Yesterday I posted a link to an interview in which MLBAM’s Bob Bowman waxed happily about MLB.tv’s decision to go with Adobe Flash and drop Microsoft’s Silverlight. Today the Silverlight people snap back, airing some snark about all of the things you have to go through in order to make Flash actually, you know, work:
Today we saw that MLB went live with a video streaming solution that is built using Adobe Flash and the Swarmcast NexDef browser plug-in for their HD streaming video experience. It is an example of how you can deliver higher quality experiences on the Web. It also highlights how users are willing to accept additional browser plug-ins to get those experiences.
While Flash 9 may have high penetration, the Swarmcast NexDef plug-in that helps power MLB’s HD experience has virtually no adoption. Ubiquity here is a red herring – what customers really want are high quality solutions. Silverlight has been doing that since its inception and already supports the ability to deliver true HD using IIS Smooth Streaming with no additional plug-in required.
Rowr. Both sides should probably cool it considering that Silverlight screwed up last year’s opening day for web users and Flash, apparently, screwed up yesteday:
The Internet, of course, has made that easy, and as a result, MLB.com has become a part of every hardcore fan’s daily life for everything from checking scores to reading blogs, but mostly for watching live games. Every year I fork over a lot of money to see the games I absolutely can’t live without. And every year, MLB.com has done a good job of enhancing that experience.
Except this year — for the last three days, I’ve been trying to get their video service to work, with little or no success. I use a Mac and Firefox browser, and every time I bring up the video page, it freezes the browser. On Safari, the problems are even worse: I need to reboot the entire computer. The problem could be the Adobe Flash plugin, which has had a difficult relationship with Firefox and other Mac browsers. MLB.com also seems to be utilizing a new plugin that adds DVR-like functionality to the video streams. The problem has to one of these two products.
There will come a time when we wonder how we ever did without baseball streaming live on the Internet. That time, alas, is not today.