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I am using Adobe flash browser plugin 11.0 in Linux however playing a simple youtube clip causes the CPU to spike considerably on the npviewer.bin process with Firefox, the same is true for Chrome on linux. Was anyone able to configure VLC, mplayer or similar to auto start when flv files are streamed from a website? Considering that VLC can stream flvs just fine.

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There is a beta of Adobe Flash Player 11.2. – Anonymous Nov 1 '11 at 20:02
what version of this "Linux" are you using? Linux isn't an operating system... – Alvar Nov 1 '11 at 20:14

From my experience it is precisely the 'simple youtube clip' that puts graphic card to biggest stress as far as Flash is concerned (you have to look in something like psensor, to have a loud fan or a crashing computer in order to realize how heavy this stuff really is on the GPU).

The most recommended alternatives to Adobe Flash (like Gnash) are not yet up to the task, a fact that anybody will notice after trying those.

But for seeing youtube videos without spiking GPU temperature up to the ceiling one can use smplayer (F11 or edit main toolbar and add the specific button). Thus I was able to avoid the habitual 'flash experience' of putting my GPU to 100 degrees Celsius.
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To download youtube videos and see them in external player one can use FlashGot or DownloadHelper add-ons in Firefox.

My related asqubuntu question here.

And a more recent and detailed question+answer whith more solutions to see flash in external players - here.

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Adobe Flash Player 11.2 beta is multi-threaded, so the user-interface is more responsive during playback of laggy HD content that slows down the machine.

There are alternative Flash implementations such as Gnash and Lightspark, but they're not 100% compatible as they don't fully implement all the features of the latest ActionScript, etc.

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Firefox, starting with F 15 (maybe 14..) supports gstreamer for h264 videos if compiled in, which means it will work with youtube html5 on many more videos. However Firefox has to be recompiled for this, which is not for the faight of heart.

You can also turn off flash, and some videos will play with WebM instead of flash, (even without h264 support) but not all videos will work.

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