that was fast. It was only last week that Apple
decided to play nice with Adobe and open up its APIs to
allow low-level access to hardware acceleration. Adobe had long
complained that a lack of access to core APIs for hardware
acceleration was the reason for poor performance of Flash Player on
Adobe Labs is showcasing a new
pre-release of Flash Player 10.1 "Gala" for OS X
that supports hardware acceleration of H.264 video
content. Gala takes
advantage of hardware acceleration on Mac computers with NVIDIA
GeForce 9400M, GeForce 320M, or GeForce GT 330M GPUs.
explains the importance of hardware acceleration with the following
video professionals point out that access to hardware video decoding
is the single most important factor in overall CPU load when playing
video. Mac OS X 10.6.3, which became available on March 29, 2010, is
the first Mac OS X release to expose APIs that support H.264 hardware
video decoding in the browser. The combination of NVIDIA GPUs
(GeForce 9400M, GeForce 320M or GeForce GT 330M) with the Gala
version of Flash Player enables supported Macs running the current
version of OS X to deliver smooth, flicker-free HD video with
substantially decreased power consumption. Users will be able to
enjoy a much smoother viewing experience when accessing rich, H.264
video content built with the Flash Platform from popular sites like
Hulu.com or YouTube.
Tinic Uro has a little
more insight on Gala on his blog including the revelation
that hardware acceleration was included in previous betas of Flash
Player 10.1, but it simply wasn't enabled. Uro explains:
some have noticed, previous release candidates we have made available
on labs.adobe.com referenced this hardware decoding API provided by
Apple. We are not in a position yet to enable this by default (hence
the extra beta version we are making available) as this has only seen
very limited testing by the engineers. Because of some of the issues
I mentioned above, we want to put the hardware acceleration
functionality through a full public beta cycle before including it in
a final shipping version of Flash Player.
not be incorporated into the initial release of Flash Player 10.1
this summer. Instead, it will be available as a download some time
after Flash Player 10.1 is made widely available. Adobe also notes
that CPU utilization is reduced by up to two-thirds when compared to
previous release candidate versions of Flash Player 10.1.
Currently, Gala will
only operate on OS X 10.6.3 and only supports hardware decoding for
H.264. You can access the direct download of Gala here [DMG].
quote: But putting it on the gpu is only a partial fix to a much larger problem.
quote: Now people with crappy computers can stop whining about Flash.