What is Adobe Flash Player
The Adobe Flash Player is freeware software for viewing multimedia, executing rich Internet applications, and streaming video and audio, content created on the Adobe Flash platform. Flash Player can run from a web browser (as a browser plug-in) or on supported mobile devices, but there also exist versions running directly on an operating system intended both for regular users and content developers, denoted with the Projector (or Standalone) and Debugger name suffixes, respectively. Flash Player runs SWF files that can be created by the Adobe Flash Professional authoring tool, by Adobe Flex or by a number of other Macromedia and third party tools. Flash Player was created by Macromedia and now developed and distributed by Adobe Systems after its acquisition.
Flash Player can be downloaded for free and its plug-in version is available for recent versions of web browsers (such as Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Opera and Safari) on selected platforms. Google Chrome distribution comes bundled with the sandboxed Adobe Flash plug-in and will continue to support the plug-in in Windows 8 Metro mode. Each version of Adobe Flash Player is backwards-compatible.
Flash Player supports the following different multimedia formats which it can natively decode and playback.
MP3: Support for decoding and playback of streaming MPEG-2 Audio Layer III (MP3) audio was introduced in Flash Player 4. MP3 files can be accessed and played back from a server via HTTP, or embedded inside an SWF file, which is also a streaming format.
FLV: Support for decoding and playing back video and audio inside Flash Video (FLV and F4V) files, a format developed by Adobe Systems and Macromedia. Flash Video is only a container format and supports multiple different video codecs, such as Sorenson Spark, VP6 and more recently H.264. Flash Player uses hardware acceleration to display video where present, using technologies such as DirectX Video Acceleration and OpenGL to do so.