When objecting to the lack of Flash, most blogs and pundits point to the inability to watch content from Hulu. Hulu has in fact become the rallying cry for iPad-bashers. I agree Hulu is a great site for watching high-quality content from network television and would be a killer app for the iPad. As the story below points out, getting content from Hulu onto the iPad may not be as technically challenging as it may seem. By the time the iPad ships, I suspect that Hulu will have either modified their site to iPad-friendly or will launch a dedicated iPhone/iPad app.
Hulu Could Still Launch On The iPad
Putting Hulu on the iPad boils down to a business decision, not a technical one. Getting Hulu to work on the iPad would not take as much work as some might expect. The biggest challenge to getting a large video library to play on the iPad (or iPhone) is to convert the underlying video files to the H.264 standard. Fortunately for Hulu, its videos are already encoded in H.264 and have been since the summer of 2008. So it doesn’t have to go back and re-encode all of its videos. But on the front-end, it would have to create a non-Flash player (Flash plays videos encoded in H.264 as does the Quicktime player on the iPad and iPhone).