What's the deal with Flash video on OSX? I can't click the play button!
November 13, 2009 2:12 PM   Subscribe

Why do Youtube (and other flash videos) become unresponsive on my Mac when they are embedded in other sites?

[iMac and MacBook Pro, Snow Leopard (and previous OS), Firefox & Safari]

Often, when I come across an embedded YouTube clip (and sometimes videos from other services like Vimeo) on my RSS feed or in a website I am visiting I am unable to click on it successfully. Trying to access the controls (play, pause etc) becomes almost impossible. I have found that if I right click to pull up the Flash menu, but then deselect it, I do then get one chance to click on the Flash object (with it going white in the process).

These objects almost always work perectly if I click through to watch them in their original location.

My browsers have been doing this for several versions, over the last two versions of the OS and the last three versions of Flash, on both my Macs. I have the most recent versions of all software.

I've read that Flash is very unreliable on OSX - with memory leaks etc. - but this doesn't seem to be that (although, of course, I don't actually know what it is).

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
posted by Glum to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Data point: me too. No idea what's causing it.
posted by The Bellman at 2:49 PM on November 13, 2009

I have the same problem sometimes. I find that the videos usually don't load if I've been viewing the page for a few (or several) minutes prior to clicking the Play button. There seems to be some sort of weird timeout happening, after which the controls do not respond. If I reload the page and click the Play button more or less immediately it usually works. Unfortunately, I haven't determined the interval of the mystery timeout or why it happens. I notice it mainly with embedded youtube videos and the flash videos over at crooksandliars.com

Not sure if that helps!
posted by bengarland at 2:50 PM on November 13, 2009

I have the same problem as well. It is especially true in Bloglines on Firefox. It is insanely annoying.
posted by crazyray at 10:35 PM on November 13, 2009

I'm going to say that it has to do with inefficient code on the website in question. Also, some browsers just have a hard time with some sites. Browsers are resource pigs under the best of circumstances. When you take into account that most site developers take a high speed Internet connection as a given, and that flash sites are almost always resource hungry its no wonder that you (and everybody else at one time or another) has problems with this. I've found that I was most successful with flash while using either Opera or omniweb, and I always used Net News Wire with good results as a feed reader. I gave up on safari long ago, and firefox isn't much better (at least on OSX). If I had a dollar for every time safari blew chunks while trying to load a flash page I could go buy Apple, just so I could sack every last person on the Safari Dev team.
posted by chosemerveilleux at 11:04 PM on November 13, 2009

Same thing happens to me on an XP EEE PC.
posted by sully75 at 5:43 AM on November 14, 2009

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