Friday, February 5, 2010

iPad and Content Creators

In all the discussions regarding the Apple iPad not supporting Flash, I've seen little mention of the impact of this decision on content creators. What is the cost to companies and content creators of having to re-author their content or buy new streaming video servers? I imagine it has to be huge, perhaps in the billions of dollars?

Up until now I've considered SWF files as much a part of the web as JPG or PNG files. Steve Jobs has decided to change all that.

My gut reaction is to say How dare you! How dare Apple decide what is and isn't part of the web. How dare Jobs toss around BS of Flash not being part of an open web, when in fact his is the closed web where he wishes to exert control over content delivery and commerce.

Jobs' comment about Adobe being Lazy and Flash being filled with bugs is retarded. Last year his excuse was that FlashLite wasn't good enough for the iPhone. Now that Adobe has Flash 10 on smartphones he has a new excuse. The excuse is designed to deflect attention and focus to a source of blame other then himself, and it's not much different then the political tactics that we see in Washington. Let's be clear here: this is about control and nothing else (with control over video delivery being the top priority I suspect). What Flash does is abstract away the Apple lock-in, which is the opposite of Apple's goals here.

In the meantime, content creators are getting a big middle finger to all the great content that has been created for Flash. I hope Apple comes around, or that users and content creators revolt by not buying into the Apple way of defining the future. Unfortunately I don't think the non-technical end-consumer is going to get religion on this issue. No more so then they have gotten religious about Amazon or Apple having closed DRM solutions that prevent content from being moved off their own hardware.

Addendum: Here is a great article entitled The future of web content, HTML5, Flash and Mobile Apps by Jeremy Allaire, founder and CEO of Brightcove. Prior to Brightcove, Jeremy worked at Macromedia, where he helped to establish the Flash platform.
And a humorous blog entry entitled I Kid Not: Apple Saves Us from Burden of Choice.

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