Good news & Bad News with Adobe Flash Player 11

Update #2: We have just pushed the fix for this issue. Please let us know in our forums if there are any problems with hardware acquisition for end users on Flash Player 11

Update #1: Google Chrome has updated their built-in version of Adobe Flash to Flash Player 11. We have not yet released our fix for this issue, but we are hard at work to make it happen.

Let’s play the good news/bad news game.

The good news is that Adobe’s Flash Player 11 brings with it a lot of new goodies including support for the H.264 video codec. More on how that will improve video quality in the OpenTok API in another blog post.

The bad news is there is a very old bug in Adobe’s hardware acquisition flow which Flash Player 11 has resurfaced.  Specifically, the release of the Flash Player 11 plugin has broken the work-around that we have had in place since the release of OpenTok.

What does that mean for you, the developer?

If your end-users upgrade to Flash Player 11 and they have not previously “remembered” their allow dialog setting on your website or any other OpenTok-enabled website, then the OpenTok API won’t be able to publish their video stream.  In some circumstances, users may not be able to complete filling out Adobe’s Allow/Deny dialog box.  Not the most ideal situation for a live video API.

Note that if your end users have previously allow-remembered their camera on your website or any other OpenTok-enabled website, this bug will not impact them.

If an end user attempts to allow-remember their camera for the first time using Flash Player 11, their camera will not be correctly acquired in that publisher instance.  But subsequent publishers will correctly acquire the camera.

What are your options?

Unfortunately, this one’s on us to fix for you.  And we’re hard at work fixing the issue as we speak.

We’re expecting to push a release that will fix this bug on Tuesday October 4, hoping to have this fix out before the vast majority of end-users upgrade – and hopefully before Google Chrome auto upgrades its built-in version of Flash Player. In the meantime, we’re asking you to sit tight, know that we are aware of the problem, and understand that we are sprinting towards a solution for you.

One important thing to note:  all developers should make sure that their applications are set up to use the latest version of the OpenTok JS client library. This is the standard best practice we recommend, so most of you will already be doing this. However, if you have pointed your application at a specific older version of the OpenTok API, your application will not pick up the fix for this problem, and we will not be able to back port this fix to previous versions of the OpenTok JS client library.

If you have any questions or concerns, then please contact us in our forums or in our #opentok IRC channel.