FMS.NEXT Feature Open Thread

Use the comment thread here for suggestions and recommendations for the next version of Flash Media Server. The FMS team will monitor and reply in the thread when necessary.

Thanks in advance for your ideas!

Update: Graeme Bulls writes:

I’m trying to stay positive here and that we WILL see another version of Flash Media Server. Due to the complete lack of new material about FMS on Adobe’s site nor at the huge MAX event in Las Vegas (and other Max events around the world), it’s a bit tough …. I have to say though, we (FMS community) have sent tons of opinions and ideas to him, to have to again start from scratch and write them all down is a bit frustrating. I would hope that it wouldn’t have been too much effort to say something like “this is what we have received so far,” (and list them) “any votes for these items or anything else to add?”.

Graeme – thanks for linking back.

Firstly: There absolutely, positively WILL be an FMS 3. However, I can’t talk about timeframes at this point. That Im asking for feedback should indicate that we are in the planning stages.

Secondly: We actually did have 5 or so sessions on FMS, though we had next to nothing going on from the Marketing side of things. I’m going to write more about this soon, but Adobe is taking steps to address the underfunding of FMS marketing.

Thirdly: I struggled with posting “ideas so far”. Believe me, I’ve got a long, long list of suggestions from various sources. The FMS team has gone through those, and added many of our own. However, I decided I wanted this thread to be an open suggestion box, with no ideas to predispose anyone – truly a blank slate. Also, it’s been several months since I asked publicly for this kind of feedback. In many ways, this thread will be a reality check to see how close our thoughts and ideas over the past year are to what the community wants today.

As (hopefully) more ideas and suggestions come in, I’ll break some into their own threads for further discussion.

36 Responses to FMS.NEXT Feature Open Thread

  1. Bill Sanders says:

    Hi Steve,I’ve been in knee-deep AS 3.0 , and if server-side FMS were in AS 3.0, it would be more than welcomed. Right now, when working with FMS2 using AS 3.0, I end up using 3 versions of AS–Client side FMS is a bad combination of AS 2.0 & 3.0 and srv side FMS is AS 1.0.Having it all in AS 3.0 and cleaning up a few AS 3.0 NetConnection gremlins would go a long way to smooth this whole thing out.Thanks,Bill

  2. Graeme Bull says:

    Hi Steve, interesting that you should ask. I’d like to say stuff like “FMS devs and the FMS team (like your blog?) are really lacking in the community” but that’s not a feature. I’d really hope that there could be a bigger effort in getting more people involved, but again, that’s not really a technical issue.. hrmmmwell, if I had to have some stuff I’d ask for (not like you haven’t heard these in the past though):1. Syncing of more than one stream together for playback2. Tools to decode FLV files to something else3. FLV editing tool?4. Improved multicasting5. Saving of the buffer for streaming when the stream is paused6. Improved server side scripting7. Packaging of server side scripts and compilation for more speed and security8. Improved admin tool that can be built on by developersI’ll think of more stuff later.. but perhaps that will get things started 🙂

  3. Evert says:

    Open up nellymoser or provide an alternative

  4. Bjorn Schultheiss says:

    Number 1 enhancement i would enjoy is using Actionscript 3 to program FMS applications rather than AS1 along with the necessary debugging tools.A FDS Express equivalent (unlimited users, 1 cpu) license would be greatly appreciated 🙂

  5. Mike K says:

    1. AS3 on server side2. Commands for manipulating/merging/extracting live streams and FLVs3. Commands for converting FLVs to other formats4. Ability to chain the above two together so as to extract audio from a stream or FLV, then save as MP3.5. Dynamic delivery of different levels of quality depending on connection (not sure if this was in FMS2 – I’m still on FCS)6. Set of lightweight controls for Flash/Flex. Maybe these could be nonvisual components that can be used as datasources for various UI components?

  6. Graeme says:

    Sounds good Steve 🙂 thanks for responding so quickly.Believe me in that in no way was I trying to hassle you personally as I am aware of the lack of funding for FMS. So I hope it wasn’t taken that way. This is Adobe’s (as a whole) problem and I hope that they will improve in the FMS area. By the sounds of it so far, I have faith that it will.On a side note, good to see you posting again, I was wondering if this blog was going to get deleted or something due to lack of activity.

  7. 1. When a user is left, the server still thinks that the user is there. You need to build a ping system atm, I think FMS has to do this, not the user2. convert flv to other formats (as mentioned above)3. AS 3.04. solve the old known bugs :-)5. VOIP

  8. I think most features ahve already been mentioned… I’m sure serverside AS3 is on Adobe’s radar already but what’s happening to the FLV format? Please open it up, enable the server to carry out conversions (how cool would that be?) for both audio and video transcoding of FMS recorded FLVs.+1 on the stream syncing support.And only marginally related (as it’s not a server feature as such): what about rtmp, will you open it? Document it?And lastly : please… release the SDK and document the API for pushing data into FMS, a feature that was promised before Edison launched. Or is that a FDS conflict of interest?Stefan

  9. mc says:

    Hi Steve,My three wishes:1. AS32. synchronize/merge/mix multiple streams3. conversion to multiple formatsI would echo a lot of comments from other developer’s blogs: it would be really helpful to have more information available about the planned product development, eg a road map of the broader dev. plan.thanks

  10. Mark de Jong says:

    It is more a licensing issue but it would be nice of there would be 2 sets of servers. 1 focussed at streaming plain FLV-video/audio and MP3 (FMS Streaming Server – no scripting) with a respectitive price and one that focusses at applications (as well as video) ie. a FMS Application Server (current pricing). This way (I think) the 2 markets where FMS is used are served best.

  11. 1. 64-bit edition2. AS3 indeed3. Converting flv frame to image (jpeg).4. place log files next to application (i have an account at flash hosting and cannot access the logs because of the folder/right structure of FMS)

  12. Michael says:

    Add peer2peer Video/Audio streaming to Flash Player, thus it would be easier to deal with traffic for sites with huge audience.

  13. Jay Araujo says:

    Open FMS to the “rest of the world”: add support for a stabilished server side programing language!!Of course evrybody in your current user base will ask you for as2,as3, as4 etc on the server side. that’s what they are: flash developers!!!But really, 1 person doing both backend and frontend? Sounds more like a year-1999 experimental pet project to me than like a year-2006 next-big-thing application.How hard is it for Adobe/Macromedia to see that until they start marketing FMS for the real bulk of the serverside programmer base out there, FMS is fated to continue to be what it is: a luxury toy for inventive flash developers.

  14. May I aslo add: easier to understand licensing? It takes two A4 pages to explain the FMS licensing to somebody. In addition the prices need to come down – we all know what Flash video is perceived (sometimes rightly so) as much more expensive than other streaming media technologies. This is largely due to licensing costs.Stefan

  15. oh and how about a ‘video streaming only’ edition of FMS? After all that’s all you can do when using a CDN so why do they need to pay for all the additional features which are subsequently passed to us, the customers (yet we aren’t allowed to use them)?Limit features, make it cheaper, create a new Edition.Stefan

  16. Bill Sanders says:

    I know we went around on this, and I know there were some technical and possibly legal issues, but the ability to publish On2 VP6/Vp7 FLV files using FMS would open up a whole new market for applications where posters wanted to look a little better in the playback.I thinking of applications like dating services where clients want to remotely record their charms for possible connections to an interested other.Thanks,Bill

  17. Hi Steve,what we would like to have on FMS2 ? it’s a quite long list… which affects a lot the future flash player too.We need new codecs (which could be used with other software too), like the ability to publish (from flash) using mp3, speex or other known encodings (mpeg?).Same could go for video too… This would bother flash player… so what we want from fms2 is the ability to “extract” audio and video from streamns and re-encode them (live).Multicast support (and udp for audio/video) would be really appreciated too… it would increase conferencing performance where you can’t compare to other products in the market due to limitations of TCP traffic.This would open road for another request… ability to encode/decode g711/g729 audio.Sip support would be awesome too.The ability to attach more than 1 video and more than 1 audio on the same stream would be useful too.I would like to ask also the ability to “generate” on the server streams with different audio/video quality settings in order to be able to stream LIVE to users with different bw capacity.Tunneling protocol fix : doesn’t work properly with ISA Server 2000 and Squidi’ll stop for now 🙂

  18. 1. AS3 on server side (including remoting)Renaun

  19. Wade Arnold says:

    FMS should allow a live streams application that just connects to local cameras. I hate having to create a localhost video publisher so that I can stream live video off local capture cards. I have some servers that have 16 NTSC capture cards.

  20. I’ll post my feedback later today but commenting on Graeme on #7:FMS already ships with a packaging tool that can both package and compile your scripts into so called far files ( same concept as war files ). The tool is called far ( or far.exe ) and it’s mentioned in the docs.

  21. Bill Brown says:

    I’m coming to this from a designer’s point of view who’s played around with FCS, but hasn’t really touched FMS because of the lack of compelling new features, updated components and AS2/AS3 support.1. Encode uploaded files to FLV. Please add this feature to either FMS or ColdFusion or both. We want to be able to run our own mini YouTube’s.2. Faster-than-realtime playback. Watch pre-recorded lectures and video tutorials in half the time. This is the single reason why my educational institution uses Quicktime over Flash video. The ability to snoothly control the playback speed while the video is playing is critical. I realize that this will require changes to the Flash Player as well – please work together to make this happen.

  22. How about including java and c# versions of the “nipper” library to allow server-side applicaitons to leverage FMS3 functionality?

  23. Adam says:

    SIP support

  24. da scope says:

    – Screen Sharing- Voip Bridge- H323 Bridge

  25. steve says:

    I would love to see a really nice solution around web stats and reporting. I know the raw log files are there, but it would be great to see a solution really geared towards FMS that would let us give clients detailed reports on the usage stats for their streams.

  26. Thomas Hodek says:

    I would like to have SNMP-enabled information querys so that we can show our customers how many connected clients or bandwidth they are using.

  27. Make FMS stream high definition video, 1080p/i / 720p — provide more support and options for this so it becomes feasible — right now WMV is the only high def option. Also, modify the FLV format to allow for subtitling overlayed, separate audio tracks synched with the video. Allow encryption in the format and FMS to decrypt server side.

  28. Steve,I think most of the needed improvements have been mentioned. The only thing I would like to add is that it remain a flexible as you take in others considerations/suggestions.&Keep up the good work!

  29. Here are some requests for FMS that relate more to music streaming and the player itself:1) The ability to handle all non-standard sampling rates in MP3’s (odd rates, and MP3 Pro headers) that otherwise produce the “chipmunk” effect.2) Better calculation of the duration of VBR mp3’s – currently it can be way off and using CBR mp3’s is not the most efficient use of bandwidth/resources.3) Support for more ID3 tags – including retrieving image data – there are some nice AS3 based solutions – but it would be great if the FMS server could return that info as native objects or as bitmap data directly.4) Dynamic VBR streaming of MP3 data from .wav and .aiff sources and live data sources (alternative to nelly moser for live audio)5) Licensing model just for streaming audio6) Licensing model just for streaming out videos7) Licensing model just for streaming media (audio/video) without other features8) Plugable encryption for securing streams – IE: we can plug in our own routine in AS2.0 or AS3.0 for byte encryption on server and client side.9) Multiple audio tracks synched to one video source10) Multiple video tracks synched to one audio source – ie multiplexed and muxed streaming of multiple assets through one netstream11) More documentation with more examples on real world usage12) Standardized framework for allowing CDN networks deploying FMS to provide server side AS or a subset of server side AS scripts to CDN service subscribers that is easy to manage and push out to all edge servers. IE: autosync to all servers from one app source, with granular control over server side AS.More to come…Thanks!Rob

  30. Thiago Maciel says:

    – AS2/AS3 SSAS- Screen Sharing- SharedObject data manager on admin console.- Sync multiple streams

  31. Thiago Maciel says:

    – runtime embed cue points on .flv when you are recording your audio/video.

  32. Franky Flex says:

    Hi Steve,Please, include a FLV transcoder command line tool so we can create WAVs audio files from FLV files.

  33. @ Thiago Maciel: you can do runtime cuepoints, check out ns.send()

  34. ‘More documentation with more examples on real world usage.’ -> I’think this is a really important thing, mostly in case of server config: SSL configuration / Edge-Origin configuration / Performance optimization. These parts of fms2 documentation are very short.

  35. James Rowley says:

    FLV to 3gp would be great.Ability to accept IP video feeds.

  36. Nicola Bugini says:

    Hi Steve,What do you think about a DRM solution based on FMS?A lot of potential customers complain about the lack of DRM using the flash format.Regards,Nicola