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Open Source Flash implementation LightSpark gets second RC, new features

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Free and fully Open Source Flash implementation ‘LightSpark’ sees the release of a second release candidate today.

Lightspark 0.4.2 sees the following additions and improvements, as listed on the official announcement: –

  • YouTube support for H264 videos. Currently only those are sup ported as they are played using the Action Script 3 based player. This may seem a huge limitation, but actually a huge part of the YouTube con tents are avail able in H264 for mat. This limitation will go away when lightspark will be able to fall back to Gnash. This feature is scheduled for 0.4.3
  • Even faster video presentation after a bit of refinement of the SSE2 based video packer
  • Sound support using pulseaudio. If you want to try Lightspark with out installing the pulse server that’s ok, as Lightspark detects at run time if the  server is avail able and if not it just politely disables sound.


As we noted when reviewing the Beta candidate of LightSpark. anyone expecting a fluid drop-in Flash player experience will be sorely disappointed. This release certainly sees Lightspark improve immeasurably since then but it remains less than ideal for anyone demanding a solid and consistent Flash experience. Particularly in light of two notable issues that remain in need of fixing: –

  • Sound is not synchronized
  • Sound sample rate is not always correctly detected

On the flip side it does live up to its claim of being relatively efficient. My CPU was less taxed when watching a flash file using Lightspark  than the normal Flash plug-in ” something worth bearing in mind for power-conscious netbook users or those using Flash-on-demand.


Official binary pack ages for Ubuntu Lucid can be installed from the following PPA: –

  • sudo add-apt-repository ppa:sssup/sssup-ppa
  • sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install lightspark

(Note that at the time of writing the latest version is still waiting to be built but adding and installing from the PPA now will ensure you’re updated as soon as the newest version is built in a few hours time.)