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Enforced Ads Coming to Flash Video Players 397

Dominare writes "The BBC is reporting that Adobe is releasing new player software which will allow websites that use their Flash video player (such as YouTube) to force viewers to watch ads before the video they selected will play. 'But the big seller for Adobe is the ability to include in Flash movies so-called digital rights management (DRM) — allowing copyright holders to require the viewing of adverts, or restrict copying. "Adobe has created the first way for media companies to release video content, secure in the knowledge that advertising goes with it," James McQuivey, an analyst at Forrester Research said.' This seems to have been timed to coincide with Microsoft's release of their own competitor, Silverlight, to Adobe's dominance of online video."
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Enforced Ads Coming to Flash Video Players

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  • Oh, come on! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jawtheshark ( 198669 ) * <slashdot@ja w t h e s h a r k . com> on Monday April 16, 2007 @01:29PM (#18752635) Homepage Journal

    That will kill self-made videos in no time. Who really wants to wait through a 3 minute ad for tampons to watch a 2 minute rambing of a camwhore? I certainly don't want to do that.

    Not that I care, I have put exactly one video of on youtube. I just had a dash of inspiration. Probably will never happen again.

    • by networkBoy ( 774728 ) on Monday April 16, 2007 @01:32PM (#18752689) Journal
      Funny, I put a video on youtube, simply so I could link to it from another site, but save myself the bandwidth.
    • Re:Oh, come on! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by garcia ( 6573 ) on Monday April 16, 2007 @01:32PM (#18752693)
      That will kill self-made videos in no time. Who really wants to wait through a 3 minute ad for tampons to watch a 2 minute rambing of a camwhore? I certainly don't want to do that.

      You don't necessarily have to be mandated to watch the commercials, there is just an option to force it now. Copyright holders who are releasing self-made videos won't have to opt-in (depending on how any of the video sharing sites' (GooTube's) management decides to handle this I suppose) to allow the ads.

      I think that this is a pointless move. Flash video exploded because it was fast and there weren't forcible ads and DRM.
      • Re:Oh, come on! (Score:5, Interesting)

        by eln ( 21727 ) on Monday April 16, 2007 @01:46PM (#18752887)
        The Internet is cyclical: Someone comes up with a new idea, builds a site, popularity explodes, someone tries to control and monetize it (either the original owner or someone who bought it for way too much money), the attempts at control end up smothering the product, popularity declines, someone comes up with another new idea, and so on.
      • Re:Oh, come on! (Score:4, Insightful)

        by badasscat ( 563442 ) <basscadet75@yahF ... m minus language> on Monday April 16, 2007 @05:03PM (#18756173)
        I think that this is a pointless move. Flash video exploded because it was fast and there weren't forcible ads and DRM.

        No, Flash video exploded because it was the only true cross-platform embeddable video format, and it offered quality at least equal to and in most cases better than the competition. So, rather than dealing with encoding QuickTime for Mac, Windows Media and Real for PC, and whatever else for Linux, you just do one format and you're done. And, it'll play right in the browser without you doing anything else.

        There was never any promise of no DRM and no forced ads. In fact, another reason why content owners like it is that it's very difficult to capture a stream, unless you do it wrong (YouTube actually does it wrong - they don't obfuscate their url's, allowing plugins to easily save a file. But it's easy to hide url's if you want to).

        Anyway, you guys are going nuts over nothing. This has nothing to do with user-generated stuff. It's pre-roll. It's going to actually result in *more* video being available on the net, because now content owners have a financial incentive. All those TV channels hesitant to put their stuff on YouTube? Well, you're gonna see a lot more deals done now. And meanwhile, the skateboarding videos and vlogs you're so used to will continue to look exactly the same.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by 0racle ( 667029 )
      Read it again. This will allow copyright holders to embed advertizing, not require it. Since the copyright holder of (genuine) self-made videos would be the person making it they could choose to have ads or not.
      • Re:Oh, come on! (Score:5, Interesting)

        by networkBoy ( 774728 ) on Monday April 16, 2007 @01:45PM (#18752879) Journal
        No but the TOU of sites like youtube may mandate that you accept an ad to be put in-line with your video.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by jawtheshark ( 198669 ) *

        I did read the article, and saw that...But, don't you lose your Copyright to youtube and the like once you release it to their site?. I have to admit that I didn't read their terms of service, but it wouldn't surprise me at all.

        Even if it's supposed to be the at the discretion of the copyright holder, how long till websites like youtube will see a great revenue stream and add it in without the consent of the copyright holder (or better said: by forcing the copyright holder to accept their terms). It's

      • Re:Oh, come on! (Score:4, Interesting)

        by badfish99 ( 826052 ) on Monday April 16, 2007 @01:50PM (#18752939)
        Alternatively, sites like Youtube could amend their terms and conditions to allow themselves to automatically add adverts to all videos as they were being downloaded.
        If they did this to every video they would quickly alienate their users. But if (say) 1 video in 100 had an advert added as you downloaded it, they could make a lot of money without losing too many users.
      • Which might be great for artists, who then can not only distribute their music videos, but turn a profit through advertisement.
    • Re:Oh, come on! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by L4m3rthanyou ( 1015323 ) on Monday April 16, 2007 @01:37PM (#18752763)

      That will kill self-made videos in no time.

      Woohoo! Thanks Adobe!
    • by Achromatic1978 ( 916097 ) <robert@c[ ] ['hro' in gap]> on Monday April 16, 2007 @02:02PM (#18753097)

      Who really wants to wait through a 3 minute ad for tampons to watch a 2 minute rambing of a camwhore?

      To really rub salt into the wounds, once you've waited through that, you find the rambling of said camwhore is about how much she hates tampons.

    • Re:Oh, come on! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Seumas ( 6865 ) on Monday April 16, 2007 @02:11PM (#18753229)
      Personally, I don't even care. Unless it is really great content, I'm not going to waste my time watching any sort of ad before it. I'm tired of them trying to commoditize every god damn thing on the fucking internet.

      One thing I hate is that on sites like gamespot, you have to watch an advertisement before you can watch a videogame trailer... which in itself is also an advertisement.

      Hopefully this will start to kill internet video. There is nothing more I would enjoy more than seeing all these idiots who think the world wants to watch a 14 year old girl talk about how tough life is for two hours a day from her bedroom or some 70 year old moron singing and dancing suddenly go away.
      • Re:Oh, come on! (Score:4, Insightful)

        by oberondarksoul ( 723118 ) on Monday April 16, 2007 @04:40PM (#18755543) Homepage
        Not trying to flame you or anything, but: if somebody uploads a video of themselves talking about "how tough hard life is", or "some 70 year old moron singing" - and 'these idiots' enjoy it - then why should it be killed off? Not everything on the Internet exists to please you. Why shouldn't people be able to upload and enjoy these things? Nobody says you have to go and watch them. Just forget YouTube even exists, or add an entry to hosts redirecting it to localhost, if it really annoys you that much.
    • Re:Oh, come on! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Fozzyuw ( 950608 ) on Monday April 16, 2007 @02:52PM (#18753873)

      That will kill self-made videos in no time.

      I respectfully disagree, It's an optional feature. Nothing is being stated that it will be used by masses of people. However, I can see that you're trying to go for the 'obtrusive' part as being a big downside, which is true.

      Who really wants to wait through a 3 minute ad for tampons...

      First, even TV commercials only last 15-30 seconds. They just play 5-6 different commercials in a row. The online advertisers are often doing something different. Checkout ABC's website. You can watch Lost, Grey's Anatomy, Desperate House Wives, and other shows, which include 2-3 30's commercials. I've watched these from time to time, and to tell you the truth, they're anything but bothering. The commercial MUST play through the full 30 seconds to access the next segment of the show. But the commercial stops and you must click a button to continue. So, like TV commercials, you can getup and take a break (of course, you can pause the video and do it anyways). From what I've already seen, these commercials are not that bad.

      Of course, that doesn't mean there won't be bad commercials out there. The internet is a different media that attracts people differently and advertisement agencies will have to make sure they design their ads to be attractive and programmers will have to make sure they don't slam the user with too many. watch a 2 minute rambing of a camwhore?

      Good point, which is why they probably won't have ads on things that are not worth it. Also, it could probably also be designed like some popular sites that give you a full page 'ad' and make you click a link to go to the content, but do not show you another full page ad until 'x' minutes or you enter a different popular microsite. I would doubt video ads are going to be placed on most of YouTube videos. They'll probably stick to the unobtrusive text ads.


  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, 2007 @01:31PM (#18752671)
    that still doesn't prevent me from closing my eyes!
    • by jcgf ( 688310 ) on Monday April 16, 2007 @01:41PM (#18752803)
      I bet in 15 years there will be mpaa goons in your living room and you're tied up with your eyelids propped open ala Clockwork Orange. This will be considered normal by everyone and the mpaa will be trying to make even more draconian laws.

      and Americans will still be telling me about how the terrorists "hate their freedom" ;)

    • by Mateo_LeFou ( 859634 ) on Monday April 16, 2007 @01:45PM (#18752863) Homepage
      "It's theft. Your contract with the network when you get the show is you're going to watch the spots. Otherwise you couldn't get the show on an ad-supported basis. Any time you skip a commercial or watch the button you're actually stealing the programming"
      -Jamie Kellner, CEO of Turner Broadcasting

      Sidenote: what does "watch the button" mean here?
      • by Greyfox ( 87712 ) on Monday April 16, 2007 @02:12PM (#18753245) Homepage Journal
        I remember it as me graciously allowing them to use *MY* public airwaves to make a profit. And they ARE making a profit. I don't recall signing any other contract with them. I don't recall one ever even being implied. Not before this quote and not afterwards.

        I wonder if he thinks I'm breaking some sort of contract in his head because I never so much as channel surf past his network, much less ever stop there.

        • by bogjobber ( 880402 ) on Monday April 16, 2007 @02:47PM (#18753797)
          Turner Broadcasting only runs cable stations. They include CNN, TBS, TNT, Cartoon Network, Boomerang, TCM, Court TV, and others. I'm sure if you have cable that you've watched at least CNN a fair amount. They are NOT operating on public airwaves, and if you watch any of these stations there is a contract that you signed that at least implies that you understand it is ad-supported and that is ok with you. That's not to say skipping commercials is stealing like Mr. Kellner says, but you are misinformed and wrong.
    • Don't forget your ears. Plug them to ignore the audio too. ;)
    • by Bill, Shooter of Bul ( 629286 ) on Monday April 16, 2007 @02:34PM (#18753599) Journal
      What, Did someone type something? Mye eyes are close dto avoid the sashvertisement. God thinkg I cant touch type. Well, sort of
  • by MikeRT ( 947531 ) on Monday April 16, 2007 @01:33PM (#18752719)
    Why would anyone buy advertisements that they knew could be easily bypassed? I don't think we'll end up with a scenario where you have a 2 minute clip that has 2 minutes of advertisement. More like you watch a music video, you see a 30 second ad beforehand.
    • by arth1 ( 260657 )

      Why would anyone buy advertisements that they knew could be easily bypassed?

      Because those who get irritated enough to bypass it are not a good target audience for the ad?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Llywelyn ( 531070 )

      Why would anyone buy advertisements that they knew could be easily bypassed?

      They seem to buy television advertising space all of the time, despite that it can be easily skipped or ignored or, in some cases, circumvented entirely by downloading from the iTS or a similar service. They do it because it can be less trouble to watch the add than to skip it.

    • I think they need to really focus on the 5 second ad. Nobody will bother bypassing it. On TV, it would not even be worth skipping over with Tivo. People's attention span always seems to be getting shorter anyway.

      They could provide a hot-link or "add to favorites" capability for the people who want to learn more.
    • Non-crap ads? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by phorm ( 591458 ) on Monday April 16, 2007 @02:19PM (#18753363) Journal
      Enforced advertisements are shit. I recently rented the "Man of the Year" DVD only to be forced to watch a long narrative about how wonderful HD-DVD is going to be, followed by forced-previews. To add insult to injury, I only watched half the first night and had to sit through the f*cking ads a second time before I could watch the rest.

      I don't hate ads though, just being forced to watch them (especially ads that suck). Hell, I have several hundred megs of downloaded advertisements... the ones that are actually quite funny/amusing. Every now and then I shared them with my friends.

      I also had somebody recently show me a clip of some type of "ad awards." It's about 1h30 long, and it's *all* ads. I only had time to catch about 30 minutes of it, but I just about wet myself laughing at some of the better ones

      The solution here is not to make ads the consumer can't skip... that just pisses the consumer of. The solution is to make ads that the consumer *WANTS* to watch... the type that has somebody yelling across the room "hey Bob, get back here quick, that new Bud Light commercial I was telling you about is coming on"
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        My wife and I went to see "Serenity" in the theater. They had a long gamut of ads - then started playing the wrong movie. They put in the right movie, but we had to sit through another 15 minutes of ads.

        Children's DVDs are bad for this. They have ads for tons of junk. It bothers me that they over-ride the controls so you can't just skip to the movie.

        We'd probably own a few more DVDs if it wasn't just lame.

        Next time I want a new movie, here's what I'll do:

        1. Borrow it from the library / get it from ... The P
    • by gaspar ilom ( 859751 ) on Monday April 16, 2007 @02:26PM (#18753451)

      More like you watch a music video, you see a 30 second ad beforehand.
      Hate to break it to you:
      Music videos *are* ads.
  • by drdanny_orig ( 585847 ) * on Monday April 16, 2007 @01:34PM (#18752723)
    I really hate companies that spend so much effort on trying to make me do stuff they know I don't want to do. These big media companies already have nearly every dollar that Bill Gates and Larry Ellison managed to miss; how come they need mine?
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      really hate companies that spend so much effort on trying to make me do stuff they know I don't want to do

      Yeah, like spending your money on what they sell.

      They should just, like, host all your videos and stuff and give you MP3 music and DRM free HD movies and all that junk and not expect you to pay for it at all. Because you are giving them free advertising. Bands make money off of live shows. Real Artists aren't in it for the money. Patents are wrong. Copyright is theft. Outmoded distribution model.

      Did I miss any talking points?

      How about this: If someone posts a sci-fi trailer or the like, and it ha

      • > Yeah, like spending your money on what they sell. Um...I think I implied that I don't, or won't, do that. At least not Adobe products. Now, as to the rest, Mr. Smarty-pants AC Troll: it just so happens I spend quite a bit of money on CDs, DVDs, cable TV, etc. And from what little I know, all those RIAA/MPAA member companies are making a profit, yes? I'm not opposed to that at all. What I oppose is outright greed: the feeling on their part that it somehow robs them of profit they deserve if I happe
    • by nine-times ( 778537 ) <> on Monday April 16, 2007 @02:36PM (#18753639) Homepage

      I really hate companies that spend so much effort on trying to make me do stuff they know I don't want to do.

      Well this is really a problem for advertising. Am I more likely to buy products if you harass me with annoying ads? No. Yeah, yeah, talk about psychology and how people get conditioned, but I've worked in ad agencies and even the experts acknowledge it: ads have become so annoying that people are building up an immunity to them.

      That why ads keep getting more and more outlandish-- ad agencies know that they have to get your attention somehow. Unfortunately, even e-mail campaigns that people have opted in to fail because people don't want to invest the time sorting that stuff from general spam. People are using modified host files and ad blockers to block even targetted advertisements because there are too many intolerable ads on the web. It isn't clear that people would bother developing such strict ad blocking if they were only receiving ads that they might be interested in. Even where there are no technical methods in place blocking ads, people have simply gotten better at ignoring them.

      And so many advertisers have sought ways to deliver targetted advertisements, but unfortunately any method for targetting is usually seen as an invasion of privacy. No one really wants their personal preferences made public so that advertisers can profile them better.

      And I know that very often people come back and say, "well they wouldn't use [spam|flash bannars|whatever] if it weren't effective!" There's some truth to that, but not as much as you might think. Often, people in advertising (at various levels) have trouble gauging the real success of a given campaign, but they sell their services on the basis of the number of views they've acheived. They tell their customers (the people who want their product advertised) that X number of people will view this ad. Y number of people will receive the e-mail. In fact, the advertisers who actually place the ad often have little interest in the success of the product itself or in the satisfaction of consumers. It's enough to convince their customer that the ad is being seen.

  • Heh... (Score:3, Funny)

    by Otter ( 3800 ) on Monday April 16, 2007 @01:34PM (#18752725) Journal
    Meanwhile, the right edge of the text of this story is covered by the Flash ad (Sun anniversary pricing) next to it. So perhaps the Slashcode authors have prior art.
  • gnash to rescue (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, 2007 @01:34PM (#18752727)
    Suddenly I feel strong urge to support Free Software []
    • I'm not sure I see your point. If a content provider wants to give you content that doesn't have DRM restrictions or forced adverts, they still can. Adobe isn't forcing content providers to force DRM/Adverts, they're giving them the ability.

      So here's the riddle. If a content provider wants to force you to use adverts, they will force you - Gnash won't help. If they don't want to force you, Gnash is unnecessary. So what, exactly, does this have to do with...well...anything?

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        His point is that Gnash has no restrictions on its features, and could theoretically support features like enabling copying of Flash movies or permitting advertisements to be skipped. The official player will never support that since Adobe is introducing these features specifically in order to prevent bypasses.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, 2007 @01:36PM (#18752749)
    What is the point? Are they going to force us to become consumers of the advertised products too?

    What ever happened to the idea of targeting willing people? I'm not interested in whatever you want to sell me, so don't waste your time or mine forcing me to watch an advertisement. If anything, you'll make me less likely to purchase whatever it is you want me to buy.

    If people were interested, they would watch the ads and make careful decisions. Yet, some people seem to think that we need to be strapped to chairs and have our eyes forced open to watch Big Brother ala 1984 tell us the "Good News" of whatever it is that Big Corp. wants to sell me.
    • by garcia ( 6573 )
      What ever happened to the idea of targeting willing people? I'm not interested in whatever you want to sell me, so don't waste your time or mine forcing me to watch an advertisement. If anything, you'll make me less likely to purchase whatever it is you want me to buy.

      Because they have found that in order to purchase information about targeted groups costs more than just information about a larger unspecified group. The returns are about the same regardless (somewhere between 1 and 2% on average and up to
  • by pla ( 258480 ) on Monday April 16, 2007 @01:36PM (#18752755) Journal
    allowing copyright holders to require the viewing of adverts

    Coming soon, to a codec pack near you:

    • That is assuredly true. But you have to bear in mind that alternate codecs, browser plugins, etc. are only for the tech-savvy crowd. All those millions of folks who log into YouTube to watch videos of cute kittens probably aren't going to know how to skip the ads. Sort of like the current situation with AdBlock and its kin.
    • Right. I am interested in how Adobe "features" like this might affect the popularity of GNASH []. Granted, GNASH isn't quite there just yet, but I get the feeling that it won't be long before it's a decent drop-in replacement for Adobe's rubbish. If/when it gets to this stage, I wouldn't be surprised if it gains widespread adoption as a consumer-friendly alternative, with support for such features as skipping annoying adverts in Flash videos, blocking crappy flash pop-up ads and malware on websites, and all th
  • 48 hours (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rossz ( 67331 ) < minus language> on Monday April 16, 2007 @01:39PM (#18752781) Homepage Journal
    I give it 48 hours after initial release before a patch to bypass the ads is released online.
  • by Lethyos ( 408045 ) on Monday April 16, 2007 @01:39PM (#18752789) Journal

    Fine, then I do not want to watch the content at all. I am willing to be lots of other people feel the same way. And considering the scale of amateur content production these days, I think there is plenty of room and sponsorship for alternative sites.

  • Damned Flash (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Deagol ( 323173 ) on Monday April 16, 2007 @01:41PM (#18752809) Homepage
    I can't be the only one who despises the use of Flash on these video sites. Apart from the fact that my primary OS doesn't support Flash, I hate Flash players out of principle. There are such better, more universal video formats out there, I just can't understand why the hell these sites convert the videos to such a crap format.
    • Re:Damned Flash (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Metaphorically ( 841874 ) * on Monday April 16, 2007 @01:55PM (#18753007) Homepage

      I can't be the only one who despises the use of Flash on these video sites. Apart from the fact that my primary OS doesn't support Flash, I hate Flash players out of principle. There are such better, more universal video formats out there, I just can't understand why the hell these sites convert the videos to such a crap format.

      Minor correction: Flash doesn't support your primary OS.

      Carry on.
    • by ardor ( 673957 )
      Because the embedded players suck.

      - Totem often has the GStreamer backend, which in turn often does not have the codecs 99% of all people use. OK, geeks can refit them, but this is not about this group.
      - VLC has ZERO controls. No play, pause, volume, ....
      - MPlayer crashes, too often. When I use the mplayer plugin, I always stop before visiting a site with a video. Its especially bad when one closes a tab which is currently playing a video.
      - gxine opens a new window (which is the worst solution possible), an
      • Re:Damned Flash (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Deagol ( 323173 ) on Monday April 16, 2007 @02:27PM (#18753469) Homepage

        gxine opens a new window (which is the worst solution possible),

        Why is that? I much prefer segregating most media types to their own program and window. I bloody hate it when I'm using a Windows machine and I click on a Word or PDF file, and the entire app is embedded *into* the web browser. What dumbass thought *that* was a clever idea?!?

    • The YouTube-ization of web content is an affront to user interface design, not to mention the underlying framework of the www. Ever go to a web page with six or seven auto-loading videos? Yikes. To make things worse, if you leave the page and come back the videos load all over again, because they are not cached. Talk about unnecessary use of bandwidth.

      And the players themselves, ugh. Notice how they all look like the QuickTime or Windows Media players, but the controls don't really work? Try and fast forward or reverse reverse playback. Sometimes the play/pause barely work. The Flash video players have the familiar video controls, but they're quite often no better than fake plastic ones glued to the screen.
    • by dedazo ( 737510 )

      more universal video formats out there

      Yeah, Real, WMV, ASF, AVI, OGG, MPEG, MOV, H.264, Theora, etc. Universal standards are great, because there's so many of them to choose from! Oh wait...

  • by L4m3rthanyou ( 1015323 ) on Monday April 16, 2007 @01:43PM (#18752843)
    ...Will it work in Linux? Seriously, I'm really sick of Adobe's neglect of linux users. Let's hope this doesn't break the Linux Flash 9 plug-in for sites that use the ads.
  • by Maxo-Texas ( 864189 ) on Monday April 16, 2007 @01:43PM (#18752847)
    That's the approach i took to network television.

    10% ad load is not so bad (say 10 seconds for a 100 second video). That's what the ad load was like for television back in the 1950's and 1960's.

    Advertisers have pushed it way past 33%. In some cases the ad load is almost 50%.

    How can they even expect us to bother wading through 50% ads to get to content?
    • by isaac ( 2852 ) on Monday April 16, 2007 @02:03PM (#18753109)

      How can they even expect us to bother wading through 50% ads to get to content?

      Make ads the content. Problem solved. (MTV was founded on this business model.)


    • I don't have sat, cable, or broadcast TV (I netflix any show people say I should watch, albiet a season later). Please though, I can't believe that anything would have a 50% ad-load... Who (broadcaster/show) does this? I'm genuinely curious. Last I remember was ~4/9/4 or ~5/7/5 for an hour long show (17 min ads + 43 min content).
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by hal2814 ( 725639 )
      Those rose-colored glasses must make it hard to read numbers. In the 60's advertisements made up 9 minutes of every hour (15%). Today advertisements take up 18 minutes of every hour (30%). That's a lot more than it used to be but it's not quite the 33% you say that "advertisers have pushed it way past" and nowhere near the 50% you claim.
  • OTOH, I think the consistent misuse of flash has made it much less of a valuable platform for what I would consider legitimate purposes. I never understood why macromedia made the decision to cater flash to the push advertising crowd rather the creative crowd. I suppose they make more money that way.

    As a result of that decision, though, I tend to not visit sites that rely heavily on flash. For instance, I still us Yahoo finance instead of Google finance. Due to historical reasons, flash used to crash

  • NEXT! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Monday April 16, 2007 @01:46PM (#18752893)
    Ok, Flash is dead, what's the alternative?

    Bonus question for 100 bucks: When you force user A, using product B, to do things he doesn't want to do while there are a billion alternatives for B, will user A keep using product B?
    • Special bonus answer:
      The user likes the new features, you're confusing user and product (the latter being the viewers).
    • Talk to the content providers. If consumers don't want this shit, the content providers won't use it. It has nothing to do with Flash. You people seem a little confused on the whole DRM issue. Providing the technology is a separate issue from the policies content providers choose to enact. Adobe isn't doing anything wrong here. It's like blaming the gun manufacturers when some piece of shit nutjob goes on a killing spree.
  • Just a few posts in and already people are spelling doom for youtube and the like. What's odd is that people think this somehow requires you to put an add on your home grown video blog if you use flash, which is ridiculous. This is basically an opt in system. If you want DRM and an ad on your video content, you can do so. Adobe is wooing the media companies with features they want. This isn't for anyone who doesn't want to use DRM, and you should be able to easily turn it off.

    What this basically does is make it harder to copy your favorite clips from the daily show and late night with david letterman to Youtube very quickly. Now, you have to be a cracker who breaks the DRM and THEN posts it to Youtube.
  • Big deal (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Xtense ( 1075847 ) <> on Monday April 16, 2007 @01:48PM (#18752917) Homepage
    Ok, so even if it gets adopted on some of the bigger sites, people will just run away from them to some other, more free alternatives. Great job, ad-guys, you've just lost your big user-base. People who push stuff like this have, and i quote, "no fucking clue". First they should pull their heads out of their asses, then try to think of a way of either making old media more attractive to the general consumer, or harnessing the internet's potential in some other, non-invasive way. Although for me, they should just wither off and die.

    (Sorry for angry tone, I'm just tired of things like this.)
  • Refuse to use. Walk away and don't use it.
    Let the rebels of the world invent something better that's free and non oppressive.
    Sooner or later people with decide enough is enough but they better make it sooner while they still can.
    Time for a pitchfork and torch rally up to the mountain...

  • Adding DRM to off-line viewing of videos is new, but for the typical scenario of online viewing of Flash videos via a Flash player embedded in a HTML page, the ability to force ad viewing is nothing new. It's always been easy to roll a Flash video play that doesn't allow skipping or scrubbing through the video ad, but then enables that feature once the main video begins. Many sites that feature Flash video do exactly that.
  • by unity100 ( 970058 ) on Monday April 16, 2007 @02:04PM (#18753129) Homepage Journal
    As a web developer all i can say is this.
    • Why? Are you under the idiotically mistaken idea that Flash now forces you as a web developer to use forced adverts and DRM. Do you thikn Flash ships with stock adverts you must use if you don't want to do your own? Your statement utterly confuses me. If you don't want forced adverts or DRM, don't use it - it has nothing to do with Flash itself.
  • takes five seconds to find another web site and click over, screw you, dudes.

    it's now time for the market to test this. users won't buy it, then adobe and the web sites that put this silly slop into play will be branded as total assholes in no time.

    let the marketplace work....
  • Adobe enjoyed it's time as the new internet video player.
  • by mlwmohawk ( 801821 ) on Monday April 16, 2007 @02:11PM (#18753225)
    Every time you see a forced ad, write the company advertising and tell them you will no longer buy their product.

    If enough people do this, then it will go away.

    The "free market" works when consumers view themselves as citizens instead of sheep.
  • Flash can be great, Flash can be horrible, it depends on what and how something is delivered. Flash has always left a bad taste for web developers and many end users, but nothing to threaten the format, till now?

    The only way Flash will go away is by people not watching whatever is delivered through that medium. Be it through blocking the technology or using another, voting with your dollar is what decides how these formats will survive. When I read this, I tend to think that this will only serve to bothe
  • by matchboy ( 519044 ) on Monday April 16, 2007 @02:24PM (#18753431) Homepage
    Adobe isn't going to force everyone to watch ads. They are doing exactly what a lot of their customers are asking for. People who are creating their own video casts (merlin mann for example) may want to monetize their videocasts by adding sponsorship to their videos. This allows people to redistribute their content much easier and still guarantee that their sponsors are being seen. Currently, the average video blogger/caster doesn't have a lot of resources for managing this themselves. (adding video to the beginning of the video file) Think about it. A video blogger will be able to change their sponsors without reprocessing their videos. Seems reasonable to me.
  • Problems with Adobe (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MaWeiTao ( 908546 ) on Monday April 16, 2007 @02:24PM (#18753433)
    What I find more troubling than this is that now Adobe completely controls the design industry. As a designer every application I use is developed by Adobe. Well, excluding Microsoft Office which is a necessity in my business.

    Adobe is already showing what sort of company they are with the release of their very first suite since the acquisition of Macromedia. Their software has gotten significantly more expensive, it's overloaded with bloat and they've managed to outdo Microsoft with all the versions of their software. An Adobe representative, addressing criticisms of a $500 increase in one of the packages, essentially said that people will pay the extra money because they're Adobe. The gist of it is that we're paying more because we've got no choice. If I could find the link I'd post it here.

    Unfortunately, designers by and large aren't particularly savvy. They're the kind of people to constantly criticize Microsoft just because it's trendy but then happily bend over for Adobe and Apple. So I doubt this will ever change.

    People like to point out alternatives to Adobe products, but they forget some basic points. Compatibility is essential. I can't go off and use my own software only to not have clients or other designers not be able to handle my files. It's already bad enough with Adobe forcing companies to upgrade by limiting compatibility between versions. I may not have problems 90% of the time, but that 10% that trouble arises is a huge deal in my business. So I have to go with what everyone else is using.

    And another fact is that despite the bloat present in current Adobe products their software is still reasonable well designed and works seamlessly. I can't say that about anything else I've tried. And most others are even worse with bloat trying to cram all these pointless features into the application. But the biggest problem I've encountered is that they all have poorly designed interfaces.

    Despite it's problems Flash is an excellent tool. It runs well on most systems. There might be a person or two who's running a system that doesn't support it. But to criticize something because it doesn't support 1% or 2% of the market is a bit ridiculous to be honest. The fact is that on any platform that supports Flash it's a guarantee that in almost every single case the application is going to be identical. It's going to look the same and it's going to run exactly the same way. You can't really say the same thing about Java or anything else. I don't have to worry about supporting specific platforms. I build something once and I'm done.

    I do welcome competitors, however. I'm not happy with the direction Adobe is heading in. and this nonsense of enforced advertising is just one of many problems. I fully expect this sort of thing to become prevalent whether we like it or not. Because, like I've already mentioned, Adobe now has a monopoly over the design industry. And every marketing company out there is without a doubt eager to cram advertising down our collective throats.
  • by SoVeryTired ( 967875 ) on Monday April 16, 2007 @02:25PM (#18753441)
    Just because the technology is available doesn't mean it will be adopted.

    If YouTube started displaying forced ads before their user-made videos, something tells me they'd have very sudden and very large drop in market share. It would then be in someone else's interest to start up a site without ads.
  • by ObligatoryUserName ( 126027 ) on Monday April 16, 2007 @02:29PM (#18753507) Journal
    This is much ado about nothing. The reason they can make you watch an ad before the video plays is that the Flash format is a virtual machine, not just a video format. This has been possible for as long as Flash has been around, and if YouTube had wanted to do something like this there has been nothing stopping them. It sounds like this product is just a common API or a new content creation UI that doesn't require Flash or Flex.

    Mochi Media has been offering a service for ads like this for the past 5 months, but it's being used mostly for casual games.
  • The BBC is reporting that Adobe is releasing new player software which will allow websites that use their Flash video player (such as YouTube) to force viewers to watch ads [CC] before the video they selected will play.

    [makes mental note not to update Flash anymore]
  • by OakLEE ( 91103 ) on Monday April 16, 2007 @02:34PM (#18753593)
    I hate ads as much as the next guy, but seriously, I do not get what is with all the bitching and moaning about *GASP* having to watch ads before you view some video content.

    First, a lot of websites like ESPN and CNN already do this, so this I fail to see how this is big news.

    Second, how is this different from TV?

    Third, as much as we would like to ignore it, maintaining a websites and producing content cost money. Even good old Slashdot relies on ad revenue to stay afloat. Like TV, the only other choice we have is a pay-for-content scheme, and personally, I'd rather deal with ads then have to maintain subscriptions to the 20 or so websites I visit regularly. You can't have your cake and eat it too.

    Here's some advice for you ad-challenged people. Get Adblock; it blocks 90% of the ads you'll ever have the potential to see. For the other 10%, just ignore them or surf another website until they are over. You may be forced to sit through the ad, but your not forced to pay attention to it.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ^_^x ( 178540 )
      Compare this with movie theatres.
      It's no problem if you have to watch an ad or two before the feature right?

      Well, how about when you pay $15 to see a movie - for that price you should get a DVD on your way out - and then you have to sit through 15-20 min. of ads? Ads to subsidize... the poor theatre that's barely making a ton of money hand over fist for admissions and $3 candy bars anyway?

      It's greedy. It's arrogant. It's a waste of my time, and I refuse to put up with it.
  • by mr micawber ( 803118 ) * on Monday April 16, 2007 @02:41PM (#18753723)
    Journalism requires money to pay for bandwidth and salaries for reporters, editors etc. Although many aspects of DRM are problematic, especially with entertainment, some balance must be achieved between the need of news gathering organizations' need to create revenue and the public's access to good journalism. Paper advertising (how the NYT and others fund much of their web production), foundation funding / individual contributions (think PBS) and taxes (BBC) can only go so far. I anticipate a lot of dogmatic rejection of reasonable advertising schemes in this thread. I think it is detrimental to solving the larger question of how we will get decent coverage of world news in the long run.
  • by olddoc ( 152678 ) on Monday April 16, 2007 @02:59PM (#18753987)
    Don't be surprised when the next spec of HDMI/HDCP requres monitors to sense the presence of people.
    Movies could be bundled with DRM that limits viewers to 4 and would shut off the display if a group
    of 6 people were sensed. Youtube could require the display to sense the presence of a person during
    the ad or the video won't play. No more reaching for a snack while the ad plays!

    You read it here on Slashdot first!

  • by tji ( 74570 ) on Monday April 16, 2007 @03:27PM (#18754411)
    Well, it won't take me long to decide whether to view those or not..

    Am I the only one that hates the move to video everywhere on the Internet? If I wanted video, I would watch TV. I get news from the Internet because I can at a glance decide which item I want more information on, of the dozens of items listed, and I can skim it or look through the whole thing based on my interest. With video, you lose all that. And, on the odd occasion I do check the video, I'm shocked at the low quality people are willing to put up with.

    When I go to, half the stories linked there are to videos. If I go to, it automatically loads a video advertisement and starts playing it (don't check at work, the audio blasting from your PC alerts everyone within 30 feet that you're goofing off). A good percentage of the links at are video (and a high percentage of the rest is garbage).

    No thanks. I already use flashblock, to avoid most videos and advertisements. I also changed my site viewing habits to avoid primarily video sites.

...there can be no public or private virtue unless the foundation of action is the practice of truth. - George Jacob Holyoake