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Flash playback issues reported on Apple's new 27-inch iMacs

post #1 of 107
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Some users of the new 27-inch iMac have expressed issues with the hardware, specifically stuttering when playing back Flash content on Apple's new desktop system.

As first noted by Engadget, two threads (1, 2) on the Apple Discussions support forums are filled with users who claim that Flash-based content on the Web makes processor use on the new 27-inch iMac spike, and the video becomes choppy.

Theories on why the issue exists are wide, with posters suggesting it could be the Flash player software, Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, or the computer's hardware. A number of users noted that running Flash videos in Windows 7 via Boot Camp allowed playback with no slowdowns, suggesting the problem could be Snow Leopard related.

By viewing the system's activity monitor, the spike in CPU and RAM usage is reportedly attributed to the Flash player, and system restarts provide only a temporary fix for some. Some users have temporarily addressed the problem by installing the ClickToFlash plugin to prevent default loading of Flash content on Web sites, and render it through HTML5.

The new 27-inch iMac can be equipped with an ATI Radeon HD 4670 or ATI Radeon HD 4850 discrete graphics card, as well as a 3.06 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 2.66 GHz Intel Core i5 quad-core, or a 2.8 GHz Intel Core i7 quad-core processor.



Following the release of Snow Leopard, it was revealed that the operating system upgrade shipped with an oudated version of the Adobe Flash player. The issue was addressed by Apple with the release of Mac OS X 10.6.1, less than two weeks after the launch of Snow Leopard.

post #2 of 107
Flash on Mac OS X sucks hard.

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Which of us is the fisherman and which the trout?

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post #3 of 107
This unfortunately is to be expected, especially when a piece of hardware has gone through a major overhaul. Anything significantly complex is going to have wrinkles that need to be ironed out.

What would be interesting is finding out what the root cause is. In any event I hope Appleinsider has future plans to rigorously bench mark on of the I based machines. I'm bery interested to hear about any thermal throttling issues these machines may have.


Dave
post #4 of 107
I wonder if apple is trying to tell us something
Addicted to a Mac since the Mac Plus
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Addicted to a Mac since the Mac Plus
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post #5 of 107
Funny. As always, there is some issue with a new hardware revision. Oh well, I am sure they will correct it.
post #6 of 107
I understand the complaints that "flash sucks on the Mac", but I would have expected that by now, the issue would have been resolved.

PCs don't seem to have a problem with flash-based content, so why is it still such an issue with Mac systems years after the fact. Now, it's just getting ridiculous.

Now before people start aiming their guns at me -- yes, flash in general is not exactly the most loved standard on the web, but that STILL does not excuse years and years and YEARS of craptacular playback on Macs.

That being said, I don't know who's more to blame, Apple or Adobe.
post #7 of 107
I'd blame Adobe and/or lack of Apple-Adobe communication. Another example, right now you have to run Snow Leopard's Safari in 32-bit mode if you want to use the Adobe Reader plugin for PDFs (necessary to get some fill-in forms to display and print properly). Adobe's not keeping up.
post #8 of 107
I've actually experienced some pretty poor Flash performance on my new Macbook Pro

My guess is two fold:
1. Flash on OS X sucks
2. Apple is pissed about Flash being so poorly built that they're refusing to spend dev hours fixing issues they run into with it - OR it's simply very, very low on their priority list.
post #9 of 107
You are going to reference an Engadget article? They don't know what they are talking about, pretty much ever. Anyway this is not a new issue. the exact same thing happens on other Macs. It is fixed by uninstalling Flash using the Flash uninstaller, rebooting and reinstalling Flash player.
post #10 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

In any event I hope Appleinsider has future plans to rigorously bench mark on of the I based machines. I'm bery interested to hear about any thermal throttling issues these machines may have.

AI isn’t the best site for benchmarking reviews. I wish they would consolidate a bunch of the more reputable sites results into an article, like they do with analysts.


PS: As an aside, you and others may find this article and comparison interesting. It’s a very good comparison of pre-loaded crapeware that comes on all the major PC vendors machines.

http://www.pcpro.co.uk/features/352927/the-crapware-con
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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post #11 of 107
that's a shame
post #12 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magic_Al View Post

I'd blame Adobe and/or lack of Apple-Adobe communication. Another example, right now you have to run Snow Leopard's Safari in 32-bit mode if you want to use the Adobe Reader plugin for PDFs (necessary to get some fill-in forms to display and print properly). Adobe's not keeping up.

That's exactly what it is. Jobs has admitted that he admires Microsoft's ability to work well with others. Apple is one of those companies that doesn't like to conform, and likes to do things their own way. This might be the cause of both their great products, but horrible partnering skills.

This should be fixed, definitely, but it should raise some good discussions on the topic as well.
post #13 of 107
by default, Safari runs in 64bit mode in Snow Leopard. the flash plugin has no 64bit version so there's some conflict happening.

if you run Safari in 32bit mode (get info on Safari in the finder and check "run in 32bit mode" these flash issues will be RESOLVED.

I discovered this a few weeks ago, I'm a flash developer and actually rarely use Safari and had the exact issues being described here.
post #14 of 107
ZOMG Flash on OS X Sucks???? Stop the presses!

Wait... hasn't flash always sucked? What's the news here?

We all know Flash is one of the worst things on OS X, Adobe is basically incompetent and unable to make any of their software work decently on the Mac platform.
post #15 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mazda 3s View Post

PCs don't seem to have a problem with flash-based content, so why is it still such an issue with Mac systems years after the fact. Now, it's just getting ridiculous.
.

Unfortunately only Adobe has the power to fix this problem. This is exactly why we shouldn't be relying on a closed source platform for a core Internet standard. Adobe ignored Flash on Linux for years and finally in the last 12-18 months has given it some attention. Now it's quite good. Flash on the Mac is a distant third in terms of performance and stability.
post #16 of 107
I bet this is all happening because they didn't include Blu-Ray in the new iMac's. And not having matte makes viewing Flash ads a big pain



post #17 of 107
It's Flash.
post #18 of 107
Pfft!
I have experienced problems with Flash on ALL computers!
Big surprise. It's a POS that should be banished from the web.
Generally I find that the problems most closely correlate to the limitations of the server, bandwidth problems, or poor implementation of the controls in the web site.
Of course this is independent of any temporary problems that may be occurring with the new iMac.
post #19 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by beg View Post

We all know Flash is one of the worst things on OS X, Adobe is basically incompetent and unable to make any of their software work decently on the Mac platform.

Photoshop is alright :-)

I would definitely call this an adobe issue. You can't try it on OS X and then on Windows, and conclude it's an OS X issue...the adobe flash code for those 2 platforms is probably significantly different.
post #20 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by fishstick_kitty View Post

he adobe flash code for those 2 platforms is significantly different.

Corrected
post #21 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by diskimage View Post

I wonder if apple is trying to tell us something

Hopefully it isn't the day of things just working are over.
post #22 of 107
There are a significant number of technical issues with Flash and 64 bit Mac OS X. Most of these can be attributed to the fact that the Flash Plugin is 32 bit only, and a lot of the OS under 10.6 runs 64 bit.

Apple had to pull off some fairly complex engineering trickery to host 32 bit Flash in 64 bit webkit / Safari. Flash actually runs "out of process" in its own 32 bit process space - the upside to this being that if Flash crashes it does not take down the entire browser just itself. The downside, there is significant overhead passing bits back and forward to let Flash Draw inside webkits 64 bit image space. And surprise - there are some bugs too.

Some of the bugs are being addressed by Apple in upcoming OS patches, but Adobe is incredibly opaque as far a timeframe for a 64 bit flash plugin for mac goes...

Its not clear why this would be a 27" iMac issue in particular, but there are a LOT of issue still to be addressed in the 64 bit OS.
post #23 of 107
I can't seem to get ANY virtual machine to run for long before they begin to use 100% of one of my CPUs. I've tried VMWare Fusion, Parallels, and Virtual Box. All seem to eventually max my CPU and stop working or work VERY slowely. I have to resort to booting into my Boot Camp partition to work in Windows XP. I only need XP to use Remote Desktop Connection for remote connection to work. Does anyone know of a MAC client I can use for this, that supports Terminal Services Gateway?
post #24 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by DESuserIGN View Post

Pfft!
I have experienced problems with Flash on ALL computers!
Big surprise. It's a POS that should be banished from the web.
Generally I find that the problems most closely correlate to the limitations of the server, bandwidth problems, or poor implementation of the controls in the web site.
Of course this is independent of any temporary problems that may be occurring with the new iMac.

LOL....The light bulb just went on for me in a small sense....Flash has about 93% penetration on the web which probably accounts for millions of computers, but, you have experienced problems with Flash on ALL computers....the data says to me that ALL your computers are crappy...LOL

Adobe has an extremely talented group of programmers...they know whats going on, CS5 allows for Flash developers to create native iPhone apps that can be posted to the app store...this is Huge! With your mentality, you'd probably say were gonna get crappy apps, but remember, there are already many crappy apps posted to the app store....so don't continue your blind bias in the future and stereotype all bad iPhone apps to Flash...but good news for you, you won't be able to buy a crappy iPhone like the crappy computers you bought in the past.
post #25 of 107
"Flash on Mac OS X sucks hard."

I think you could shorten that to 'Flash sucks hard' and be done with it
post #26 of 107
The Flash plugin is pretty slow and unstable. When somewhere in a tab or in a window flash "locks" You can only close Safari and reopen it. Otherwise you'll see all cores "at the limit".

My "solution" was to install ClickToFlash (actual 1.6b2 64Bit) in order to avoid some animations running in the background. Additionally You can play the h.264 version of a video if it's available on e.g. Youtube.

I hope flash 10.1 will be better. I really understand that Apple doesn't like to have flash on the iPhone at the moment.

Before my switch to the Mac I even developed some small Flash Projects and I loved it.

Today I reinstalled my CS3 because I installed a SSD in my MBP.
I disabled Flash in the install options...

I really hope Adobe and Apple can work together on this "long term issue".

But in this case I think there's an additional problem with some drivers especially those of the new ATI 4670. A lot of reports seem to point on this.
post #27 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by tundraBuggy View Post

so don't continue your blind bias in the future and stereotype all bad iPhone apps to Flash...

It's not that all bad iPhone apps will have been created using Flash, but I expect most Flash based iPhone Apps to be bad, assuming Apple approves them. It's not like creating an iPhone app in Objective-C is rocket science, so the only reason to use Flash is because you don't know anything about creating iPhone apps and don't want to learn. Usually a recipe for a bad app.
post #28 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by heathsnow View Post

I can't seem to get ANY virtual machine to run for long before they begin to use 100% of one of my CPUs. I've tried VMWare Fusion, Parallels, and Virtual Box. All seem to eventually max my CPU and stop working or work VERY slowely. I have to resort to booting into my Boot Camp partition to work in Windows XP. I only need XP to use Remote Desktop Connection for remote connection to work. Does anyone know of a MAC client I can use for this, that supports Terminal Services Gateway?

Do you mean MS-Remote Connections? If yes, have you tried the MS tool?

http://www.microsoft.com/mac/product...p/default.mspx
post #29 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

AI isn’t the best site for benchmarking reviews. I wish they would consolidate a bunch of the more reputable sites results into an article, like they do with analysts.

AI doesn't do benchmarks that I remember. They usually reference other site's benchmarks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tundraBuggy View Post

LOL....The light bulb just went on for me in a small sense....Flash has about 93% penetration on the web which probably accounts for millions of computers, but, you have experienced problems with Flash on ALL computers....the data says to me that ALL your computers are crappy...LOL

Adobe has an extremely talented group of programmers...they know whats going on, CS5 allows for Flash developers to create native iPhone apps that can be posted to the app store...this is Huge! With your mentality, you'd probably say were gonna get crappy apps, but remember, there are already many crappy apps posted to the app store....so don't continue your blind bias in the future and stereotype all bad iPhone apps to Flash...but good news for you, you won't be able to buy a crappy iPhone like the crappy computers you bought in the past.

Flash is worse on OS X, but it's inefficient on Windows too, on 3GHz Xeon computers, or any computer for that matter. If they made it more efficient, it would benefit everyone regardless of computer capabilities, more so on notebooks because loading up generates heat and drains batteries. I think flash conversion to iPhone has a chance to do pretty well, just by the fact that it has to be native code. Flash on the web is interpreted code. I understand that Adobe has talented programmers, but I think it may well be the management that won't allow those programmers put much time into making their plug-in code interpreter more efficient.
post #30 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

It's not that all bad iPhone apps will have been created using Flash, but I expect most Flash based iPhone Apps to be bad, assuming Apple approves them. It's not like creating an iPhone app in Objective-C is rocket science, so the only reason to use Flash is because you don't know anything about creating iPhone apps and don't want to learn. Usually a recipe for a bad app.

Not necessarily true...and unfortunately your thoughts on this are not only arrogant, but also ignorant. Personally, I program for microcontrollers and DSP devices using assembler and the HiTech C compiler.....the Flash model is an incredible approach because it allows you to handle graphical timeline based movies as objects within the environment. Being able to animate all of your graphics within a timeline and then encapsulate it and furthermore abstract it into the object -oriented realm is really a joy to work with. In a sense, it is much like the Xcode/Interface Builder model.

You have not even seen what someone might develop for the iPhone using Flash, so how can you make such a biased assumption. There are some incredible Flash programmers and Flash creations, unfortunately, you have made your decision about Flash based on bad ads and websites.
post #31 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by drdb View Post

"Flash on Mac OS X sucks hard."

I think you could shorten that to 'Flash sucks hard' and be done with it

I guess I could.

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post #32 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by tundraBuggy View Post

You have not even seen what someone might develop for the iPhone using Flash, so how can you make such a biased assumption.

It's not arrogant or a biased assumption at all, and it has nothing to do with the fact that they are specifically Flash developers.

Just look at all the horrible ports of software from one platform to another where the developers can't be bothered to learn native development but use some sort of porting tool, or learn the bare minimum and just do a transliteration from one platform to another. Not learning and understanding the platform you are developing on and it's native API is always a recipe for disaster, just like not learning and understanding French would be a disaster when translating, say, Shakespeare's Sonnets from English to French, but just running it through a translation tool. The author was obviously quite talented, and they are great literature in English, but I don't think the resulting French version would be well received.
post #33 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by tundraBuggy View Post

you have made your decision about Flash based on bad ads and websites.

OK, show me good ads and websites, maybe it's just me living in another universe.

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post #34 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Some users of the new 27-inch iMac have expressed issues with the hardware, specifically stuttering when playing back Flash content on Apple's new desktop system.

Of course, for those using ClickToFlash, this won't really be a problem at all.
post #35 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by fishstick_kitty View Post

Photoshop is alright :-) ...

I used to be in this camp (Adobe is generally crap but PhotoShop is okay), but I don't think even this is true anymore.

Even the simplest jobs in Photoshop change workflows completely from version to version. Try to make a Targa file with an alpha channel. The process in CS2 fails in CS3 until you figure out how to do it the "new way," then that way fails in CS4 until you figure out the "new new" way.

I'm also really getting frustrated by the continued refusal to use standard Apple shortcuts. "Cmd-H" hides every Mac application except Adobe's apps, "Cmd-0" sets every Mac application to "actual pixel size" except Adobe's stuff. And the list is a lot longer than that. It's just infuriating nonsense IMO.

It's still got a slight edge on it's competitors like Pixelmator, but PhotoShop really a confusing pile of dog doo-doo at this point. And that's speaking from someone who's used it since version 2.0 on an almost daily basis (well weekly anyway).

The first real good alternative that comes along I'm jumping ship.
post #36 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magic_Al View Post

I'd blame Adobe and/or lack of Apple-Adobe communication. Another example, right now you have to run Snow Leopard's Safari in 32-bit mode if you want to use the Adobe Reader plugin for PDFs (necessary to get some fill-in forms to display and print properly). Adobe's not keeping up.

Unless you are running bare bones though, you have to run Safari in 32 bit mode anyway. I can't think of a single plug-in that's 64 bit yet. So if you have any at all, you need to go 32 bit.
post #37 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by heathsnow View Post

I can't seem to get ANY virtual machine to run for long before they begin to use 100% of one of my CPUs. I've tried VMWare Fusion, Parallels, and Virtual Box. All seem to eventually max my CPU and stop working or work VERY slowely. I have to resort to booting into my Boot Camp partition to work in Windows XP. I only need XP to use Remote Desktop Connection for remote connection to work. Does anyone know of a MAC client I can use for this, that supports Terminal Services Gateway?

All I can say is it shouldn't do this. I use VMWare and it doesn't exhibit this behaviour at all. I've never seen it on anyone else's installation of VMWare either.
post #38 of 107
Had the new 27" iMac for a week now with no problems, flash or otherwise. In fact, I just got an EyeTv adapter yesterday and now use it as a television too!
post #39 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by cinder View Post

I've actually experienced some pretty poor Flash performance on my new Macbook Pro

My guess is two fold:
1. Flash on OS X sucks

Yes and it sucks even more on Linux. Clearly ADOBE doesn't care.
Quote:
2. Apple is pissed about Flash being so poorly built that they're refusing to spend dev hours fixing issues they run into with it - OR it's simply very, very low on their priority list.

It really isn't up to Apple to fix! the code is owned and supported by ADOBE, if you want better Flash on the Mac you have to convince ADOBE that it is in their best interest to put some effort into it.

As a long time Linux user there is a better way though. Simply don't use Flash! That may be shocking to some but you can get traction if you make a point to E-Mail business sites with unacceptable amounts of Flash content. Simply tell them they are loosing money, due to the use of questionable amounts of Flash on their web site. That should quickly lead to at least a minimization of Flash content on their site.

Carbon copy ADOBE while you are at it. There is nothing worst for a company than seeing its revenue streams dry up.

Dave
post #40 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by ranson View Post

Had the new 27" iMac for a week now with no problems, flash or otherwise. In fact, I just got an EyeTv adapter yesterday and now use it as a television too!

I'm wondering if this is the result of people simply not updating their machines often enough. I make it a point to run Apple update at least twice a week and do updates for other apps, plugins and the like at least once a week. Hardly a week goes by where there is not an app or something with a waiting update.

For example today I logged in and updated iTunes, the Aquamacs, Lyx and Skim. That doesn't even include the Firefox update from yesterday or the documentation update for XCode that I got yesterday.

In any event I simply haven't seen the issues described in these threads. Note that that doesn't mean people aren't having issues just that if they are they need to look into it themselves and come up with a solution. For many people ClicktoFlash is a solution, the reality even when "it works" flash sucks resources. Also I hate to say this but flash sucks on Windows too.

Dave
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