Flash Video—FLV—was where Flash came of age as a media platform, not just an animation plug-in. Flash started as FutureSplash Animator back in 1996, just doing simple vector graphics animation. Its potential for media was seen early on—I first saw it in the keynote of the RealNetworks conference that year. After several years of kludgy third-party technologies for video-in-Flash, Macromedia licensed the Spark codec from Sorenson Media, introduced the FLV format, and built them into Flash 6 player in 2002. This worked well as a way to add video to Flash presentations, but compression efficiency wasn’t sufficient for video-centric projects. The much-improved VP6 video codec was added in Flash 8 in 2005, and found widespread use in ...

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