Sounds like some developers’ phones started ringing on Tuesday night. Not because of iTunes 7, but because of QuickTime 7.1.3 and some surprise breakage.
QuickTime has long supported Flash as a media type inside of QuickTime movies, equivalent to video, audio, text, sprites, etc. Some people create QuickTime movies with embedded Flash animations, others use Flash to provide interactivity to QuickTime movies (since Flash has rich support for interactivity and the state of a Flash track’s variables can be accessed by host applications). Only downside is that QuickTime’s support has generally been at least one version behind, so it’s possible to find Flash content in the wild that QuickTime will try, but fail, to play.
So, QuickTime 7.1.3… you know, the one you hastily downloaded so you could watch The Incredibles at the iTunes store… disables Flash support within QuickTime by default. A terse statement from Apple says:
The version of Flash that ships in QuickTime is older than the version available from Adobe and used in Safari, therefore, while we still ship Flash with QuickTime, it is turned off by default.
This was a pretty unpleasant surprise to developers whose applications or sites depend on the QuickTime/Flash integration. On
quicktime-api, Henry Martin writes:
We are writing an application which produces QuickTime movies with embedded Flash animations. They must play properly for anyone with QuickTime installed. If I understand correctly, QuickTime 7.1.3 will not allow this behavior unless the user modifies their preference settings.
Meanwhile, Michael Diehr speculates as to the bigger picture.
I think at this point, it is incumbent on Apple to give us a straight answer about what is going on with Flash under QuickTime. For several years there were constant (slow) updates — QT 5 supported Flash 4, QT 6 supported flash 5, etc. For several years now it’s been stuck. And now this. One could speculate that Apple has decided to drop Flash support under QuickTime altogether.
Scott Kevill of GameRanger Technologies is plain ol’ ticked off:
Whose brilliant idea was this? And why wasn’t there any advance notice for this arbitrary decision?
My product must play pre-supplied Flash 5 movie files with QuickTime, and the QT 7.1.3 update just broke that.
How do I override this for my application only (or globally)? Telling my users to enable Flash manually is NOT an acceptable option.
quicktime-users, Milton Aupperle thinks it’s the end:
On “other’” QT lists, Apple is saying nothing about it, so it’s a pretty safe assumption they don’t really care what any Developer thinks. My guess is they want out of supporting the interactive market and have decided this is the best way to get everyone to switch to Flash - sort of like they did with SMIL, QuickDraw 3D, Sprites and other technologies they’ve dumped.