It’s the end of Flash. A slow end that begun its course the past five years. We all remember that Apple was the first to ditch Flash for the favour of the new, fast technology that HTML5 promised. Yesterday the final hit was given by YouTube.
YouTube began using HTML5 in 2010. As the version matured – HTML5 became standardised only in October 2014 – more and more services and devices made the switch to the markup language technology that was more efficient in terms of resources and speed.
The new technology also offered a variety of features that were not available to Flash – however, Adaptive Bitrate seems to be the deal maker and put the last nail in Flash’s coffin. Adaptive Bitrate is a technique used in streaming multimedia, that detects user’s bandwidth and CPU usage in real-time and serves the corresponding quality of audio and/or video.
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This is the very essence behind YouTube‘s ability to stream in a wide range of different devices and browsers. Moreover, HTML5’s encryption extensions allow YouTube to stream to the aforementioned devices, without compromising content protection.
Apart from that, there are other technical features that cannot go unnoticed. HTML5 helps YouTube use its own codecs which promise faster loading and startup times, a function that will be an absolute necessity as 4K starts its parade on our screens.
And while all these may sound as mere technicalities to our “simple user” ears, let’s not forget that this change will affect the way we embed videos. No more <object> tags. Just <iframe>.