This is already all over the Flash blogs (though it's been a bit slow to make it to the mainstream technologies columns considering the scale of it's implications) but I wanted to summarise the news for my own reference. Tinic Uro's blog is the place to go for the real detail. But the guts of it is that a beta of the Flash Player was released last night. This beta player, code named MovieStar adds support for popular media codecs; H264 and AAC. Meaning that in the future we will no longer be limited to using Flash video (.flv) files in our applications.
Our department has for many years used Quicktime as our standard for video production. There were many good reasons for this; the main one being quality and availability. But in the last 18 months the success of YouTube and Google video has made Flash video an almost standard for online delivery. Consequently we've been considering our options for moving towards Flash for future video development. But one of the sticking points has always been quality. The ability to play alternative video formats in Flash changes everything. There are still a few questions to answer before making any changes and we'll need to leave time for a non-beta release to trickle out to our audience. But this will definitely determine our future direction.