I meant to write about this a while ago. But in August Adobe announced some exciting news. They will be adding the H.264 codec to Flash. GRRRREAAAAT! Okay, some of you may be saying “What the heck-fire does that mean and why should I care?” Well, many of you probably won’t care or don’t need to care. In which case I give you permission this one time only not to read this blog. However, for those of you out there who work in the video world, you better care. You’ve GOT to care!
H.264 is an industry standard codec, primarily used in the broadcast and filmmaker arenas, that allows for incredibly looking video images with high compression. As Ricky Ricardo would say, “I’ll splain it in English.” Simply put, H.264 is the secret sauce that makes videos look good even though you squeeze a lot of stuff out of them to make them fit on a HD-DVD or on the web. It’s most popular on the web in Apple’s current versions of QuickTime (just about any movie trailer you watch on the QuickTime Trailer website is compressed with H.264). The addition of H.264 to Flash means that videos encoded for Flash 9 and higher will have quality that rivals that of QuickTime. And with the penetration of Flash in the market, it will be that more dominant a video platform for the web.