Google Chrome cripples Flash in Update 59

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Google has been saying for quite sometime that support for Adobe’s Flash Plug-In would end. Some websites reported that beginning in June 2017, the once prominent plug-in would face its death.

As a birthday gift to me and my colleagues (total of four developers) who work on a large web based system, they finally crippled it, if not killed it.

See, our company has training videos and vodcasts that our entire company is required to watch. Failure to do so will slowly cripple your functionality and prevent you from clocking in, until you are forced to break down and watch the training, followed by a short test. Once you pass said test, you complete that training course.

The videos are fed via Wowza Streaming Engine in a Video On Demand type scenario, and done by a protocol called RTMP. The downside to RTMP, is that it is not supported by HTML 5, the new standard for streaming media. Other large websites like YouTube, saw this coming and switched their systems some months/years back. I caught on to the trend, and not more than a few months ago, even told our CTO, that this would be painful if we waited.

So even though I knew it was coming, my boss knew it was coming, and our entire industry knew it was coming, we let ourselves feel the pain. Today, as Google Chrome users began updating to version 59, Flash Players around the world, stopped working. As for all those RTMP streams, they will stop working too.

I have Chrome Update 59 and can still watch RTMP streams! You’re wrong!

Easy there internet warrior. Let me show you how to break it.

Firstly, make sure your version of Google Chrome is updated by going to the three dots in the top right. Go to Help, then choose About Google Chrome. If your version does not show ‘Version 59.0.3071.115 (Official Build) (64-bit)’ (or something like it, emphasis on the 59.0.3071.115), you will most likely see an update option. Do that. Once that is done, clear your cache. Not the silly Control+Shift+R option, but actually go through and flush it until the beginning of time (yes, that is a real option).

Now that you too have also stabbed yourself in the leg, try to watch your precious RTMP stream now. Poof. Welcome to Hurtsville.

The fix? Convert to HTML 5 Support streams like HLS. That’s it. No work-around, hacks or trickery. Literally, convert, or die.

Now if you excuse me, I have to now research how to reconfigure a streaming server..

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