Sunday, May 9, 2010

Dear Adobe, your Flash player has terrible performance on Linux platforms

After doing a simple 1-2 hour install on a new Ubuntu box, I decided to surf a few HD videos on YouTube. The reason I installed Ubuntu is because I wanted to test out the user experience of 'web surfing' on a Linux platform. Turns out, Adobe Flash Player has terrible performance when loading anything labeled "HD" on YouTube.

At first I thought it was just YouTube's video player, but I went to Vimeo and tested a few of their high definition videos and the same issues occur:

  • Ridiculous CPU spiking to 95%
  • Framerate for videos drop to 1-3 FPS

If you take the same box and view the videos on WIndows or Mac OS X, you can see such a huge difference in performance. Since pretty much every video site you'll ever encounter is powered by a Flash player (instead of HTML5 video!) I doubt that Linux will ever be a great user experience for a casual user (only watches videos, reads news, checks email).

Now that I've mentioned HTML5 Video, go check out my fork for HTML5 video implementation with Flash fallback for the poor IE users

Cheers

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