-encodings (like for one of my videos, but not all), playing the video accelerated is *slower* than in just software (reproducible behavior for the specific video)! These problems didn't exist with Flash 10.0.32.

GeForce 8600 GTS here, XP SP3 32bit, 3 GB RAM, with 186.18 nVidia drivers. If any interested Adobe engineer is reading this, I can provide more details.