Recently I have been using the online TV services in the UK (ITV Catchup, BBC iPlayer, C4 Watch Online) a lot, however every now and again the video would stop and I would have to exit full screen and re-enter. Very annoying when your just getting into Dr Who on iPlayer.
I thought I would just upgrade my
Macromedia Adobe Flash plugin and this might fix the problem. This is the story of what happened when I attempt this.
1) Visit Macromedia website and download flash installer (1.4mb). I launched the installer, UAC displays, installer says it installed successfully.
2) Visit iPlayer – now says I don’t have flash installed, please re-install. How odd! I just installed it.
3) Visit the
Macromedia Adobe site, install Flash player via the website and not installer. IE Protection for addin asks for confirmation. Macromedia Adobe site says everything worked successfully.
4) Went back to iPlayer – nothing. Went to ITV, nothing. Flash had given up the ghost. Tried with firefox – install failed.
At this point, I got frustrated. The installer wasn’t giving me any errors or guidance to anything going wrong – it was just saying everything was prefect.
After a bit of googling, I found my way to “Troubleshoot Adobe Flash Player installation for Windows“.
In terms of guidance, this page tells me to uninstall (might as well tell me to reboot first to see if it fixes the problem), download flash, edit ActiveX settings, download SubInACL from Microsoft oh and then about Windows Vista installation failure. It says:
The letter changes with each Flash version, so may be “FlashUtilb.exe” or “FlashUtile.exe”
After doing this, everything worked just fine. However, this experience had multiple problems.
Firstly, when installing applications, the developer should always make sure that they did install successfully. If they didn’t, then why are you displaying confirmation about a successful install? This just causes confusion for the user and makes your application look bad. The flash player should have reported that the install failed and directed me to the troubleshooting page instead of me having to find and go there myself.
If the installer does fail, then provide useful contextual help. It would have been great after being pointed to the troubleshooting page, if the page could have identified that I was on Windows Vista, knowing there are some known issues with Vista and have put that in a nice clear block at the top instead of including it in a long list of items. This way I could quickly see which solutions relate to me, but still be able to dig into other items which might cause the problem.
Adobe should have done this, or at least have some structure to the page such as related headings instead of a random list of possible solutions.
Is this too much to ask?