As you know, OS X Lion ships without Flash Player to the delight of fans in support of Apple’s ongoing argument against Adobe’s resource-hungry technology. This leaves us with three choices: Avoid Flash content altogether (possible, but hardly an option for mainstream folks), switch to Google’s Chrome browser that comes with the latest version of Flash Player built-in (a forced option for Safari fans) or just install the darn thing and deal with consequences later.

I’ve vowed never to install anything from Adobe again on my brand spanking new MacBook Air as I only allow Adobe software on my Mac mini, which I relegated to my testing machine and media center. That said, the FlashtoHTML5 extension from Joris Vervuurt was Godsent. The extensions has a sole purpose: It replaces the CPU-hogging YouTube Flash Player with an HTML5 video player. More info and screenies after the break

Of course, YouTube has had an experimental HTML5 video player available for some time now, but Vervuurt’s dedicated extension beats YouTube’s solution on ease of use and the ability to choose maximum video resolution (360p, 720p, 1080p and 4K), plus it works with Flash videos embedded on other sites. One caveat: The extension depends upon whether or not YouTube has HTML5-friendly counterparts of Flash videos available on its servers. The FlashtoHTML5 extension is available here. The 9KB download requires Safari 5 and works like a charm under OS X Lion, especially used with Click2Flash, a Flash-blocking plug-in for Safari.


This is what you get when attempting to watch YouTube videos in OS X Lion Safari.


The  extension automatically loads an HTML5 version of the video, although you’re still being advised to upgrade to Flash Player for “improved playback performance” ( *cough* )

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