Announcing Adobe Media Server 5 and Adobe Access 4

Today, almost 10 years since we released our first media server, we are announcing Adobe Media Server 5 with enhanced support for serving and protecting video to the Apple iPad, Apple iPhone and Apple iTouch all running on Apple iOS through native app development. In addition, we are jointly announcing Adobe Access 4 that can now be used to securely protect videos on Apple devices that uses the same protection system to secure video on Adobe Flash, Adobe AIR running on 1 billion desktops and devices worldwide.

You may also notice that we changed the product name to reflect that streaming and protection technologies are not solely for Flash, but allow you to deliver and protect your video on an increasing number of devices supporting native app development environments such as Objective C.

Adobe Media Server stands out from all other media server technologies because we believe that streaming is not complete without a way to protect video from theft so that broadcasters or publishers can use video to drive or support a business. This strategy has been in place since the very early days of the products where in 2002, RTMP protected content because nothing was cached. In 2007 HD streaming opportunity was introduced with H.264 and adaptive bitrate – and so the video protection systems needed to change, and we introduced RTMPe and SWF verification which not only encrypted, but bound the media to the player. RTMPe/SWFv technology and the very simple workflow innovations have made it possible for world’s broadcasters and video distributors to put the latest releases of TV shows and movies online and in the palm of your hand. We are also adding in critical support for 608/708 Closed Caption so that you can increase your audience with every kind of capability.

With the evolution of streaming and movement towards HTTP delivery for multi-screen, Adobe not only introduced a DRM solution to meet the demands of both the most rigid requirement, but balanced the solution with simple publishing workflows. Adobe Media Server 4.5’s support for HLS format to Apple devices in September 2011 was a ground breaking shift and now Adobe Media Server 5 adds secure media delivery over HLS with easy to use workflows, and universal protection system to meet all broadcast protection requirements. But most importantly – for the audience, it looks and performs awesome – you don’t even know the protection is there, but it is.

What makes Adobe video solutions so unique in my mind is our strategy to always interleave delivery + protection– it has been in our DNA since we started the journey 10 years ago. Adobe Media Server 5 builds on the rich innovation that has both delivery + protection at its core.

Adobe Access 4 has advanced not only DRM with iOS jailbreak protection, but will also allow you to use the same license server to protect content across over 1 billion devices, desktops and now the Apple devices. Adobe Access maintains its position with the Ultraviolet project as one of the approved DRMs.

Adobe Media Server 5 extends the innovation around Protected HTTP Dynamic Streaming (“PHDS”) which allows you to not worry about protection, just enable the encryption and protection and let Adobe do the rest. This release introduces Protected HLS streaming (“PHLS”) which uses the protection system to deliver the content license to the native IOS app without requiring a license server! So now you can deliver HTTP content to both native apps running on Apple devices and Flash-enabled devices using the same powerful Adobe Access client but without the Adobe Access license server. This technology is perfect for live events, news, sports or concerts, or if you just want to protect your video content without a complicated setup. We have juiced up the server with a much higher performing dynamic packager and encryption system that supports on demand and live streaming over both HDS and HLS that will power some of the most impressive events in 2012 that will change the way we think of multi-screen video. We have also extended the server’s utilities for offline media packaging to include HLS segmenting and encryption so you can prepare all your content in advance.

So… you may be thinking how I can get so excited about DRM? Well, it’s not that hard when you think of what protection enables. DRM and Adobe’s unique Protected HTTP Streaming (PHLS, PHDS) systems enable higher quality video and access to more content on more devices because it simplifies things for those who are publishing the video.

I’m truly excited about these release, and to continue bringing technology to market that drives more and more high quality video to every single device we can. Adobe Media Server 5 and Adobe Access 4 will be released soon.

There is more to come, so watch my blog over the coming months.