Flash Crash – A fix of sorts

I’ve recently been having a problem. Playing videos on YouTube has been making Chrome get upset. It gets a few seconds into a video, then the Flash plugin (oddly described as the Shockwave Flash plugin, but never mind) crashes. Restarting the browser, clicking heels and whistling tunes backwards didn’t improve things at all.

A bit of searching turned up numerous articles suggesting that this sort of thing was normally caused by a conflict between Chrome’s baked-in Flash plugin and the separate one installed for other browsers, and that some value of cursing and disabling one or other of them would restore normal behaviour. Well, I tried that, and it made no difference.

Figuring this would go away in some future Chrome update, I reverted to Firefox, where exactly the same thing happened. So, what with the weather meaning I’m not stepping out into the wilds of Wales today, I took the time to do a bit more digging. I found reports from other people having crashage[1] issues with various browsers, which does sort of point the finger very firmly in the direction of Adobe’s latest Flash update.

My digging did lead me to something that seems to work for YouTube, but won’t help for any other Flash crashing issues you may have.  If you have a sufficiently equipped browser, you can get YouTube to present videos in its “experimental” HTML5 format. I enabled that, and I’ve been able to watch videos that were crashing previously. Give it a try if you’re having the same issue:

YouTube HTML5

Adobe are apparently investigating this issue. A better result would be for everyone to stop using bloody Flash because it’s completely rubbish.[2]

[1] Most words can be improved with the addition of “-age”
[2] Quite apart from its memory and CPU hogging tendencies, it leads to websites being developed that look pretty but are very hard to use, what with them not letting you use the  back button or bookmark pages.