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Google Swiffy converts Flash files to iPhone-compatible HTML5  

post #1 of 47
Thread Starter 
Google on Tuesday unveiled a new experimental tool for developers called Swiffy, which converts some .SWF Flash files into HTML5 code compatible with devices like the iPhone and iPad.

Swiffy is available at Google Labs, where the search giant's engineers create experimental applications that may not be ready for primetime or intended for the masses. Using the Swiffy website, anyone can upload an SWF file and convert it to HTML5.

Swiffy supports most of the Flash 5 ActionScript specification. The output file works in all browsers based on Apple's open-source Webkit engine, which powers the Mobile Safari browser found on the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.

Also available on the site are a gallery of videos and games that have been converted to HTML5 from Flash, as well as a list of frequently asked questions. Among those questions is a query about what Adobe, the creator of Flash, thinks of Swiffy.

"Adobe is pleased to see the Flash platform extended to devices which don't support the Flash player," the site reads. "The result is that anyone creating rich or interactive ads can continue to get all the authoring benefits of Flash Pro and have the flexibility to run the ad in the Flash Player or HTML depending on what's available on the system. Google and Adobe look forward to close collaboration around efforts like these."



Google has made moves to support HTML5 in the past, including conversion of videos on the popular Web video destination YouTube. But Google also still includes Adobe Flash Player embedded in its Google Chrome browser.

The company is also pushing its own video playback format dubbed WebM over the Apple-backed H.264 format. The search company believes that its own WebM format will "enable open innovation."
post #2 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The search company believes that its own WebM format will "enable open innovation."

As opposed to H.264 MP4 which is free to license and an actual standard.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
post #3 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

As opposed to H.264 MP4 which is free to license and an actual standard.

At Google, we don't believe in standards. Who wants to use open, free software that we didn't make?
post #4 of 47
Instead of converting ads they should have made a tool to convert flash web sites to html5.
--SHEFFmachine out
Da Bears!
--SHEFFmachine out
Da Bears!
post #5 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kynmore View Post

At Google, we don't believe in standards. Who wants to use open, free software that we didn't make?

I can EASILY see that as a line in one of their pitch manuals...

Modify the wording a little bit and you have a Microsoft pitch line.

"At Microsoft, we don't believe in open source. Who wants to use open, free software that we didn't charge you for?"

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
post #6 of 47
I tried it on some screencast swf files I made. It said they weren't valid swf and didn't convert them. I didn't create the swf files with Adobe tools, maybe that's why, I don't know.
Emailing video from iPhone to Apple TV , sort of..
Emailing video from iPhone to Apple TV , sort of..
post #7 of 47
Anything for the sake of advertising, Google.
Apple had me at scrolling
Apple had me at scrolling
post #8 of 47
Quote:
The company is also pushing its own proprietary video playback format dubbed WebM

Propietary?
post #9 of 47
Come on AI, your missing the Google ball again.

While your sitting here reporting this little standard conversion everyone else is getting Google's social networking service stories up.
post #10 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gwydion View Post

Propietary?

It sure is.

It's open and free (for now) for anyone to license, use and implement, but it is still completely controlled and owned by Google who retain the rights to all implementations.
Disclaimer: The things I say are merely my own personal opinion and may or may not be based on facts. At certain points in any discussion, sarcasm may ensue.
Disclaimer: The things I say are merely my own personal opinion and may or may not be based on facts. At certain points in any discussion, sarcasm may ensue.
post #11 of 47
Of perhaps even greater interest is the fact that Google is now going all-out in their frontal assault on Facebook (they have no choice because the web is losing eyeballs to Facebook now... fewer searches = fewer ad dollars) with Google+. Now in beta and it looks like the beta is full up. Not sure they'll be able to make a dent at this stage, but then again, who remembers MySpace anymore?

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

post #12 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjtomlin View Post

It sure is.

It's open and free (for now) for anyone to license, use and implement, but it is still completely controlled and owned by Google who retain the rights to all implementations.

In case you weren't aware.
http://blog.webmproject.org/2011/04/...ity-cross.html
melior diabolus quem scies
melior diabolus quem scies
post #13 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

As opposed to H.264 MP4 which is free to license and an actual standard.

Erm, actually wrong - MP4 is not free to license due to Patents within it. From wiki


MPEG-4 contains patented technologies that require licensing in countries that acknowledge software algorithm patents. Patents covering MPEG-4 are claimed by over two dozen companies. The MPEG Licensing Authority[61] licenses patents required for MPEG-4 Part 2 Visual from a wide range of companies (audio is licensed separately) and lists all of its licensors and licensees on the site. New licenses for MPEG-4 System patents are under development[62] and no new licenses are being offered while holders of its old MPEG-4 Systems license are still covered under the terms of that license for the patents listed (MPEG LA – Patent List).
AT&T is trying to sue companies such as Apple Inc. over alleged MPEG-4 patent infringement.[63] The terms of Apple's Quicktime 7 license for users[64] describes in paragraph 14 the terms under Apple's existing MPEG-4 System Patent Portfolio license from MPEGLA


ie. MP4 contains patents that are in principle licensable under FRAND terms, but AT&T are suing for infringement, and if they win then all bets are off.

Google isn't completely nuts in pushing WebM, any more than people who insist on using PNGs are nuts for avoiding GIFs.
post #14 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjtomlin View Post

It sure is.

It's open and free (for now) for anyone to license, use and implement, but it is still completely controlled and owned by Google who retain the rights to all implementations.

BSD License, it's not propietary
post #15 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

As opposed to H.264 MP4 which is free to license and an actual standard.

Tell Apple, MS or the same Google that H.264 is free to license.
post #16 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by cloudgazer View Post

Erm, actually wrong - MP4 is not free to license due to Patents within it. From wiki


MPEG-4 contains patented technologies that require licensing in countries that acknowledge software algorithm patents. Patents covering MPEG-4 are claimed by over two dozen companies. The MPEG Licensing Authority[61] licenses patents required for MPEG-4 Part 2 Visual from a wide range of companies (audio is licensed separately) and lists all of its licensors and licensees on the site. New licenses for MPEG-4 System patents are under development[62] and no new licenses are being offered while holders of its old MPEG-4 Systems license are still covered under the terms of that license for the patents listed (MPEG LA Patent List).
AT&T is trying to sue companies such as Apple Inc. over alleged MPEG-4 patent infringement.[63] The terms of Apple's Quicktime 7 license for users[64] describes in paragraph 14 the terms under Apple's existing MPEG-4 System Patent Portfolio license from MPEGLA


ie. MP4 contains patents that are in principle licensable under FRAND terms, but AT&T are suing for infringement, and if they win then all bets are off.

Google isn't completely nuts in pushing WebM, any more than people who insist on using PNGs are nuts for avoiding GIFs.

According to the details of this suit, MPEG-LA licenses certainly aren't free:
http://www.zdnet.co.uk/news/regulati...decs-40089042/

While it's a uphill battle, I think Google's competing WebM has it's advantages.
melior diabolus quem scies
melior diabolus quem scies
post #17 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

According to the details of this suit, MPEG-LA licenses certainly aren't free:
http://www.zdnet.co.uk/news/regulati...decs-40089042/

While it's a uphill battle, I think Google's competing WebM has it's advantages.

You act as if MPEG-LA isn't going to replace H.264. They are deeply working on advancing their position technically from where they current stand.
post #18 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

You act as if MPEG-LA isn't going to replace H.264. They are deeply working on advancing their position technically from where they current stand.

Having said that, HEVC being finalized in 2013 is about a year later than it should be.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
post #19 of 47
This is a great idea, except for the fact that the current iteration has a 512K limit. So the conversion doesn't work with the single file, 999K, that I wanted to migrate.

As to the ad for ConvertMyFlash, above, their price starts at $1,500 per site. I just need a single video converted. Obviously I want a more cost-effective solution.
Peace,
Gene Steinberg
Host/Executive Producer, The Tech Night Owl LIVE
www.technightowl.com
Peace,
Gene Steinberg
Host/Executive Producer, The Tech Night Owl LIVE
www.technightowl.com
post #20 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by cloudgazer View Post

Erm, actually wrong - MP4 is not free to license due to Patents within it.

MP4 is free to license for use in web browsers, for the time being.
post #21 of 47
Size limit is 60kb short for my files. Was hoping to try this out.
post #22 of 47
Here come the HTML5 banner ads!

Here is mine

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

post #23 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Here come the HTML5 banner ads!

Here is mine

Well, if I ever need to X-ray my teeth I'll know who to come to.

Better than my Bose, better than my Skullcandy's, listening to Mozart through my LeBron James limited edition PowerBeats by Dre is almost as good as my Sennheisers.
Better than my Bose, better than my Skullcandy's, listening to Mozart through my LeBron James limited edition PowerBeats by Dre is almost as good as my Sennheisers.
post #24 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gwydion View Post

BSD License, it's not propietary

Hello - you are all confused and perpetuating an incorrect correction. It's

PROPRIETARY
post #25 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Here come the HTML5 banner ads!

Previews expire after 15 minutes? Pathetic, Clippy. I mean, Swiffy.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
post #26 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gwydion View Post

Propietary?

WebM is a 100% proprietary format controlled by Google. Just like Flash is 100% controlled by Adobe.

Don't confuse with Open.
post #27 of 47
On Topic:

I don't like this idea that if Google develops this Swiffy then everyone can go on using Flash CSx to create dynamic web content and then just port it to HTML5. Whose interests are served by that? The developers' and Adobe's, not the user. If Google want the good guy image so badly they should push HTML5 standards as the primary development environment, not the second-class one.

Whatever you think of Flash, HTML5 is just so much nicer for the end user. It doesn't burn up a Mac, it doesn't require software from one company and one company only, it doesn't require a plug-in at all. Stop pandering to Adobe and pumping steroids into the dying donkey. Let Flash die. Companies don't use Flash because it does wonderful things that can't be done any other way, they use it because it's easy. Make HTML5 easy.

There are exceptions and things on the internet that are really great that use Flash because for so long it was the only way to get really good results from vector graphics but the vast majority of Flash is advertising. Install Click2Flash and watch the adverts disappear, it's far more widespread than you think! I see a lot of photography websites done in Flash because they want slick presentation not 1990s markup, but HTML5 could meet these needs if the development tools were developed properly (see 'Hype' on the MAS for a good nascent example).

If Swiffy can bring the good Flash content to HTML5 then that's great, but it's a two-edged sword. Yes it lets iOS see this content, but it also takes the pressure of a plugin that we should all want dead.



Off-Topic but in line with the forum...:

Is whether or not something is free the only thing that matters? H.264 works, it gives beautiful results and it's widely supported and hardware-accelerated. It is a sensibly, professionally-developed standard. If people who go to work every day to develop a great piece of technology have to take a pay check home to feed their kids, that's ok in my world.

I loathe this 'free is everything' mentality and this ridiculous notion that if you make something 'open' you are the good guy fighting the Sherif of Nottingham. I get really fed up of new-age hippies who naïvely think the software needs of a 21st century world can be met by students in their bedrooms or 45-year-old men living with their mothers.

I'd infinitely rather the successor to H.264 be developed by experts being paid what experts cost. The internet doesn't exist outside of the realities that have governed the talent market for thousands of years. Talented people who have put themselves through college want to be paid commensurately and that's just life.

Google isn't developing WebM for the good of humanity. It's doing it to avoid paying fees to anyone and if AI are to be believed the codec is littered with other companies' proprietary code anyway and will probably incur a lawsuit or ten.

I just don't trust Google. Apple have their faults, but there's just something sinister about Google that doesn't sit well with me. I don't want the internet controlled by this company.
post #28 of 47
"The result is that anyone creating rich or interactive ads..."

Great. The best thing about not having flash is I don't have to see so many crappy ads. Now I'm gonna get more ads while still missing out on the few flash sites that actually do something worthwhile.
post #29 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by daiei27 View Post

"The result is that anyone creating rich or interactive ads..."

Great. The best thing about not having flash is I don't have to see so many crappy ads. Now I'm gonna get more ads while still missing out on the few flash sites that actually do something worthwhile.

Go get ghostery. It doesn't just block Flash ads, it blocks them all. It analyses the scripts that almost all ads have especially if they are from an ad distributor and it kills the script. You won't even see a gray box.

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

post #30 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonamac View Post

On Topic:

I don't like this idea that if Google develops this Swiffy then everyone can go on using Flash CSx to create dynamic web content and then just port it to HTML5. Whose interests are served by that? The developers' and Adobe's, not the user. If Google want the good guy image so badly they should push HTML5 standards as the primary development environment, not the second-class one.


The only thing Google is interested in pushing is their ads, in front of as many eyeballs as possible, that is their core business and they aggressively defend it.

All the "open" marketing bullsh*t is just frills to dress up their real agenda.
Better than my Bose, better than my Skullcandy's, listening to Mozart through my LeBron James limited edition PowerBeats by Dre is almost as good as my Sennheisers.
Better than my Bose, better than my Skullcandy's, listening to Mozart through my LeBron James limited edition PowerBeats by Dre is almost as good as my Sennheisers.
post #31 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by noirdesir View Post

MP4 is free to license for use in web browsers, for the time being.

Sure it's free for those who make browsers.

But if you want to share your work which was encoded with h.264 on a subscription-based site or for a fee...
Quote:
...you have two options: a one-time payment of $2,500 per AVC transmission encoder or an annual fee starting at $2,500 per calendar year per Broadcast Markets of at least 100,000 but no more than 499,999 television households, $5,000 per calendar year per Broadcast Market which includes at least 500,000 but no more than 999,999 television households, and $10,000 per calendar year per Broadcast Market which includes at 1,000,000 or more television households.

http://www.streaminglearningcenter.c...d-to-know.html

More info:
http://www.mpegla.com/main/programs/...Agreement.aspx

This is why the EULA for Final Cut Pro includes:

Quote:
To the extent that the Apple Software contains AVC encoding and/or decoding functionality, commercial use of H.264/AVC requires additional licensing and the following provision applies: THE AVC FUNCTIONALITY IN THIS PRODUCT IS LICENSED HEREIN ONLY FOR THE PERSONAL AND NON-COMMERCIAL USE OF A CONSUMER TO (i) ENCODE VIDEO IN COMPLIANCE WITH THE AVC STANDARD (AVC VIDEO) AND/OR (ii) DECODE AVC VIDEO THAT WAS ENCODED BY A CONSUMER ENGAGED IN A PERSONAL AND NON-COMMERCIAL ACTIVITY AND/OR AVC VIDEO THAT WAS OBTAINED FROM A VIDEO PROVIDER LICENSED TO PROVIDE AVC VIDEO. INFORMATION REGARDING OTHER USES AND LICENSES MAY BE OBTAINED FROM MPEG LA L.L.C. SEE HTTP://WWW.MPEGLA.COM.

http://bemasc.net/wordpress/2010/02/...hat-with-h264/
post #32 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gwydion View Post

Tell Apple, MS or the same Google that H.264 is free to license.

H.264 is royalty-free for all free content. Licensees have to pay royalties if they use H.264 to host paid content.
post #33 of 47
Well, credit where credit is due, kudos to Google for trying.

I uploaded a Flash mini-site I developed in conjunction with a designer.

Result:
438KB Flash file became 1.4MB HTML file

Visual:
Only the first screen of the multi-screen Flash animation is shown. No clicks to other screens work.

Speed:
Extremely slow.

Errors:
Blend modes are not supported. (1 occurrences)
Only strokes with normal scaling are supported. (1 occurrences)
The global ActionScript property _global is not supported. (16 occurrences)
The ActionScript class Sound is not supported. (3 occurrences)
An unsupported ActionScript instruction was encountered. (60 occurrences)
The #initclip pragma is not supported. (16 occurrences)
Filters are not supported. (23 occurrences)
Advanced text rendering using continuous stroke modulation is not supported. (66 occurrences)
post #34 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Go get ghostery. It doesn't just block Flash ads, it blocks them all. It analyses the scripts that almost all ads have especially if they are from an ad distributor and it kills the script. You won't even see a gray box.

I like GlimmerBlocker. Seems to do the trick on a Mac. So much so that whenever I use another PC or Mac and I see ads, I am taken aback for a while.
post #35 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by sheff View Post

Instead of converting ads they should have made a tool to convert flash web sites to html5.

I tried it with a Flash web site, it only converted the first screen, and stripped out the audio. It's a good first step. Why other companies are not working on this I have no idea. Anyone that can do a good Flash to HTML5 site converter is going to cash in big time. Yes Google wants to do it for their ads and what not but I think they've got other bigger fish to fry.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Here come the HTML5 banner ads!
Here is mine

Expired Hope you saved the HTML file! Could you host it somewhere for us to check out?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Previews expire after 15 minutes? Pathetic, Clippy. I mean, Swiffy.

Now now, you've been quite the active poster, don't let us think any less of you. Google gives you the HTML to save within 15 minutes to keep forever... !

post #36 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

As opposed to H.264 MP4 which is free to license and an actual standard.

It's only free to license under very specific guidelines, EG if you intend the content to be free. This means it's NOT free if you intend on making a profit with it, and more than likely you'd have to pay if you wanted to make ads using it. This makes it pointless for a good chunk of professional content.

H.264 is technically superior to WebM, largely thanks to hardware acceleration as well as years of development and refining in the open market, but it is also an expensive format.
post #37 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by kustardking View Post

Hello - you are all confused and perpetuating an incorrect correction. It's

PROPRIETARY

And it's proprietary because ...
post #38 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gwydion View Post

And it's proprietary because ...

Google completely controls the code and all aspects of its development.

That's the definition of proprietary software. Even Lion knows that.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
post #39 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjtomlin View Post

It sure is.

It's open and free (for now) for anyone to license, use and implement, but it is still completely controlled and owned by Google who retain the rights to all implementations.

And it isn't part of the HTML5 standard so you need a plugin to play it.
post #40 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kynmore View Post

At Google, we don't believe in standards. Who wants to use open, free software that we didn't make?

MP4 might be a "standard" but it is a LICENSED standard.

You pay money for your Device, or OS upgrade to "license" editing of MP4 files.


Google, had to go out of their way to create a video "standard" that is free of MP4 proprietary code -- which kind of hampers their own Video "standard" they are trying to create.

I agree that it isn't all that "standard" yet -- but it is a "free" standard whereas MP4 is NOT in any regard "free" or open.
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