Author Archive: Jody Bleyle

Go multiscreen with Flash: Optimizing Performance for the Flash Platform

Adobe is hosting webinars
this week that introduce and explain the new multiscreen capabilities
of the Flash Platform.

To deliver content for multiple screens, you need to optimize the content to conserve memory, minimize CPU usage, and so on. Adobe Learning Resources and Adobe Flash Player Product Manager Thibault Imbert created the following 87 page doc that explains all that, and more:

Optimizing Performance for the Adobe Flash Platform

Tutorial: HTTP Dynamic Streaming

Until now, there have been two fundamental ways to deliver video to Flash Player/AIR:

  • Progressive download. Progressive download transfers files sequentially over HTTP from a web server to Flash Player/AIR. Users can’t skip ahead until all the previous content has downloaded.
  • RTMP streaming. RTMP streaming transfers content between Flash Player/AIR and Flash Media Server in real-time (Real-Time Media Protocol). Users can skip to any location without waiting.

Now there’s a third way to deliver content to Flash Player 10.1 and AIR 2:

  • HTTP Dynamic Streaming. HTTP Dynamic Streaming delivers content over HTTP and lets users skip to any location without waiting.

To stream on-demand (recorded, not live) content over HTTP, you can use any installation of Apache 2.2, including the version that installs with Flash Media Server 3.5. Using Adobe HTTP Dynamic Streaming has an end-to-end tutorial that steps you through configuring Apache, packaging content for delivery, and playing the content in the OSMF Player.

Using Adobe HTTP Dynamic Streaming also contains a live tutorial, and detailed information about how this new solution works. To stream live content over HTTP, you need Flash Media Server 3.8.

For more information about the HTTP Dynamic Streaming ecosystem, see Kevin Towes’ blog and www.adobe.com/products/httpdynamicstreaming.

New Doc: Adobe Flash Player Administration Guide for Flash Player 10.1

We’ve just posted the Flash Player 10.1 Administration Guide. This doc describes Flash Player, how it’s installed, how it works, and how you can control it to suit the needs of a specific network environment. This document is intended for IT or administrative professionals who manage the installation or use of Flash Player for multiple users in a controlled environment.

Flash Media Server: Stream Reconnect and Smart Seek doc and example

Flash Player 10.1 and Flash Media Server 3.5.3 support two exciting new buffer management features: Stream Reconnect and Smart Seek. To see them in action, check out this example: Stream Reconnect and Smart Seek example. Right-click on the example and choose View Source to see the code.

The example is also linked from the Flash Media Server 3.5.3 New Features Guide. This doc has all information you need about how to use the Smart Reconnect and Smart Seek ActionScript APIs.

Here’s a quick, high-level view:

Stream Reconnect

With the release of Flash Player 10.1, you can deliver video players that continue to play media seamlessly when a connection is dropped or when a client switches from a wired to a wireless network connection. Adobe Product Manager Kevin Towes says:

We’ve essentially decoupled the buffer from the connection – which allows video to play back even if the connection drops. Developers can use ActionScript to reconnect to FMS and resume playback – and if this is done before the buffer empties, then there will be no perceived disruption.

Smart Seek

Flash Media Server 3.5.3 and Flash Player 10.1 work together to support smart seeking in VOD streams and in live streams that have a buffer. Smart seeking uses back and forward buffers to seek without requesting data from the server. You can step forward and backward a specified number of frames. (Standard seeking flushes buffered data and asks the server to send new data based on the seek time.) Smart seeking reduces server load and improves seeking performance. Use smart seeking to create:

•Client-side DVR functionality. Seek a live stream within the client-side buffer instead of going to the server for delivery of new video.

•Trick modes. Create players that step through frames, fast-forward, fast-rewind, and advance in slow-motion.

Flash Player 10.1 and AIR 2 are live!

Flash Player 10.1 and AIR 2 are now available for download on adobe.com.

For more information about AIR, read the announcement on the AIR blog and check out the release notes for a list of new features.

For more information about Flash Player, read the announcement on the Flash Player blog.

The ActionScript 3.0 Reference for Flash Platform includes all the Flash Player 10.1 and AIR 2 APIs.

You can filter the ActionScript Reference to display APIs for specific runtimes:
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Download the Flash Player 10.1 and AIR 2 mobile runtimes from Adobe Labs.