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Flash-converting iPhone Skyfire browser to be released in 'batches'

post #1 of 25
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After initial demand for the Skyfire for iPhone app, a browser that converts Flash videos, overwhelmed the company's servers, Skyfire has announced that it will release the app in 'batches.'

Skyfire CEO Jeff Glueck notified interested customers on the company's blog Friday.

"We are going to open batches of downloads for new users over the coming days," Glueck wrote. "The first batch will be in a few minutes on the Apple App Store. It will be first come, first serve."

The post advises users experiencing initial congestion after downloading the app to "try again an hour later" after the flood of a new batch of users has passed. New batches will be announced by the company on Twitter and Facebook, with batches expected to arrive more frequently over the coming days.

On Tuesday, news that Apple had approved the Skyfire for iPhone app spread so quickly that, when Skyfire was released on Wednesday, the company was forced to pull the app just 5 hours. After the app mysteriously disappeared from the App Store, users expressed concern that Apple had removed it, but Skyfire clarified the situation with a post to the company's blog.

"We are effectively sold out and will temporarily not accept new purchases from the App Store," read the post.

Skyfire for iOS, which is actually "a tool that works on top of mobile Safari," converts Flash videos on the web to HTML5 on its own servers, then sends the video to its browser app. The app does not work with the TV streaming site Hulu or Flash games, which require interactivity.

The Skyfire Flash workaround could be a boon for iOS users, though a recent study showed that HTML5 adoption has increased, reducing the need for an iOS-based Flash solution. According to MeFeedia, as of October, 54 percent of H.264 video on the web is available for HTML5 playback, compared to just 10 percent availability in January.

Starting with the MacBook Air, Apple began shipping its Macs without Adobe's Flash plugin installed, ostensibly to ensure that users get "the most up to date and secure version," which they will have to download from Adobe directly. After Ars Technica's MacBook air battery tests with and without Flash installed revealed a 2 hour drop in battery life when surfing the web with Flash, speculation arose that battery performance was also a factor in Apple's decision to ship the MacBook Air without the Flash plugin installed.

Apple and Adobe have been at odds with each other this year, with the company's CEOs engaging in a heated war of words. Apple CEO Steve Jobs published a letter blaming Flash as the No. 1 cause of crashes on the Mac. Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen responded that the fault lies with "the Apple operating system."\t
post #2 of 25
The app works fine, but most sites that I visit are iOS friendly. Flash isn't a big deal to me but it's nice to have an app that let's me watch some flash videos. Especially when I view live videos on Ustream.
post #3 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The Skyfire Flash workaround could be a boon for iOS users, though a recent study showed that HTML5 adoption has increased, reducing the need for an iOS-based Flash solution. According to MeFeedia, as of October, 54 percent of H.264 video on the web is available for HTML5 playback, compared to just 10 percent availability in January.

I don't know why anyone cares about Flash video at this point. I finally started converting my videos, all 16 of them, to x264. I have a nice html5 player which I integrated into my dynamic Flash video page. It sniffs the browser and the plugins and automatically serves up the html5 version if the browser can play it. I have yet to convert my videos to ogg but I plan to for my FF users. Handbrake does a pretty good job of converting flv to mp4. A couple of them crashed HB but I have the original mov files so I can go get those for the few that HB can't convert.

From my tests with all things being equal HTML uses 19% CPU and the identical video in Flash uses 38%.

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post #4 of 25
As soon as I saw they approved it, after I thought "No effing way" I thought, "What's the point?"

Like the poster above, a lot of websites I visit are iOS friendly. It seems that folks know that more and more people will be browsing sites on tiny devices rather than computers. Flash is fine, but why not open it up for everyone without an extra plug in? Apple didn't kill Flash, HTML5 killed Flash. At this point, Skyfire is just a high point on the Titanic...
post #5 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

I don't know why anyone cares about Flash video at this point. I finally started converting my videos, all 16 of them, to x264. I have a nice html5 player which I integrated into my dynamic Flash video page. It sniffs the browser and the plugins and automatically serves up the html5 version if the browser can play it. I have yet to convert my videos to ogg but I plan to for my FF users. Handbrake does a pretty good job of converting flv to mp4. A couple of them crashed HB but I have the original mov files so I can go get those for the few that HB can't convert.

From my tests with all things being equal HTML uses 19% CPU and the identical video in Flash uses 38%.

FfmpegX works great, but it does require a little more effort to setup the first time. Ive used this in the past to convert FLV to whatever.
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post #6 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

FfmpegX works great, but it does require a little more effort to setup the first time. Ive used this in the past to convert FLV to whatever.

That is what I would normally use but I was converting a couple DVDs and I thought - Does HB convert flv? So I went to their about page and it said it converts from all kinds of sources so I tried it and was pleasantly surprised. It was really fast and convenient so I used that method. The hard part is getting the JS code working correctly to play it with the video controls.

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post #7 of 25
if you have too much demand... either do something about it ( lease some famr space ) or raise your prices. What am I missing here?
post #8 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

That is what I would normally use but I was converting a couple DVDs and I thought - Does HB convert flv? So I went to their about page and it said it converts from all kinds of sources so I tried it and was pleasantly surprised. It was really fast and convenient so I used that method. The hard part is getting the JS code working correctly to play it with the video controls.

When HandBrake removed AVI/XviD from their app I had hoped that more videos being posted to newsgroups and torrent sites* would get more x264 encoded videos. But that hasnt been the case.


* The only way to get all those great UK shows in the US.
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post #9 of 25
Don't bother- it doesn't work too well.
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Originally Posted by Granmastak: Labor unions managed to kill manufacturing a long time ago with their unreasonable demands. Now the people they were trying to protect, are out of a job.
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post #10 of 25
release in "batches"? bahaha...


what a lame manufactured publicity stunt. The fact that the media is even buying into it just goes to show how dumb the media is.
post #11 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacRR View Post

release in "batches"? bahaha

what a lame manufactured publicity stunt. The fact that the media is even buying into it just goes to show how dumb the media is.

There is nothing dumb about their reason to pull the app from the store and to sell in batches.

As much we want to believe that the internet allows for unlimited resources that simply isnt the case. Every page search not only has to go through Skyfires servers, but also has to convert (read: process) all data going through their servers. If you think this can scale indefinitely without any ill affects to the end user then perhaps you need to revisit your statement about being dumb.
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post #12 of 25
Brilliant idea + no business plan = Fail. These guys are complete losers if they didn't plan for their own success.

And once they reach a saturation point and the money stops flowing in, how are they going to continue to pay for all that server hosting? Enjoy it while it lasts, folks, because it won't last long.

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post #13 of 25
At first I thought it was just a bootstrap company that would of course have issues with the cash to build out infrastructure. Looking at the site I see VC's all over the team page. Come on VC's, cough up the cash to get some servers.
post #14 of 25
The app has bad ratings and according to those who purchased it, it does not function well. Besides, who cares at this point, site developers are dumping Flash videos in hordes.
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post #15 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacRR View Post

release in "batches"? bahaha...


what a lame manufactured publicity stunt. The fact that the media is even buying into it just goes to show how dumb the media is.

LOL. my thoughts exactly. They're not selling physical objects that require manufacturing. Yes, servers have limited memory, bandwidth, etc., but the preferred solution is to increase capacity not force people to wait for "batches."

Maybe Apple has replaced all of it's XServes with Mac Minis in its data centers

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #16 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

LOL. my thoughts exactly. They're not selling physical objects that require manufacturing. Yes, servers have limited memory, bandwidth, etc., but the preferred solution is to increase capacity not force people to wait for "batches."

Maybe Apple has replaced all of it's XServes with Mac Minis in its data centers

it's not apple's servers that are the problem, it's Skyfire's servers. They need to convert videos to H.264 on the fly and serve them on their server so that they can display in the browser. That's a pretty heavy load for their servers. One that would seem difficult to scale.
post #17 of 25
Just notice that the skyfire app is back in the App Store..
post #18 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by alandail View Post

it's not apple's servers that are the problem, it's Skyfire's servers. They need to convert videos to H.264 on the fly and serve them on their server so that they can display in the browser. That's a pretty heavy load for their servers. One that would seem difficult to scale.

It's da porn, people. Come on. You know I'm right. Gonna download it and try s***load.com (NSFW) (the three stars do not stand for h-i-t if you're wondering).

Edit: Couldn't be bothered LOL.
post #19 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacRR View Post

release in "batches"? bahaha...


what a lame manufactured publicity stunt. The fact that the media is even buying into it just goes to show how dumb the media is.

it isn't like this not having enough product to fill demand thing is new or anything.
What I got... 15" i7 w/8 gigs ram,iPad2 64gig wifi, 2.0 mac mini, 2.0 17" imac, appleTv, Still running my old G4 466 upgraded to 1.2GHz maxed ram as a pro tools machine, and 2 iphones.
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What I got... 15" i7 w/8 gigs ram,iPad2 64gig wifi, 2.0 mac mini, 2.0 17" imac, appleTv, Still running my old G4 466 upgraded to 1.2GHz maxed ram as a pro tools machine, and 2 iphones.
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post #20 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by mgl323 View Post

Just notice that the skyfire app is back in the App Store..

Thanks for the information.
post #21 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by alandail View Post

it's not apple's servers that are the problem, it's Skyfire's servers. They need to convert videos to H.264 on the fly and serve them on their server so that they can display in the browser. That's a pretty heavy load for their servers. One that would seem difficult to scale.

I stand corrected

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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post #22 of 25
Flash is becoming less important to everyday consumers of content. Adobe is realizing this as well with their html5 conversion tools. Flash clearly kills battery life on both computers and mobile devices, and to be honest, the only thing I care about flash for is HULU and streaming television, and I cant watch that on mobile devices anyway. Asj your everyday smartphone user, and they will have no clue what flash even is. They know some sites do not work, but they could not tell you why. With Once there are more html5 publishing tools, we will no longer be downloading apps like Skyfire. The major sites are onboard with HTML5 or creating native apps to give access to content. Getting rid of flash will be better for everyone on mobile devices and laptops, as it will get rid of the need for plug-ins save battery, and allow any device and platform access to the same content. This will honestly save time for all of the developers and will give all users a more consistant experience across devices. I appreciate that Apple took a stand on flash. If Adobe had started creating a better mobile experience for flash when the iPhone came out in 2007, we would not be having this conversation today. Adobe has always been stubborn about adopting new technology and I honestly think they are lazy as developers.

The creative suite is a perfect example as it has become so bloated, requiring huge system resources and large amounts of HDD space.
post #23 of 25
Not worth wasting money.

If developers can't deliver their content to my device, then I'm not particularly interested, I'll go somewhere that does.
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post #24 of 25
I bought this app as soon as it was available but it needs serious work.

I love the iPhone, it has totally changed my Internet and picture-taking life. I like to use shredders to soothe my hectic life, its like I'm a baby and the paper shredding is my warm milk.

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I love the iPhone, it has totally changed my Internet and picture-taking life. I like to use shredders to soothe my hectic life, its like I'm a baby and the paper shredding is my warm milk.

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post #25 of 25
converting on mac may be easily done with http://www.macvide.com/Macvide_FlashVideo_Converter/
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