Macromedia created a software as a platform for using content created on its Platform and named it Flash Player. The software was released in 1996 and became Adobe Flash Player after Macromedia was acquired by Adobe Systems. It has thereafter been developed and distributed by Adobe Systems.
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It is a multimedia software platform for rendering and playing games, animations, rich internet applications, and applications for desktops and mobiles. Streaming of both audio and video can be carried out using the software. The software can take inputs from mouse, keyboard, and microphone and camera unit. It can either be used as a standalone player or as a plug in for browsers. Flash has been used by content providers to showcase advertising, interactive contents and play videos and audios. It has been very popular in 2000s and was extensively used on desktop computers. YouTube was launched using Flash software. The latest versions of Flash Player supports all the 64 bit browsers. The player delivers a user friendly performance which has made it very popular.
Adobe Flash Player supports all Microsoft Windows Operating systems and other operating systems such as Linux and iOS. There are three versions of Flash Player available, namely “Active X”, “Plug –in” and “Projector”.
Adobe Flash Player plug-in comes bundled with Google Chrome, and it is not required to be downloaded and installed separately. There is requirement to download and install the Flash Player separately for other internet browsers. The older version of Flash Player has to be uninstalled before the latest version can be installed on some browsers but now automatic updater versions are also available.
Efficiency and Performance
Flash which started out as a simple animation program about 20 years ago has evolved into a full-fledged development platform for interactive apps on the Web. Flash Player now has extraordinary performance and efficiency. During its evolution phase of last 20 years, a number of bugs and problems were identified and fixed in the software. This long phase of evolution has made it more versatile, user friendly and stable. For high performance and better user satisfaction, it has been recommended that the latest version of the software should be used. The player is user friendly and easy to download and install. It works efficiently across all platforms like, desktops, mobiles and internet. It is required to be developed once and thereafter deployed across various platforms.
Flash Players have been accused of suffering from following shortfalls:-
- High Bandwidth Usage. The software uses very high bandwidth as it carries out complicated tasks in the background. This leads to loss of speed and adversely affects the overall performance of the systems.
- Many Versions. There are many versions of Flash available at any time. The users are unable to confirm whether they are using the latest version or not.
- Not an Open Source software. Since Flash has not made source codes open, the use of Flash leads to vendor dependence. Complete source code of Flash Player is not available for free software development.