To Flash or Not To Flash

A few weeks back, I added a little Flash “play this audio file” widget to the bottom of posts that have audio attached to them:

Snip of weblog showing Flash button

Since then I’ve heard from three people who’ve wondered why they’re being prompted to install Flash when they visit the weblog.

I’m wondering about Macromedia’s claims of Flash penetration, and whether they exaggerate the real situation “on the ground.”

As a sort of unofficial test, can you please add a comment to this post if you’re being prompted to install Flash when you visit (I’m attaching a tiny audio file just to make sure the Flash widget shows up). If it appears that it’s a widespread problem, then I’ll either remove the widget or get more sophisticated about Flash detection.


Steven Garrity's picture
Steven Garrity on July 15, 2005 - 01:11 Permalink

While I do have the Flash plug-in installed, I have to get it manually (it is not included in most Linux distributions because it is not free/open-source).

Also, I use a Firefox extension called FlashBlock that shows a small place-holder where there is any flash on a page. To actually show/run the flash content, I just have to click on the place-holder. I do this because I find that most Flash content is either annoying advertising, or just not worth seeing. In the few cases where I *do* want to see it, it’s just a click away.

All of that said, I do find something compelling about one-click playing of audio in place like you have setup. They are doing something similar over at Odeo. That said, I still always download any audio longer than a few seconds and listen to it in an audio player (since it won’t stop when I leave the current web page).

padawan's picture
padawan on July 15, 2005 - 08:59 Permalink

Works fine here on Tiger and NNW.

One comment though: it’s not immediatly obvious to me that this arrow will play the audio, especially because the line starts with “download…” (I thought it would download the piece). If you had a more “common” set of player buttons (rewind/play/pause/FF) then it’d be obvious this is a player controller.

Laurent's picture
Laurent on July 15, 2005 - 09:43 Permalink

Hi Peter,
I don’t have flash and I got asked to install it (WinXP, IE6)

Derek MacEwen's picture
Derek MacEwen on July 15, 2005 - 12:21 Permalink

I have Flash (a necessity when a 3 year old uses your computer!). I really like the way the MP3 file plays almost instantly, versus about 8 seconds to load this small file via my default MP3 player. On larger files the time difference is even more dramatic.

Carsten's picture
Carsten on July 16, 2005 - 16:18 Permalink

WFM: SuSE Linux 9.3 using Firefox 1.0.4, but an adblock tab is added…