Slow motion in Flash. Do Not Want.
March 3, 2013 4:30 PM   Subscribe

Flash player runs in slow motion behind the sound in all browsers. Please help!

I have a shitty laptop (XP, 1 GhZ processing speed) that I'm stuck with for awhile.
I watch a lot of streaming sports events, or I used to, but this computer can't hack it anymore. Actually, I say "the computer" can't, but it actually seems to be a problem with Flash.

Everything livestreamed using flash player runs in slow motion, and then lurches/jerks ahead to where it's present, and then does the slow-motion/lurch-ahead thing ad nauseum.

I have the same problem with about half of the videos from youtube/other video sites as well. When I pause them, it takes a few seconds to sort of "catch up" and then finally pause.

I got around this problem for awhile by strictly using an old version of Flash, but eventually I got a message on just about every site saying, "You are using an older version of Flash, please update," and not playing the live event or video.

I took my problems to the official Flash forum, where a user (not an Adobe rep) suggested I try an older Flash version again, but it won't install...I get an Adobe Message basically saying, "this isn't the current version, please use the current one."

Adobe also suggested testing an HTML5 and Non-HTML5 video to help pinpoint the problem (if both don't play right, they say, the problem is not with Flash but with your computer). I tried their HTML5 video. Same problem. Non-HTML5 video played perfectly. They gave no insight on what to do with this diagnosis.

Another tip I read that worked for awhile, and then stopped working, was to disable to browser-specific Flash plugins for my browsers. I have this issue with Chrome, Firefox, IE, and Safari.

I feel like my problem is fixable, but every solution I try either doesn't work or only works for awhile. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance!

(link to Adobe support conversation, I am MrEleganza:
posted by mreleganza to Technology (4 answers total)
If the fan starts spinning really fast when this is happening, then the laptop is overheating. This can either be that it just can't handle the newer content out there, or perhaps the heatsink has gotten clogged with dust. Couldn't hurt to blow it out with canned air.

If not, then I would agree that it's some kind of software issue, and have nothing to add.
posted by gjc at 4:35 PM on March 3, 2013

To add to what gjc said, in some computers when the temperature gets too high, the bios cranks back the clock rate in order to prevent the computer from frying itself and dying. When that happens, there will be a noticeable degradation of performance.

The program "speedfan" can tell you the actual temperature.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 5:10 PM on March 3, 2013

Welcome to the upgrade treadmill.

Content served from streaming sites is formatted to suit most visitors. Over time, that means the expected bandwidth and processing power available generally rise, which allows site operators to increase the quality and therefore the resource usage of what they provide. Eventually, most of what's streamed is simply too much for an older computer to handle smoothly.

On YouTube, try dropping the quality (little gearwheel icon near the bottom right of the video). My elderly laptop is usually pretty OK with 360p as long as I haven't told the browser to zoom the page to more than 100%.

But it may well be that the issue is caused by site operators picking newer codecs, unsupported by older Flash versions, that trade off more CPU load against better bandwidth usage. And if that's what's going on with most of what you want to view, a newer computer is about the only thing that's going to work for you.
posted by flabdablet at 5:47 PM on March 3, 2013

If the issue happens with HTML5 video (which is not displayed via Flash but is usually rendered by the browser itself) then it's not (only) a Flash issue.
posted by XMLicious at 5:57 PM on March 3, 2013

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