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Adobe Flash as a media player has been coming to an end in the last few years, but after today’s announcement from YouTube, the use of the well-known browser plug-in will not be an important piece for people’s video-viewing habits.
Ever since the beginning of YouTube, the videos have relied on the Adobe Player to watch them. However, YouTube announced today it is dropping Adobe Flash in favor of HTML5 for the site’s video player.
Many modern browsers already support HTML5 Video such as Google’s own Chrome, Mozilla’s Firefox (beta versions), Apple’s Safari and others. Smartphones already use HTML5 Video instead of the mobile version of the Flash player plug-in which Adobe has abandoned. Adobe is still working on Adobe Flash for gaming and “premium” video.
YouTube will now use HTML5’s <video> by default.
Richard Leider, Engineering Manager at YouTube, wrote on the post about the advantages of MediaSource Extensions (Adaptive Bitrate streaming adjusts resolution and bitrate according to the network conditions), VP9 video coded, WebRTC, Fullscreen, and <iframe> embeds.
Though Google talks about standards, some organizations such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Free Software Foundation have disagreed with the use of Encrypted Media Extensions (EME). Both the EFF and the FSF see EME as a DRM (Digital Restrictions Management) restricting public freedom.
[Source]: YouTube Engineering and Developers Blog: YouTube now defaults to HTML5 <video>.