The 64-bit Flash 11 player works in 64-bit Linux, but Flash videos are jerky in fullscreen mode no matter what the chosen resolution. This is a known issue with the 64-bit Flash 11 player, and until Adobe fixes it, 64-bit users are stuck.
Is there any way to enjoy smooth, fullscreen Flash videos in 64-bit Linux? Yes! The FlashVideoReplacer addon for Firefox plays Flash videos using your existing video player and allows smooth, fullscreen playback.
UPDATE: The FlashVideoReplacer
has been removed from the Firefox addons, but it is still available for download from the author’s download section on github. It might require some hunting, but this is an addon worth hunting for.
UPDATE 2 (April 28, 2016): FlashVideoReplacer is even harder to find now. The above link is also outdated. However, with Linux today, videos play smoothly and external players are possible.
While this is not a true fix to the underlying problem, the results tend to be better than using Flash in the first place, making Flash unnecessary for watching YouTube videos.
This article assumes Ubuntu 10.10 64-bit is running properly with Firefox 11, but newer Linux distributions, such as Ubuntu 12.04, should work as well.
Update: Flash 188.8.131.52 x86_64 in Firefox 11 on a new installation of Ubuntu 10.10 64-bit produces smooth, full screen video at all resolutions. Flash 11 full screen is still jerky on an Acer Aspire One 722 netbook even with Flash 184.108.40.206. The netbook is capable of smooth, full screen Flash 11 videos because they play properly in Windows 7 with Flash 11. This must be a Flash 11 Linux issue. So, the FlashVideoReplacer addon will produce smooth full screen video on the same hardware producing jerky Flash 11 video.
Step 1. Install the FlashVideoReplacer Addon for Firefox.
This is an addon that allows you to watch Flash videos using any existing video player on your system. It replaces the embedded Flash player. You get to choose. Totem, SMPlayer, and VLC (Video LAN Client) work beautifully, but other players are allowed as well. Make sure to install the plugins from the Ubuntu Software Center or Synaptic Package Manager. For example, the Totem Mozilla plugin (totem-mozilla) will embed Totem in the web page. VLC has one too (mozilla-plugin-vlc). FlashVideoReplacer needs this.
When the addon detects a Flash video on a supported site, it replaces the movie area with a large read and white bullseye along with drop down lists for selecting embedded or window play modes and resolution.
Step 2. Configure
This determines how videos are played. From the Preferred Method drop-down list, there are four playback options to choose from. Choosing Standalone lets you select a custom player, such as SMPlayer, VLC, or any other present on your system.
The Quality tab determines the default video quality. Many YouTube videos are playable in 240, 360, 480, 720, and 1080. While you can choose any quality you like before playback, this sets the default quality to save hassle.
Step 3. Play
Restart Firefox and visit any of your favorite videos on YouTube. You should that see the video area contains a large bullseye with a play button in its center. Below that, are two playback dropdown lists. If playback is set to automatic, then the video will play by itself.
There is little else to explain since FlashVideoReplacer is easy to use and self-explanatory, so feel free to experiment.
To change the playback quality during playback, click the FlashVideoReplacer icon (you can add it to the Add-on Bar Ctrl + /) and select a new quality from the Default Quality menu. The page reloads with the new setting.
Here are some screenshots comparing regular Flash 11 with FlashVideoReplacer:
YouTube video showing Flash 11 controls.
Same video replaced with FlashVideoReplacer. Can you hit the bullseye?
Same YouTube video playing in standalone Totem video player.
If playback is set to automatic, the video will open and play inside the specified video player automatically. The embedded video does not play, so only one video plays at a time to conserve bandwidth.
Fullscreen playback is smooth because the native video player is being used instead of the Flash player.
Advertisements never play. Some YouTube videos contain commercials that force play before allowing you to watch the desired video. This never happens with FlashVideoReplacer. The video you want plays immediately.
Downloading videos. Do you want to save that silly video to your hard drive? Just click the FlashVideoReplacer icon, select Download, and choose the video quality you want. This feature obviates the need for extra, dedicated Flash video download addons, such as Video DownloadHelper.
Not all videos are detected on all sites. If a YouTube video is embedded in a third-party site, FlashVideoReplacer will not replace the video but will use Flash 11 instead. In that case, you must go to the same video on the YouTube site. Then, the video is playable using FlashVideoReplacer.
Flash-dependent navigation and features are unavailable. For example, when a Youtube video reaches the end of its playback, YouTube will display related video thumbnails in the Flash 11 player. With FlashVideoReplacer, these thumbnails never appear in the substitute player. Only the video itself plays, so when the playback ends, that’s it. Neither do the Flash playback controls appear, so you must use the video player’s control to adjust the video.
Despite the disadvantages, FlashVideoReplacer is an excellent addon that performs its task well. Smooth, fullscreen playback, external player options, ad-skipping, friendly usage, and video downloading make this an essential addon for those experiencing Flash 11 video problems in 64-bit Linux.
FlashVideoReplacer works well with YouTube, so if you are a YouTube fan, then the features this addon provides is definitely worth trying even if Flash 11 already runs perfectly on your system.