Recent content in the Adobe Developer Connection

As an Adobe Flash Platform developer, you’re probably frequently integrating video and sound into your projects. In this issue we have new sample projects on using Adobe Flex and Adobe Flash to work with media.

Jens Loeffler shows you how to create a video sharing application in just a few steps using Adobe Flex Builder and Adobe Flash Media Server. Dan Carr explains how to manage audio in a media project using Adobe Soundbooth with Adobe Flash Professional. Doug Winnie provides an iterative approach to the designer-developer workflow with Adobe products and technologies.

For those of you gearing up for the next release of Flex, check out Tim Buntel’s article, Five great new features in Flash Builder 4 beta. Meanwhile, Flex developers who are interested in mapping should not miss Matt Sheehan’s article. It teaches you how to build a basic interactive map with zoom and pan functionality, and then extend the application to include multiple providers and markers.

Two New Open Source Projects at Adobe

Today we’re announcing two more projects going up on opensource.adobe.com and becoming part of the open source family at Adobe. The first is the Text Layout Framework, which comes from some of the advancements we made in Flash Player 10 to improve text support in Flash Player. The other is the Open Source Media Framework, which was known by the codename “Strobe” and provides a robust framework for media playback of any kind (video, audio, dynamic SWFs).

The Text Layout Framework (TLF) is something that’s going to be a huge boon to developers. If you’ve been working with text in the new Flex 4 components then you’ve been working with the Text Layout Framework. If you haven’t seen the demo you can check it out over on Labs. It was created by a group that is just a few blocks north of me and does a great job of showing off the features of the new TLF. Now that the Text Layout Framework is open source you can push, pull, and extend it to your heart’s content. A great example of this in action is the New York Times Reader and the Boston Globe Reader – both of which wouldn’t have been possible without the Text Layout Framework.

The other project we’re releasing is the Open Source Media Framework (OSMF). I’ve been digging into the documentation a bit and I’m excited about what this means for rich media and the Flash Platform. The OSMF includes hooks for any kind of media type the Flash Player supports including images, audio, SWF content, and of course video. Using the framework you can create your own media players and the OSMF provides a set of powerful baseline functionality. It has hooks for creating your own plug-ins for metrics, advertising, and other functions. It has support for both progressive download and streaming built in as well as all of the video controls and functionality. And there isn’t any UI associated with the OSMF so you can integrate it into your application however you want.

I encourage you to download the source code and check out the samples. There are some good examples that show how to go about building plugins, how to use the composite media features (so you can support a number of different media types in one player), and how to build UI components on top of the framework.

Flash-based media player standards are here!

Today we made the announcement that Strobe is now called Open Source Media Framework (OSMF) and is now available! OSMF will help standardize media players that use the Adobe Flash Platform for media delivery.

I’m really excited about this collaborative, industry effort to help not only make video perform better in Flash, but will enable a larger ecosystem of media services to be easily incorporated into your player development… and, just because I didn’t blog about it earlier – Flash Player 10 is now at 86% adoption (7 months after release) and continues to be the number 1 platform of choice for video on the web.

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Media players on the web today do much more than your television screen in your living room.   Media players are responsible for rendering the video, managing playlists, integrating targeted advertising, content protection, tracking and error correction. I spoke about this last year at Streaming Media West (download here).

OSMF is a flexible architecture to help developers create custom playback experiences while leveraging a potentially huge range of services made available through a common plug-in architecture. This plug-in approach will allow multiple CDNs, Advertising, reporting and much more to be easily added to the media player. You can look at some of the inaugural partners committed to building plug-ins to help you get rolling.

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Put simply, OSMF lets you focus on the business of delivering video, not the player development – but will not prevent you from adding your own spin to keep your users engaged longer. As Adobe continues to innovate new features like Dynamic Streaming or DVR you can easily update your player with the new code so you can take full advantage of all the cool stuff we have up our sleeves as soon as we ship!

The website www.OpenSourceMediaFramework.com has been setup as the source code repository and home for all the pluggable components that people will make. The source code is available under Mozilla Public License.

Akamai who founded the Open Video Player initiative is also helping by contributing to OSMF through a strong collaborative relationship with Adobe. Tim Napolean, Chief Strategist at Akamai is quoted in the release:

“Open Source Media Framework complements and solidifies Akamai’s Open Video Player initiative,” said Tim Napoleon, chief strategist, of digital media at Akamai. “OSMF leverages code from Akamai’s Open Video Player and Adobe’s expertise and resources to assist media companies and publishers in redefining the benchmarks for online video experiences that are powered by standards based workflows.”

For details about the release

For the product page

The OSMF Wiki on Adobe.com

For more information about Open Video Player

RTMP Specification Now Available

Last month, we made the RTMP protocol specification available to everyone who wants to use it – for Free! We’re really excited about the opportunities to add new data sources, communications, and media to new and existing applications in Flash.

You can now download the Adobe RTMP Spec for free here.

RTMP was first introduced in Flash Player 6 enabled by Flash Communication Server 1.0 (now called the Flash Media Server). This was also the time when audio and video capture was introduced in the player opening a new role for Flash player as a communication client.

The RTMP specification describes a protocol designed for multiplexing and packetizing multimedia transport streams including audio, video and data over the TCP protocol. RTMP is used today with Flash Media Server for many real-time applications such as our own Adobe Acrobat Connect, and for media delivery from major online media publishers like Hulu, Amazon or the BBC. It’s also used inside Adobe LiveCycle Data Services ES for real time data push applications.

The RTMP specification is part of the Adobe Flash Platform and will join other open initiatives including SWF and FLV/F4V formats as part of the Open Screen Project with the goal of delivering a consistent experience for both developers and users across all devices. The protocol specification will help companies integrate new sources of audio, video and data into their projects and reach over 98% of connected computers and more than 800 million devices worldwide. The Adobe Flash Platform is used today to deliver approximately 80% of web video and can be updated faster than any technology today, reaching 74% market penetration 5 months after release.

The RTMP spec does not include any information about Adobe’s secure streaming measures, such as RTMPe or SWF Verification – which continue to protect some of the internet’s most valuable media content using Flash Media Server used by the top media publishers for the widest possible audience.

The specification documents how the RTMP protocol works, this will enable you to send and receive data from Flash Player or AIR. You can learn how to use the RTMP handshake, understand how the RTMP Chunk stream is formed, how RTMP command messages are created and the message formats. This information will let you leverage the client side ActionScript classes, NetConnection, NetStream, SharedObject and other s that today move data back and forth between Flash Player and Flash Media Server.

This specification does not include any binary or source code implementation of the RTMP protocol. To learn more about licensing binary or source RTMP libraries you can contact FMSOEMinquiries@adobe.com.

So what happens for Flash Media Server? Adobe continues to innovate on top of RTMP with Flash Media Server software to help increase quality of service and real time interactivity with solutions like multi-bitrate (Dynamic Streaming), DVR technology, server side recording, network caching, data collaboration with a rich and easy to build platform that integrates and scales as big as you need it to. Flash Media Server will remain to be the right choice for customers who want to deploy scalable and secure streaming and collaboration services on the Adobe Flash Platform. The tight integration between Flash Player and Flash Media Server continues to make it the number 1 choice for facilitating secure interactive communication and highly scalable media delivery on the web.