Flash Alternatives Worth Considering

Hello reader,

Mozilla has joined the numerous other frustrated companies that find Adobe Flash to be an unforgiveable mess. The ad laden, malware hiding, outdated, resource hog is considered by most companies to be irrelevant software.  (Yes we are quoting Gizmodo)

Users however, have been counting on flash for years for viewing sites like youtube, dailymotion, etc. And frankly unless these users have personally encountered any difficulties or have been exploited directly by using flash, the uproar most likely seems overblown.

It isn’t…

Some statistics: <—ClickToSeeScorecard

These scorecards may be difficult to understand at first but let’s say 10.0 is an open window in center city Philadelphia with an unsigned winning lottery ticket sitting where it could be easily reached and 5-6 signs stating as much posted on every street for a 4 mile radius.

To be fair when I lived in Philadelphia there wasn’t as much crime.

Meanwhile the scores don’t have to say it all, many users have gone to view video on various sites only to learn that they needed to download an upgraded player or even a site specific player. This may not account for many of the exploits listed in this card but it is exactly how some modified software gets distributed. This doesn’t account for Flash vulnerabilities, but does account for why people get exploited so often by video sites.

So flash may be gone sooner than you think and you may have only ever used flash. HTML5 isn’t necessarily secure, silverlight is far too resource heavy on some systems, and in fact only works on Windows correctly. (However you can use Google Chrome on Linux and get wonderful video quality.)

The alternatives are hard to spot but here are three worth considering.

VLC  This is my top pick, I’ve used it for years on Linux and Windows, I do reccomend you familiarize yourself with the plugins needed to run this player as the default player in your browser. I do use Silverlight on Amazon so I configure one browser to use that instead but otherwise VLC is wonderful and plays a massive array of video and audio types.

RealPlayer  If there were no such thing as VLC I suppose just for the codec variety real player would be the next logical place to default. In fact there are reasons to think that in contrast with a flash player most of anything on this list is just lightyears ahead so really you can’t go wrong.

Kodi Formerly XBMC this is less a flash replacement and more a Multimedia Showcase, which can be used as a standalone media server or just instead of whatever media center you might be using. It includes plugins that pull video from sites and even internet radio. In essence if you would rather bring the video to you than browse to it this is the top pick.

Honorable mentions… I can’t think of any, I couldn’t type quicktime or gnash without feeling dirty so you are stuck with the above choices.




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