Swiffy- Convert Flash files to HTML5

Swiffy is a small tool from Google that converts Flash files to HTML5 for use on non Flash player devices.You can upload SWF file and Swiffy will convert it to HTML5 file which can be displayed on all modern browsers “with a high level of SVG support such as Chrome and Safari.”
Swiffy is available on Google Code is currently more an experimental thus cannot covert all Flash files but does great with ads and animations. There are examples of SWF converted files available on the project’s page. 
This is very important move on the part of Google to wean the web off the proprietary Flash format. It will also be interesting to see what Apple- an avowed Flash critic- thinks of this move from a fierce competitor.

Finally, Flash on Linux as it should be!

Adobe Flash has always been a disappointment on Linux. Poorly ported , poorly programmed, a confusion that loads the processor and, often, makes the machine hang.
But this is the way that certain companies provide support to Linux. Very dubious quality.

The community, once again, saves the day
But what if the company that created the Flash does not provide a decent service to Linux?
The very community solves the problem. And that’s what the developer lovinglinux did: solved the problem of Flash on Linux, creating Flash Video Replacer.

What is it ?
It is an addon (complement) to Firefox, as the name says, changes the default Flash Player on Linux by Mplayer, which is a much better video player than Adobe’s one.
It works best  in conjunction with Flash Blocker, as it prevents any flash player to load, and allows only the media (Flash video, flv,mp4) to run.
Basically,  Flash Video Replacer  identifies  famous video hosting services (YouTube, Meta Cafe, Daily Motion, etc …) and replaces the  Flash player by Mplayer.
Mplayer plays videos in a much more efficient way, and it’s lightweight, and allows  to choose the type of video it will play, if FLV, MP4 or even WebM.
And can easily download  the video being played.

Features:

– no flash required
– works with Flashblock
– play videos embedded on site, on a new tab, new window or using an external standalone player
– option to select replace method on a video basis
– easy video download, accessed via toolbar menu
– configurable download directory
– compatibility with DownThemAll
– detection of YouTube and Vimeo videos embedded on third-party sites (links only)
– automatic redirection to WebM player on YouTube when available (no plugin required)
– video quality control on YouTube
– video quality feedback via alerts
– option to prioritize mp4 format over flv when possible
– option to force mime-type, in order to launch videos with different plugins or bypass incompatibilities

Link: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/flashvideoreplacer/

How to copy Flash Video in Firefox 4

Earlier this week Mozilla finally released the long-awaited Firefox 4. With Firefox 3 on Ubuntu I used to be able to copy a flash video that was still open in a Firefox tab from cache using

cp /tmp/Flash ~/Videos/

To my surprise the same did not work with Firefox 4. It seems the problem is related to FlashPlayer 10.2. Apparently the cached file gets flagged as deleted:

lsof | grep deleted

plugin-co 4292 user 17u REG 8,6 18987840 3801105 /tmp/FlashXXJ3YUk0 (deleted)

The solution I ended up with is to use /proc, pid and fd like this:

cp /proc/4292/fd/17 ~/Videos/

It should work as long as the flashed tab is still open in Firefox.

You can install Firefox 4 by adding the ‘mozillateam’ ppa using:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mozillateam/firefox-stable

and

sudo apt-get update

After this you can install Firefox 4 or simply upgrade if you already have Firefox 3 installed.

Adobe Flash- The best platform so far

Adobe Flash. The evil, unsafe, insecure, unreliable, resource hog platform has scored a big win from Youtube. According to John Harding, Software Engineer at Google,

“While HTML5’s video support enables us to bring most of the content and features of YouTube to computers and other devices that don’t support Flash Player [a la iDevices] , it does not yet meet all of our needs. Today, Adobe Flash provides the best platform for YouTube’s video distribution requirements, which is why our primary video player is built with it.”

I’d asked not so long ago if  HTML5 is ready as a Flash replacement (not alone though). Now the verdict from the world’s biggest user of the platform is a resounding no. I love open standards, protocols and platforms (hey, I’m a Linux user OK :-)), and I also love not having one company control the most widely used platform for rich media on the internet. But that does not negate the fact that Flash is still an integral part of our online lives.
We have Steve Jobs bashing Flash for all its ills and extolling the virtues of HTML5 for being the best thing since sliced bread while at the same time restricting the demo he was using to showoff the capabilities of HTML5 to his browser and to some extent, his OS. Where is the openness in that?
I know you probably disagree with me on Flash, being that it is not open and is owned by one company, but the fact remains that it is an integral part of the web and has contributed in creating a lively and interactive virtual world for us all. Sure it is as unsafe as the other OS out there, but rather than bashing it, finding a solution to its insecurity would be more appropriate.
Google realized the importance of Flash and how vital it is to the web, so now they are shipping their Chrome browser with Flash preinstalled, to be updated together with the browser. This is a better way to go about the Flash-HTML5 debacle rather than bash it while being a closed company or platform yourself.
Chances are 9 out of 10 people have the Flash player running on their computers, why don’t we find a way of making it safe for them while HTML5 gets readied instead of suddenly trying to shove the latter down their throats? 
Steve Jobs may not like Flash for reasons he believes in, but I can safely say that with all its weaknesses, Flash has a role to play today and in the foreseeable future in our online lives. You don’t agree with me, ask Youtube.

TinyOgg- Watch Flash videos as Ogg.

So you have a love-hate relationship with Flash I take it? You would want to do away with it because of how it sometimes brings your system to a crawl but find out you can’t because almost all web based videos are in Flash right? Well now you can watch all the Flash videos you want without any headaches, thanks to TinyOgg.
TinyOgg is a simple and free service that converts Flash based videos into Ogg ones at the click of a button. All you do is to enter the url of the Flash video you want to watch as Ogg into the box provided and click convert. A temporary url will be created with which you can watch the newly converted video after a few minutes. That’s it. 
You can also watch other converted videos submitted by other people. Your video file will be stored on their servers for only 48 hours after which it will be deleted. You also have the option of downloading the Ogg converted video in the highest quality onto your desktop. Before the conversion starts, you can also set your video to either private or public. Setting it to private will not make it available for viewing by others. 
Now you have reason to pull out your hair because of your frustrations with Flash. Anytime you want to watch a Flash based video, just hop over to TinyOgg and let the site do the magic for you. Enjoy your online videos in h