Flash Audio playback on Windows 8.1 – OK in Chrome, broken in IE


I just updated my Windows 8 installation (running on BootCamp on my MacBook Pro) to the Windows 8.1 Preview. It was a bit of a pain getting the update to work, in part because I originally set the Windows 8 default language to UK English (en-GB), and UK English is not yet among the supported versions for the Preview.  US English is supported, however, so with some registry and language pack fiddling I managed to convert my en-GB installation to en-US, and then download and install the preview.  Very tedious process.

One of the first things I checked is whether my Flash version of AudioStretch works… and it does, but only under Google Chrome.  With IE, the UI appears, but audio playback doesn’t work. For reference (in case someone from Adobe or Microsoft is reading this!?) on Chrome the player is reported as “11.7.700.225, Windows 8 (32-bit)”, whereas on IE it’s “11.7.700.228, Windows 8.1 (64-bit)”.  Curiously audio *input* works fine in IE; for example, my Flash real-time spectrum analyzer correctly takes live audio from my Logitech webcam’s mic and displays a constantly updating spectrum.

Windows 8.1 is pretty nice, btw.  Windows 8 was already not too bad.  Certainly took some getting used to, and it had some rough edges for sure, but I didn’t find it anywhere close to the ‘disaster’ that some reviewers describe it as. It’s certainly sub-optimal for a large monitor/keyboard/mouse setup, but once you learn a handful of shortcuts you can get around pretty quick.

The frequent switching between Metro (or should that be UIFKAM – The UI Formerly Known as Metro) and Desktop is a bit annoying, but hey, it’s a transitional OS.  And the dearth of Metro apps is pretty serious… but definitely an opportunity for devs.  Face it: Metro is here and it won’t go away, and it will be a big platform.  And now that iOS 7 seems to be borrowing a few design ideas from Metro, Microsoft now looks like a leader again!

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About Gerry Beauregard

I'm a Singapore-based Canadian software engineer, inventor, musician, and occasional triathlete. My current work and projects mainly involve audio technology for the web and iOS. I'm the author of AudioStretch, an audio time-stretching/pitch-shifting app for musicians. Past jobs have included writing speech recognition software for Apple, creating automatic video editing software for muvee, and designing ASICs for Nortel. I hold a Bachelor of Applied Science (Electrical Engineering) from Queen's University and a Master of Arts in Electroacoustic Music from Dartmouth College.
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