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Flash videos on the Mac, albeit with a few hiccups

Playing embedded Flash on the Mac used to be annoying, but the latest release from Adobe makes it easier.

Most people know about the lack of support for Flash on the iPad and iPhone, but Flash is alive and well on Mac OS X with the Adobe Flash Player for Mac. As the app name suggests, this is a player for Flash 11 videos for Mac OS X 10.6 and higher. Adobe Flash Player for Mac is a browser plug-in and allows viewing of Web sites with Flash videos embedded in them to appear on the Mac OS. You won't find Adobe Flash Player for Mac on the App Store (thanks to the dispute between the two companies) but you can get it from the Adobe and many download sites.

Flash 11 is the latest version of Flash from Adobe, and Adobe Flash Player for Mac supports all the features of Flash 11 including filters and effects and false 3D. Since a considerable number of Web sites rely on Flash, having the ability to view these videos using Safari or other Mac-compatible browser allows Web sites to appear as the developers intended. In testing, Adobe Flash Player for Mac worked as advertised, playing Flash videos inside our Web browser without intervention, although we did experience freezes of a few videos on some sites (randomly, it seems) that required a refresh of the site to overcome. Curiously, most of the issues were while using Firefox.

Adobe Flash Player for Mac isn't the only Flash player available for the Mac, but it's the official release from Adobe. For the most part it worked great, but the random lockups are a bit worrisome. Still, that's better than not having any Flash support on the Mac at all.

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