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Native video playback with regards to End of Life Support for Flash in 2020

New Here ,
Mar 05, 2018 Mar 05, 2018

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Hello,

I'm looking to clear up some ambiguity surrounding embedded videos in PDFs. In a few tests I've done, it seems that the Flash Player must be installed in order to playback any embedded video. I've followed the guidelines laid out in this document: Adding multimedia to PDFs​ using H.264 encoded video formats, however I'm still prompted to install Flash in order to initiate playback.

I'm curious what's actually happening here. Does Acrobat currently require Flash to playback video (even H.264 encoded video) embedded in a PDF? If so, is the embedded video being converted to a Flash format or is the video player in Acrobat built with Flash technology?

If it's simply a player, will PDFs embedded with H.264 encoded video files be usable moving forward, even after Flash is no longer supported? I'm concerned about how future-proof material created today will be.

I'd be curious to know what the Acrobat team's approach will be for future iterations of Acrobat regarding video playback. Any clarity you could provide to the above questions would be much appreciated!

Thank you.

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Rich media and 3D

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

Community Expert , Mar 05, 2018 Mar 05, 2018

Flash is required to both insert and playback video in the current releases of the Adobe tools. This is because Adobe embeds a Flash based player and playbar "skin" into the PDF as well as the video itself. The Adobe player and the skin are specific implementations of something more general according to the PDF specification. For example, PDF Expert on iOS can playback embedded video created by Adobe tools even though it doesn't have access to Flash because the viewer knows to ignore the "suppli

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Community Expert ,
Mar 05, 2018 Mar 05, 2018

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Browsers don't support  QT or Flash  plugins anymore.  I use MP4 video or MP3 audio hosted on an HTTPS server such as Amazon Web Services. 

Add audio, video, and interactive objects to PDFs in Adobe Acrobat

Nancy O'Shea— Product User, Community Expert & Moderator
Alt-Web Design & Publishing ~ Web : Print : Graphics : Media

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Community Expert ,
Mar 05, 2018 Mar 05, 2018

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Flash is required to both insert and playback video in the current releases of the Adobe tools. This is because Adobe embeds a Flash based player and playbar "skin" into the PDF as well as the video itself. The Adobe player and the skin are specific implementations of something more general according to the PDF specification. For example, PDF Expert on iOS can playback embedded video created by Adobe tools even though it doesn't have access to Flash because the viewer knows to ignore the "supplied" player and skin in the PDF in favor of it's own built in player and skin. That's exactly what the PDF specification says to do when the application that has opened the PDF can't use the player supplied in the file.

For video embedded by Acrobat, only the embedded player and skin are dependent on Flash. The H.264 video content is not.

I have no doubt that future versions of Acrobat and Reader will do something similar for files that currently depend on Flash for the player and skin.

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