Adobe Gives In, Releases HTML5 Video Widget

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Adobe announced a HTML5 video player widget that aims to help web developers to implement HTML5 video without locking users of older browsers out. The widget is based on Kaltura’s open-source library and can be used in conjunction with, as well as independently of, Dreamweaver.

The release of the plugin is notable because it represents an acknowledgment of the growing importance of HTML5 video. Adobe’s CTO Kevin Lynch was much more dismissive of the technology in the past, and in fact told the audience of NewTeeVee Live a year ago that HTML5 “is trying to do what Flash already does today.” However, when announcing the plug-in on its Dreamweaver blog, Adobe had the following to say this week:

“HTML5 has received a tremendous amount of buzz, much of it driven by the potential for plugin-free video.”

Part of that shift has to do with the success of the iPad, which doesn’t support Flash. Some developers have addressed these devices with HTML5 implementations that switch to Java-based players when accessed by older browsers.

Adobe’s implementation on the other hand “shifts gracefully from the HTML5 tag to the Flash Player when the tag is not supported,” according to the blog post. In other words: The company helps developers to get rid of Flash for some of their users — as long as they’re still relying on Flash for the rest.

Want to see if Kevin Lynch has changed his mind on HTML5? Then come to NewTeeVee Live 2010 on November 10, where we will quiz him about this and other issues.

Image courtesy of Flickr user Cameron  Russell.

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