Examining Robust HLS and HDS Video Playback with Adobe Media Server 5

Adobe Media Server 5, a core component of Adobe’s Project Primetime, helps premium content publishers deliver HD quality video across platforms, including iOS and Android devices, to the largest possible audience with a streamlined workflow. We’re revolutionizing media delivery with support for consistent, protected streaming across any Internet-connect device — tablets, smartphones, connected TVs, and desktops.

With our video solutions like Adobe Media Server 5, we’re focused on enabling an optimal online video playback experience where the consumer gets what they want – when and how they want it. Related to this topic, we’ve published a technical article for video content publishers around HTTP Dynamic Streaming (HDS) and HTTP Live Streaming (HLS). The article examines today’s video playback architecture and server-side challenges, including back-end redundancy issues such as live-ness, where a packager advertises a stale view of live, and dropout, where a packager has gaps in its fragment list. We also provide users with a step-by-step guide to writing a basic varnish configuration script to configure a Varnish proxy for the failover solution. (Varnish Cache is a web application accelerator, occasionally referred to as a HTTP accelerator or a reverse HTTP proxy, that will significantly enhance your web performance).

Check out the article and let us know what you think!

AMS

Amazon Adds Free Adobe AIR Native Extensions for Game Developers

a_com_W_logo_RGBFor game developers who want to reach more customers, the Amazon Appstore for Android is a great marketplace to deliver games for Kindle Fire and Android devices. Today, Amazon announced the launch of free Adobe AIR Native Extensions (ANEs) for In-App Purchasing and GameCircle integration for the Amazon Kindle Fire, making it even faster and easier for Adobe Gaming developers to add these features into their mobile apps. With Amazon’s announcement yesterday that it’s extending IAP to cover games for Mac, PC, and Web platforms, ActionScript developers now have even more options to reach customers.

Each week, millions of customers play GameCircle-enabled games, comparing scores and competing against friends. We’ve seen a lot of popular Flash and AIR games in the Amazon Appstore, driving increased revenue for Adobe gaming developers. SongPop from Fresh Planet, Bingo Blitz from Buffalo Studios, Machinarium from Amanita and Stick Tennis from Stick Sports are just a few examples of great games in the Appstore built with Adobe Gaming Technology. The addition of AIR Native Extensions makes it simple for developers using Adobe AIR to quickly integrate GameCircle and IAP support into their creations.

As we announced in December, the Adobe Game Developer Tools – available via the Adobe Creative Cloud – give game developers and publishers access to a powerful set of resources in one central location. Designed to streamline the game development process from creation to deployment, the Game Developer Tools help game publishers and developers reach the broadest possible audience worldwide – over 1.3 billion connected Windows and Mac PCs and over 500 million smartphones and tablets – 20 times the reach of the bestselling Xbox 360 gaming console. The new ANEs from Amazon complement this offering, and continuing to expand the audience reach for new games.

The Adobe Game Developer Tools include Adobe Scout, an advanced profiling tool that helps developers unlock significant performance optimization, and the Adobe AIR SDK, which enables developers to package ActionScript code into native apps for Kindle Fire along with other devices. Developers can find out more and sign up for a free membership at http://gaming.adobe.com.

Developers can access the free Adobe ANEs and read the blog from Amazon here.

We’re looking forward to seeing new games take advantage of these exciting new ANEs, and how game developers blaze new trails on Amazon!

Adobe Gaming & Buffalo Studios: BINGO Blitz

BingoIn creating BINGO Blitz, the developers at Buffalo Studios have cut out the crowded, smoky rooms and uncomfortable chairs and delivered a digital bingo experience that everyone can enjoy.  Using Adobe Gaming technology such as Flash Pro and Adobe AIR, the team has ported the original Facebook incarnation of the game to Android and iOS platforms.  With a player base of over 16 million game installs, Barry Sohl, senior vice president, knew the team could still push their game to a wider audience: “Players today demand high-performance, cross-platform experiences on every device. Adobe Game Developer Tools deliver on that promise.”

Adobe technology has allowed Buffalo Studios to extend their intuitive gaming experience from desktop to mobile platforms.  The game’s smooth visuals were created using the Adobe Creative Suite and the framework, user interface, and overall experience were built entirely in Adobe Flash Professional.  Keeping the entire development pipeline under one umbrella has allowed a single development team to release weekly content updates, seasonal Bingo rooms, and bring new features to market more quickly.

BINGO Blitz offers hundreds of simultaneous players a chance to participate in a modern, mobile version of Bingo that has already been downloaded over 1 million times.  The experience developing and porting the feature-rich game to multiple platforms has made a believer out of Buffalo Studios for their next projects. “We are basing all our current and future titles on Adobe Game Developer Tools.” After the success of BINGO Blitz, we can’t wait to see what Buffalo Studios comes out with next! You can learn more about their streamlined development process here.

CES: TV Everywhere Becoming a Reality in 2013

As we embark on a new year, we’re excited to see more and more “TV Everywhere” experiences coming online. With Adobe Pass, our Emmy Engineering award-winning authentication service and a key component of Adobe‘s Project Primetime, we are working closely with our partners to make it easier for millions of consumers to access their pay TV content across devices.

Adobe Pass is now supported by more than 150 pay TV operators covering nearly 98 percent of all pay TV households in the U.S. Given the current adoption rate, we anticipate all major TV shows will be available through a TV Everywhere experience in the next two years.

We’re thrilled that A+E Networks just launched its first iPad apps, powered by Adobe Pass, for three of its networks: A&E, HISTORY and Lifetime. These three networks bring to iPad users their broadcast content, including popular TV shows like Storage Wars (A&E), Pawn Stars (HISTORY) and Project Runway (Lifetime). Additionally, Comcast customers can access exclusive content across all three apps. With three new A+E apps now live, more than 55 sites and mobile apps are now powered by Adobe’s authentication service. TV programmers working with Adobe include NBC, Fox, Disney, ESPN, Cartoon Network, MTV, TNT, CNN, Scripps, Pac12, NFL Network, The Hallmark Channel, Univision, and many others.

We’re excited about the pipeline of new TV Everywhere apps coming online in 2013 – bringing consumers a digital living room experience on the go. Stay tuned for some major updates between now and The NAB Show.

Lifetime HISTORY A&E

Happy Holidays from Adobe Gaming

It’s been a whirlwind year, and for our holiday post for 2012, we wanted to highlight a few cleverly designed kids games that were made using Adobe Gaming technology. These gems will definitely keep the little ones glued to their devices to give you time to shovel the driveway, catch up with in-laws, wrap presents or get the turkey ready during this busy holiday season :). Enjoy and we’ll see you next year!

Spell Cubes – This is a gorgeous app created by a Dad for his two-year-old son to bring spelling to life. It is available for the iPad here and is powered by Adobe AIR, Starling and Feathers.

Magical Music Box – From the makers of “Winter On Whale Island,” the team at Pamakids just launched their new kids game, “Magical Music Box” on the iOS App Store. This beautifully designed songbook integrates fun interactions that are powered by Stage3D, Adobe Native Extensions (ANEs) and their own 2D GPU framework.

Frog Fractions – This free-to-play math game inserts some fun into math with its nostalgic 90’s look and playability. By all accounts, this game is not just for kids and will actually drop anyone into a world of weird after level 1.

Land of Me – Three new apps were recently released from Land of Me. Songs and Rhymes, Making Things and Story Time let kids and their parents play around and develop skills like creating songs, developing storylines and building new worlds.

Christmas Crusaders – In this holiday retro game from Nickelodeon, the Elves have rebelled against Santa and are trying to ruin the Christmas by destroying all the children’s presents.

And for more of a big kid challenge, we want to congratulate Botanicula on being chosen as one of the top 10 games by the LA Times!

For more great games, check out http://gaming.adobe.com/showcase/

Embracing the Multi-Screen World to Reach Consumers

Last month at the AdMonsters Screens event in London, we explored the growing opportunities (and challenges) for publishers as consumers use multiple screens including their Internet-connected smartphones and tablet devices to consume digital video content – anytime, anywhere.

AdMonsters spoke with Adobe’s Steve Allison, technical evangelist for Media & Advertising Solutions, and other industry players about how to embrace the multi-screen opportunity and enhance the consumer experience. Steve thinks that distributing and reusing content across multiple screens is a continuing obstacle for many publishers, but they must “respect the soul of a device” to create fully engaging consumer experiences. Watch his video interview below and see what Steve says about making better video advertising decisions, capitalizing on the multi-screen opportunity, and driving consumer engagement across platforms.

Check out some of the other AdMonsters video interviews as well:

  • Tom Bowman, VP of strategy and global ad sales at BBC Worldwide, discusses vying for consumer attention across multiple devices and how publishers can leverage native mobile device capabilities.

  • Michael Tuszynski, product manager at MTV Networks (a division of Viacom), talks about second-screen applications and smoothly integrating video ads into the consumer experience.

  • Conor Mullen, commercial director at RTE, comments on exciting opportunities for publishers in today’s new media age and challenges in reaching consumers across various devices.

  • Bill Scott, chief operating and commercial officer at easelTV, shares his thoughts on the differences between online video content and the traditional TV model, and how audience engagement is changing.

SongPop Secures #1 Spot in 2012

We just wanted to take a quick moment and congratulate SongPop for their amazing debut this year! They were recently named by Facebook as the #1 game in 2012 among some very stiff competition. Since launching the game in 2012, FreshPlanet has amassed more than 60 million users and secured the honor of the #5 game downloaded in the Apple App Store this year.

We’re happy that FreshPlanet choose Adobe Gaming technologies, including Adobe AIR, to deliver this wildly popular game. For more on SongPop, check out our previous blog post, which links to their full Adobe Success Story.

We’ll be showcasing lots of other great games in future posts as well as some holiday-themed ones to get you in the spirit. Stay tuned!

Adobe Game Jam Winds Through Chicago

The Adobe Gaming team and a host of talented, creative, and colorful developers gathered in the Windy City for the second Adobe Game Jam. Once again we had a great group of enthusiastic designers and developers who built some amazing games using Flash technology!

Five Chi-town teams assembled and worked through the night to show off the high quality games, and in just 24 hours we had a winner! Disaster at CP1 is a firefighting adventure that captured the crowd’s attention with its smooth controls and terrific aesthetics, and the fully playable demo is available online here.

The Starling Framework and Citrus Engine were front and center, serving as a key component in the majority of the Game Jam projects. Thanks again to all attendees for coming out to the Adobe Game Jam and for making our community one of the most innovative and enthusiastic. We really enjoyed seeing the Citrus Engine embraced by the development community and are looking forward to everyone’s next projects!

Check out the video below to get a first-hand look at the Game Jam. Also, a special thanks to The Nerdery for playing host!

P.S. If you had the chance to attend, don’t hesitate to leave us a note in the comments section below or drop us a line on Twitter via @AdobeFlash.

Adobe Delivers New Game Developer Tools in Creative Cloud

We are thrilled to announce the release of our first Game Developer Tools in the Adobe Creative Cloud, giving developers and publishers access to a powerful set of resources in one central location. Adobe’s Game Developer Tools are designed to streamline the game development process from creation to deployment, and help game publishers and developers reach the broadest possible audience worldwide – over 1.3 billion connected Windows and Mac PCs and over 500 million smartphones and tablets – 20 times the reach of the bestselling Xbox 360 gaming console.

The gaming community is already buzzing about Adobe Scout, an advanced next-generation profiling tool that uncovers granular internal information in ActionScript-based mobile and browser content to unlock significant performance optimization opportunities. We’ve received rave reviews from developers who have been using pre-release versions of Scout to gain powerful insights and who are already enhancing their development processes with our Game Developer Tools.

As a special promotion, we’re including this first release of Scout in a free membership to Creative Cloud, along with the rest of our Game Developer Tools, including the Adobe Gaming SDK, Adobe Flash C++ Compiler, and trial versions of Flash Professional CS6 and Flash Builder 4.7 Premium:

–          The Adobe Gaming SDK provides the essential building blocks developers need to create and monetize amazing ActionScript games across browsers and mobile devices, including open source 2D and 3D frameworks (Starling, Feathers, and Away3D), and is a simple starting point for both new and experienced game developers.

–          The Adobe Flash C++ Compiler is a new tool chain that allows game developers to take native games and game engines for PCs, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and iOS and compile them to run directly on the web across browsers on over 1.3 billion connected PCs using Adobe Flash Player.

–          Adobe Flash Professional CS6 is an authoring tool to create engaging animation and games, including support for delivering animated assets ready for use with Starling and many other popular frameworks, and Adobe Flash Builder 4.7 Premium is an advanced ActionScript development environment that can be used to develop high-performance mobile and browser-based games. Flash Builder 4.7 Premium also improves productivity and time to market with support for the new ASC 2.0 compiler and the ability to test and debug apps directly on Apple iOS devices through USB or on the iOS simulator.

Creative Cloud paid membership includes full versions of Flash Professional and Flash Builder and will also include future versions of Scout following the introductory promotion. Of course, paid members also get access to all of the Creative Suite 6 apps, including other popular tools for game design, such as Photoshop and Illustrator.

The Adobe Flash Player has been at the forefront of online gaming for years and is used to power the 10 most popular games on Facebook including SongPop, FarmVille2, and Diamond Dash. Adobe’s latest Gaming technologies are the leading choice for social game studios like Zynga, Wooga and KIXEYE and are used by AAA game developers like Ubisoft as well as indie developers like Northway and Damp Gnat to help minimize the cost of targeting multiple platforms and mobile devices – including games for iPhones and iPads. Today’s release of Game Developer Tools makes it much easier for developers to maximize productivity, game quality and reach across PCs and mobile devices.

We’ll be celebrating this launch at our San Francisco office this evening with many local developers and publishers. Please feel free to stop by, or keep an eye out for a recap video in the next few days on Adobe’s Gaming YouTube channel. And, to find out more about the new Game Developer Tools and the Adobe Creative Cloud, visit gaming.adobe.com/getstarted.

Better Learning Through Game Design

Improving classroom skills for students is no longer confined to pencils, paper and flash cards. Educators today must embrace the latest technology to equip students with the skills to succeed. The World Wide Workshop’s Globaloria program is taking a proactive approach to break out of the traditional education mold and help educators and students meet challenges with an innovative curriculum. Then program helps students in grades 6 through 12 with STEM skills and computing knowledge through hands-on game design and programming.

Students learn to design and program games using Adobe Gaming technologies. Adobe Flash Professional, Adobe Creative Suite, including characters designed in Adobe Photoshop, game elements created in Adobe Illustrator, and effects created using Adobe Fireworks give students all the tools they need to be successful.

And, with so much game design background at an early age, students may be able to create award winning games like IGF Student Showcase Winner Ian Snyder, a student developer now at Kansas City Art Institute. See The Floor is Jelly trailer below and Ian’s full story here. Be sure to visit gaming.adobe.com to see what can be accomplished using Adobe Gaming technology.

A version of this post was also posted on the Adobe Education blog here