Adobe Flash Is like a creepy uncle.
Sure, it may give us the creeps while annoying us to no end. Hell, it may even be a danger to those around it….but it also gives us access to cool stuff. Anyone claiming Flash is no longer needed is not taking media consumption into account.
Your local news
Admittedly, I still (occasionally) depress myself by watching the local news. Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with the concept; rather, it’s the delivery that frustrates me. For most folks, the local news is provided by cable, satellite or perhaps OTA (over the air) antenna.
Then there are cord cutters like myself who sadly, live in valley making anything OTA a complete impossibility. So on those super rare occasions (such as snow days, checking for road conditions) that I do watch the news, I prefer to do so from my PC. I then open up my Firefox browser and guess what – it requires Flash. No HTML5 video alternatives like with YouTube. Nope, it’s Flash or go home.
Google Play Video
Do you enjoy watching videos purchased through Google Play? Would you like to watch them on something besides your tablet, smartphone or TV streaming device – a Linux PC, perhaps? You’ll need to use Flash. Google, the company that made a big stink about how Flash needs to die…requires it for their video content.
Despite my GooglePlay video purchases being rather small when compared to my local video library, the fact remains that my viewing of said purchases on my Linux box means I have to have Flash at the ready.
Next up, we have Hulu. Surely, with the company trying to turn things around, Hulu has done away with its Flash requirement, right? Wrong. No matter your subscription level with Hulu, you will absolutely need to have Flash available in order to watch videos using Hulu.
Please forgive the lousy screen capture. Despite my displeasure with Flash, the video playback actually did not have any tearing…unlike my screenshot above.
Next to Hulu, Netflix is the single most watched video service in my home. Despite this, I must have….wait, it’s not asking for Flash. It’s asking me to install Silverlight! Even though it’s well known that Chrome-using Linux enthusiasts can indeed watch Netflix using HTML5 video, under Firefox I’m being prompted to install a dead technology that Microsoft wrote off a long time ago. Best part is their help page – holy browser useragent, Batman!
So with Netflix, I guess the good news is that you’re not required to use Flash! Sigh…
Like Netflix, Amazon video also expects you to have a browser that supports it like Chrome. I am happy to report however, that it did not make any mention of Silverlight.
It’s all about Chrome
I suspect as time goes on, we’ll see Hulu and Google Play following along with Netflix and Amazon, thus, tossing Flash aside for good. Regardless, the fact remains with all of these video services (including your local news) that using Chrome is the best way forward.
So why not simply install Flash into Firefox or another browser? Because of DRM and the fact that Chrome is the most reliable media browser for Linux right now. The sad fact of the matter is Chrome is the goto browser for streaming video media. So unless you’re thinking of running your own Kodi or Plex server, your options on the Linux desktop are limited to Chrome at this point.
What say you? Do you bother with these services? If so, how do you watch them? Maybe instead, you said “forget it” and run your own Kodi or Plex server? Whatever it may be, hit the comments and tell me how you watch your favorite TV shows and movies.