“We’re announcing a new update to the Flash Player today code named “Moviestar” and it includes support for the widely used industry standard H.264 codec as well as High Efficiency AAC audio support”

So reads the opening statement on a blog post from Ryan Stewart an RIA evangelist at Adobe.

We at Bioscreencast are thrilled at this announcement. As you may remember Bioscreencast.com in its zeroth avatar was offering all its content as H.264 encoded *.mov formatted files that were playable using the quicktime plugin. We chose H.264 since the video quality was amazing for the size of file and also the codec itself was “open”. We were further encouraged by the choice of H.264 by other online screencast offerings such as the video-books at Safari from the O’Reilly stable.

A few weeks after our launch, we started hearing from a lot of our users about issues they had with the quicktime plugin. These were mostly apparent on older hardware using older versions of the quicktime plugin. Prompted by these problems and the ubiquity of browser flash support we decided to bite the flash bullet. The transcoded videos were very viewable but definitely suffered in quality compared to the original mov versions.

We are therefore obviously excited by this announcement today because it could mean that we can have our cake and eat it too. Flash and the flash player are incredibly powerful in the richness of the APIs backing them and there is no denying that Flash rules the Rich internet Application (RIA) roost.

We will definitely be looking into using the new platform to offer screencasts at the best possible resolution.

Hari Jayaram