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Old 03-09-2014, 09:44 AM   #1
Norbert Dentressangle
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What's the deal, these days, with Linux and video on the web?


Hi, i consider myself new to Linux, despite having tried it a couple of years ago and abandoning it due to hardware fail. I went back to Windows for a time, before everything failed again. Now, here I am, on the precipice of giving Linux another go...

My question is about YouTube and other video sites. It wasn't until I purchased my first Android smartphone recently, that the question of video formats currently used on the web was raised. On hearing that Adobe Flash was no longer supported by Android, I wondered how on earth it would be possible to view a video through my phone's browser! Yet lots of websites play video nicely on my smartphone, using non-Flash supporting browsers! Asking how this was possible, I asked around and was told it was HTML 5. I know a bit of basic HTML but don't understand how video works without Flash. Then someone told me videos on most popular sites, (including YouTube) are all MP4s embedded in the HTML code these days.

Anyway, part of the reason I ditched Linux two years ago, was because Flash videos would not play properly on the web, which made it pointless as an operating system for me.

I want to know : has the web really gone over to MP4 now and does this mean I will be able to get videos working properly through my browser on Linux, instead of that 'stop/ start', jerky crappiness I kept getting on Ubuntu?

I'm having Linux Mint set up at the moment and want to know if I'm going to get better online video performance, overall, this time round or not.

Please excuse the 'noobyness' of my post but I've still got a lot to learn, obviously.

Thanks in advance.
 
Old 03-09-2014, 10:07 AM   #2
273
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While it is true that a lot of video on the internet has now migrated away from Flash not all video is available as HTML5 style. In fact I found that not even all YouTube videos are available as HTML5. Once you step outside of YouTube it's a bit of a mixed bag with most TV stations requiring Flash for their online content and some require something called HAL which is being ditched from Linux distributions or, even worse, Silverlight as most paid-for online video uses.
That said if your machine is reasonably new then Flash ought to work fine under Linux -- well, it'll hog your CPU but it should play as smoothly as it does under Windows.
 
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Old 03-09-2014, 11:22 AM   #3
Norbert Dentressangle
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Thank you for your quick reply, 273. I'd day that if our Sony Vaio laptop can handle video, on Linux,as well as Sony's cheapest Droid (which I'm using here) I'll be happy!

Last edited by Norbert Dentressangle; 03-09-2014 at 11:23 AM.
 
Old 03-09-2014, 11:43 AM   #4
Smokey_justme
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Like you, flash was important to me and for some years I dual-booted for this exact reason (actually using Win for days if I was to leave youtube singing in the background :P )
But recently Google Chrome still has Flash support, actually the best flash support available for Linux, in my opinion. I use it for sites requiring Flash... As for Adobe discontinuing Flash for Linux... Well, they did an horrible job anyway.. And the guys from Google proved that it can be done...

The only downside is that you are limited to one browser for flash sites..

As for Android, discontinued doesn't mean that some browsers don't keep using the last available flash player... Of course, most of the major websites now support HTML5 videos as well so today lack of Flash isn't really an annoyance.
 
Old 03-09-2014, 12:01 PM   #5
273
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smokey_justme View Post
As for Adobe discontinuing Flash for Linux... Well, they did an horrible job anyway.. And the guys from Google proved that it can be done...
Adobe haven't discontinued Flash for Linux they've discontinued development of Flash for Linux apart from the client written for PPAPI. Google didn't write the Flash player they just wrote the plug-in specification which Adobe now follow.
Personally I found a regression in Pepper Flash in the way it behaves on a system with two displays that stops me using it though I can't say it seems much better (or worse apart from the one bug) than the latest NPAPI version.
 
Old 03-09-2014, 12:14 PM   #6
Smokey_justme
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Thanks for clarifying that.. But still, all this years they had terrible problems with it, and now, on Google Chrome it just works. If you say they wrote it for Chrome as well, well that's kind of interesting.. Makes me wonder how much interest did they have in Flash for Linux before this..
As far as "much better" goes, in my experience, it is... visible and clearly.. No sound syncing problems with videos, no unusual fails.. Prior to this, I have never gotten a stable and reliable Flash player in any of my Linux systems along the years.. I always faced some sort of problem with it..
 
Old 03-09-2014, 12:32 PM   #7
DavidMcCann
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I'm still using Flash 10, since the last Linux version (11) won't run on a 32-bit AMD processor, and it usually works. Actually I keep Flash disabled, except when I specifically need it, for security reasons.

There's also the open-source Gnash, which does a reasonable job in most cases.
 
Old 03-09-2014, 12:38 PM   #8
gold_finger
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Norbert Dentressangle
On hearing that Adobe Flash was no longer supported by Android
It's the other way around -- ADOBE discontinued development of newer flashplugins for Linux. Don't have Android myself, but assume that applies to it as well based on your statement and that Android is Linux-based. They'll continue to provide security updates on the latest Linux flashplugin for a period of time (forget what that is, but think a few more years).


Quote:
Originally Posted by Norbert Dentressangle
Anyway, part of the reason I ditched Linux two years ago, was because Flash videos would not play properly on the web, which made it pointless as an operating system for me.
Not sure what situation may have been then, but possible you were using the Linux alternative flashplugin (gnash) rather than Adobe-based one for Linux. The Linux alternative was/is not-so-good in comparison.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Norbert Dentressangle
I'm having Linux Mint set up at the moment and want to know if I'm going to get better online video performance, overall, this time round or not.
Mint will install the Adobe-based flashplugin and you should have fine performance using Firefox. Using Google Chrome is another alternative if Firefox performance is not satisfying to you.

Qualifying Notes:
* If you are using an older computer with less than 2GB of RAM, choose one of the lighter weight desktop environments for installing Mint. Best to use either the Xfce or Mate versions of Mint in that situation. Cinnamon & KDE versions will likely not work well on older systems. See here for all version of latest Mint 16: http://www.linuxmint.com/download.php.

* If system is very old and youtube videos don't play at all, you may have a CPU that Adobe discontinued Linux support for in its latest flashplugins. In that case, you will need to purge the current flashplugin and revert to an older one that does work. Doing that will result in "warnings" to upgrade it due to being out of date and subject to "vulnerabilities". When that happens you'll need to click the red warning circle and tell it to stop warning you and save those settings for that site. (Don't upgrade -- you'll end up back to not being able to view videos if you do.) If you have security concerns, just disable the plugin when you don't need to use it and re-enable it only when you want to view videos. Here is a Mint tutorial that applies to older computers that cannot use the latest flashplugin: How to Fix Flash Video Problems on Older Computers
 
Old 03-09-2014, 02:16 PM   #9
cwizardone
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smokey_justme View Post
Thanks for clarifying that.. But still, all this years they had terrible problems with it, and now, on Google Chrome it just works. If you say they wrote it for Chrome as well, well that's kind of interesting.. Makes me wonder how much interest did they have in Flash for Linux before this..
As far as "much better" goes, in my experience, it is... visible and clearly.. No sound syncing problems with videos, no unusual fails.. Prior to this, I have never gotten a stable and reliable Flash player in any of my Linux systems along the years.. I always faced some sort of problem with it..
The standard Flashplayer plug-in for Linux works just fine in Slackware. I use it regularly with two different major TV networks and YouTube and never have had a problem. As has been pointed out, Adobe is still providing security upgrades. If you don't want to use the version provided directly by Adobe, Alien Bob provides packages built for Slackware,

http://taper.alienbase.nl/mirrors/pe...player-plugin/

Alien Bob also provides a tweaked version of wine, wine-pipelight, and pipelight that will allow you to use the latest flash, sliverlight and one or two other plug-ins for ms-windows.

http://alien.slackbook.org/blog/pipe...inux-browsers/
 
Old 03-10-2014, 06:49 PM   #10
Norbert Dentressangle
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What is 'Slackware'?
 
Old 03-10-2014, 07:09 PM   #11
cwizardone
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Norbert Dentressangle View Post
What is 'Slackware'?
http://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=slackware


http://distrowatch.com/dwres.php?resource=major

Quote:
Slackware Linux, created by Patrick Volkerding in 1992, is the oldest surviving Linux distribution. Forked from the now-discontinued SLS project, Slackware 1.0 came on 24 floppy disks and was built on top of Linux kernel version 0.99pl11-alpha. It quickly became the most popular Linux distribution, with some estimates putting its market share to as much as 80% of all Linux installations in 1995. Its popularity decreased dramatically with the arrival of Red Hat Linux and other, more user-friendly distributions, but Slackware Linux still remains a much-appreciated operating system among the more technically-oriented system administrators and desktop users.

Slackware Linux is a highly technical, clean distribution, with only a very limited number of custom utilities. It uses a simple, text-based system installer and a comparatively primitive package management system that does not resolve software dependencies. As a result, Slackware is considered one of the cleanest and least buggy distributions available today - the lack of Slackware-specific enhancements reduces the likelihood of new bugs being introduced into the system. All configuration is done by editing text files. There is a saying in the Linux community that if you learn Red Hat, you'll know Red Hat, but if you learn Slackware, you'll know Linux. This is particularly true today when many other Linux distributions keep developing heavily customised products to meet the needs of less technical Linux users.

While this philosophy of simplicity has its fans, the fact is that in today's world, Slackware Linux is increasingly becoming a "core system" upon which new, custom solutions are built, rather than a complete distribution with a wide variety of supported software. The only exception is the server market, where Slackware remains popular, though even here, the distribution's complex upgrade procedure and lack of officially supported automated tools for security updates makes it increasingly uncompetitive. Slackware's conservative attitude towards the system's base components means that it requires much manual post-installation work before it can be tuned into a modern desktop system.

Pros: Considered highly stable, clean and largely bug-free, strong adherence to UNIX principles
Cons: Limited number of officially supported applications; conservative in terms of base package selection; complex upgrade procedure
Software package management: "pkgtool" using TXZ packages
Available editions: Installation CDs and DVD for 32-bit (i486) and 64-bit (x86_64) processors
Suggested Slackware-based alternatives: Kongoni GNU/Linux (desktop, free software), Linvo GNU/Linux (desktop with GNOME), Porteus (live CD with KDE or LXDE), Salix OS (desktop, live CD), VectorLinux (desktop), Zenwalk Linux (desktop)
Other distributions with similar philosophies: Arch Linux, Frugalware Linux

Last edited by cwizardone; 03-10-2014 at 07:10 PM.
 
  


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