Posts in Category "Flash Media Server"

HDS Best Practices for FMS 4.5 with Sarge from Adobe

Adobe HTTP Dynamic Streaming (HDS) lets you delivery on-demand and live video experiences using standard HTTP connections to the desktop and mobile devices. HDS is being used today by broadcasters like BBC (Wimbledon 2011) and AEG Digital Media (2010 MTV Teen Choice Awards). In September, Adobe updated HDS in Flash Media Server 4.5 adding new features and enhanced security.

Join this session to discover the recommended best practices for deploying HDS with FMS 4.5 from Sarge, Application Engineer for Adobe Video Solutions.

TIME: December 13, 2011 at noon Eastern / 9am Pacific:

REGISTER NOW for the web-only user group meeting

Here are some of the topics that Sarge will cover:

Encode high quality video mezzanine MP4 files and deliver them in real-time simultaneously through RTMP and HDS. Configure HDS settings to optimize HTTP caching. Sarge walks you through the changes to HDS in FMS 4.5, including:

  • Just in Time packaging (JITP)
  • Protected HTTP Dynamic Streaming (PHDS)
  • Set-level Manifests
  • Configuration updates

Who is “Sarge”? Sarge is an Applications Engineer on the Adobe Video Solutions team focusing on Flash Media Server (FMS) and related technologies. Prior to joining the FMS engineering team, he held several positions with the Allaire, Macromedia, and Adobe Customer Care teams supporting ColdFusion, Connect, Contribute Publishing Server, FMS, and JRun. He has contributed to several ColdFusion books including Ben Forta’s ColdFusion Web Application Construction Kit series.

“Ask Adobe” Seminar series – Flash Media Server Roadmap

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FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 10TH, 2010

11AM (PST) / 2PM (EST) and 8PM (in Amsterdam!)

LIVE! from the International Broadcast Conference (IBC) in Amsterdam, join us for the 2nd in our series of “Ask Adobe” seminars with StreamingMedia.com. Over the next few months, these webinars will cover topics including Flash Media Server, Content protection and deployment strategies for the Enterprise and much much more. Join myself, and some of my Adobe colleagues as we bring you insights into how to get the most out of the Flash Platform for your video delivery.

From delivering your internal corporate messages, to delivering the most stellar content on virtually any device, and over virtually every network this series will inform you how to deliver the most consistent and high quality experience to your friends, your co-workers, your partners, your sales team, your customers and any one who you want to reach.

Through the series, join Streaming Media’s Dan Rayburn as your host through the series, and bringing your questions direct to the Adobe team.

If all that wasn’t enough, just by joining the webinar, you can enter to win a copy of Adobe Creative Suite 5 Production Premium – the worlds best 64 bit video production suite.

REGISTER RIGHT NOW for the next seminar where I will be live from the IBC exposition floor in Amsterdam giving you a peak into the future roadmap of Flash Media Server.

If you miss this webinar, we’ll record it for you, but you have to register!

Here is what we have on deck following the next session:

  • September 22: Monetizing and Delivering Protected content to Multiple screens with Adobe Flash Access
  • October 6: Video Delivery in the Enterprise
  • October 27: (live from Adobe MAX in LA): Advanced Deployment Strategies for Flash Media
  • November 10: Building Interactive Experiences with Peer Assisted Networking (RTMFP)

If you’re going to IBC, you can visit us in Hall 7 at H23 Stand

Now Shipping: Flash Media Playback

Flash Media Playback is a brand new free media player for Flash that makes it much easier to deliver high quality video the widest possible audience using Adobe Flash Player. Flash Media Playback has been designed to make it super simple to deploy video in no time at all with full support for all the delivery technologies including RTMP/RTMPe HTTP Dynamic Streaming and Progressive Download. All you need to do to use it is add some simple HTML to your webpages – The actual SWF file will come from Adobe.

Flash Media Playback is built on top of the Open Source Media Framework and as part of that framwork has full support for all of the third party plugin services from key service providers supporting the framework. Service providers such as CMS, CDNS, Advertising and Analytics that help you drive a business delivering video on the web.

Here are some important links to get started and learn more

The Flash Media Playback product pages:


The OSMF product page including Strobe Media Playback:


Developer Center Articles for getting started

Get started today, and keep creating great looking video experiences!

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.

osmf_com_snap.tiff

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

Large Scale Deployment Guide and LiveStreamCast for Flash Media Server now Available!

Today we released a new deployment guide for large scale installations of Flash Media Interactive Server for video streaming (live or onDemand). This guide is perfect if you are a CDN or building a video delivery infrastructure (eCDN) within your company (large or small!).

DOWNLOAD IT HERE

This new guide will step you through your FMS deployment options including

  • Edge caching
  • Using the C++ plugins
  • Hardware Considerations including CPU, RAM, Networking
  • Capacity Planning and options to increase scale
  • Understanding how to Cluster
  • Supporting Multiple tenants
  • Access Control and Authentication
  • Server Monitoring – including 3rd party monitoring systems
  • Storage Options
  • Cache management
  • Live and VOD optimizations
  • Full Details on clustering with LiveStreamCast 1.0
  • Managing Content Protection features including RTMPe, Tunneling and SWF Verification
  • Complete Troubleshooting guide including how to contact Adobe
  • Full list of community resources
  • And a Glossary
  • Future sections will be added to include deploying Dynamic Streaming and DVR (expect that later this summer)

We also have a new full 2-day hands on training course on Large Scale Deployment. You can read the course outline here. Check for Classes here (select Category: “Adobe Video”)

Today, We have also released a new free sample application called LiveStreamCast 1.0 – providing you with the foundation to deliver a live streams across a cluster of Flash Media Servers – simulating the technology found in the Edge server configuration.

RTMP Specification Now Available

It’s great to see so much buzz about the Real Time Messaging Protocol (RTMP) protocol and Flash Media Server, and today we’ve made the 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 it for free here .

RTMPSpec.tiff

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. We have a new product offering called the FMS Connector for C++ SDK, that is also available today for licensing. The connector can be used to publish live audio, video and metadata into Flash Media Server. To learn more about the RTMP connector 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.

Announcing DVRCast and FLVPlayback update

Today we released two free tools; the new DVRCast application for Flash Media Interactive Server 3.5, and an update to FLVPlayback component. You can find them both on the Flash Media Server productivity tools page: http://www.adobe.com/go/fms_tools/. You can read more from a new article from David Hassoun posted here: http://www.adobe.com/devnet/flashmediaserver/articles/live_dvr_pt2.html

Some Background

Live streaming on the web has exploded with Flash over the past 12 months – thanks to the support of our CDN and encoding partners – the capacity and volume available today for live events is staggering. Recently we’ve seen nearly every major sporting league, concert, conference come to the web (usually in Flash).    Inside businesses, company meetings and training are exploding because of the direct impact to saving money by limiting the need for travel.

When we released Adobe Flash Media Server 3.5 last January, we extended live recording functionality in 2 ways. First we added support for H.264/AAC recording on the server and second we added support for playing a live stream from a file that is expanding.   We upgraded the recording engine really for selfish reasons – we were tired of being the growing volume of compelling live content on the web, as if it was 1960 with no control over how we consume it.

Flash Media Interactive Server 3.5 can enable many of the experiences we expect from watching television in our living room with a DVR set top box. The DVRCast application extends the base functionality of the server to allow publishers to manage their live DVR-enabled streams and enable features within Flash Media Live Encoder 3.0 and the FLVPlayback component update. We hope you find the functionality compelling enough to introduce into your future live events.

I’ll use this blog posting as an FAQ of sorts to help explain what is now possible with this new technology.

As we were putting the final touches on the server before we released, it came clear that enabling DVR on streams may not be obvious for everyone, so we set out to make it easier, and provide some free (yes, free) tools to get you started faster.  

The tools include

The goal of using these tools in combination is to make DVR as code-less as possible, and provide developers insight into how to create scalable robust DVR-enabled live streams.

What is DVRCast?

DVRCast is a server side application that runs on top of Flash Media Interactive Server 3.5 to provide more control over DVR-enabled streams by introducing a series of API’s to control the start/stop and scheduling of future live streams.   The API’s are developed using ServerSide ActionScript and can only be used with Flash Media Interactive Server 3.5 (note: the Flash Media Streaming Server 3.5 is not supported)

Do you need DVRCast to use DVR with Flash Media Server?

No. DVRCast uses existing technology built into the server, DVRCast extends the server functionality with abilities to manage metadata, start and stop and scheduling of DVR-enabled streams. You can learn how to use DVR without DVRCast by reading the Adobe Developer Connection article by David Hassoun – there is also a terrific sample application in his article. http://www.adobe.com/devnet/flashmediaserver/articles/live_dvr_pt1.html

What Codecs are supported?

All codecs supported by Flash Media Server 3.5 are fully supported, including H.264/AAC, ON2VP6/MP3, H263(Spark)/Nellymoser/Speex. Flash Media Server 3.5 added support to record H264/AAC on the server in the F4V Container (an MPEG-4 ISO standard).

Can you use DVR for audio-only streams?

Yes! You do not need a video stream, so if you want to create a DVR-enabled radio stream you can absolutely do that.   Flash Media Server will create the cache as an FLV (for MP3) and F4V (for AAC)

What can you do with DVR on Flash Media Server?

DVR changes the way we engage with live video online. You can leverage DVR-enabled streams in ANY version of Flash Player that supports video.   That’s right – rollback to Flash player 6, and create something new again (just be aware of the codecs supported)!

Here are some ideas we considered when we designed the feature – mostly from our team sitting at home watching how we interact with live television today (a fun homework assignment).

  • Instant Replay – This is the killer experience that changed the game.   As you watch a live stream, allow the viewer to skip back to re-watch an amazing shot on goal from your favorite hockey team, or skip back to re-watch your CEO explain your new bonus structure.
  • Start from Beginning - Put another way, this is time shifting. Imagine watching a live stream from the beginning while the live event is still happening. This is what we’ve come to expect in our living room, since the days of the VCR.   It’s incredible that for the past 10 years of live video on the web we’ve forced people to log in at a specific time and place to watch the live stream and if things get disrupted – too bad. DVR helps make live streams available to more viewers on their own time and resistant against failure.
  • Resume after failure – The internet is a unreliable place, and when connection issues hit your PC while you’re watching a live video, guess what happens – you will lose the content from when the disruption happened to when you start again. This could happen due to network congestion or network failure.    DVR features can help prevent the loss of stream.   When network failures happen and you reconnect, you can resume the stream from where you left off (just like VOD). Without DVR, to watch the period you missed, you must wait for the video to be available in VOD – something I (personally) hope I never experience that again (hint hint).
  • Real time clipping – This is a real exciting feature for publishers, and a way to take engagement to the next level.   Imagine watching a live concert, and in the background the publisher is creating clips of the songs and posting them in real time. Or imagine you’re watching a hockey game, and the publisher is cataloging the big hits and shots on goal, and posting them live.   What’s great about the DVR Cache is you can treat it just like VOD.   (BIG IDEA HERE) Imagine creating a tool that allows a publisher to create in and out points during the live stream, and publish the clips in real time. You can see a little of that technique today on MLB.com – where they clip the innings, and allow you to watch each inning separately in real time.
  • Manage Limits- Flash Media Server has built-in mechanisms to make sure you don’t blow up your disks. We’ve run tests for DVR that included a 24×7 stream running for up to 3 weeks – creating a multi-GB DVR cache, but it’s realistic to think you could do this (think fish tank, or eggs hatching!)    The server has limits in the configuration that let you set “quota” rules that could be bound by either max duration or max size.   Located in either the XML configuration (application or server level) or even build something custom using the C++ plug-ins.
  • Instant VOD- one of the coolest side features of the DVR cache is the ability to instantly publish the VOD version of the live stream. Think about blurring the line between live and VOD.    So publishers, get rid of the time to re-encode and upload the VOD version of your live event.    If you want to do some quick editing of the cache (i.e. you want to change the start / end time) – no problem – Flash Media Server does that – simply start playing from the point you want, and set the duration to end where you want. (You can even bring the cache into Adobe Premiere, but I’ll cover that later).

How is DVR in Flash different than the DVR in my home?

There are a lot of differences – specifically related to where the cache is stored.    Your DVR at home has a hard drive, and the cache is stored locally.   This is handy if you want to skip commercials, or “own” the show.   It’s not very interesting for publishers of live content – because control is lost and most importantly the opportunity to draw revenue from the media is lost (because you will fast forward through the commercials, we all do it).    The core difference with our approach is that the cache is stored at the server.   This allows the publisher to provide the experiences that the viewer wants, while maintaining control over the media. For the viewer, the benefit is revealed when you forget to record your show. In Flash, the server will always give you the ability to play from the beginning.

Here is a high level overview of how DVR works in Flash Media Server 3.5

DVR_Slide1.png

What does DVRCast do?

DVRCast provides you deep control for managing your single or multiple DVR-enabled streams by giving you controls for starting, stopping, scheduling and deep control over. We strongly recommend that you leverage this application and use the application’s API’s to develop a custom live stream management utility. We’ll keep updating DVRCast, fix bugs and make it better over time.

Here are some enhancements enabled by DVRCast

  • Start the DVR cache – This may seem obvious – but let’s look at some situations that add complexity – Starting the DVR cache can be done after the live stream begins or at the time of publish. In most scenarios broadcasters will start a live stream long before the actual event.    You don’t want to be burning valuable disk with the cache, that no one will watch.   Starting the DVR cache after the stream is published is key. Another important scenario is multi cameras (think football) – where starting the DVR cache needs to happen across all streams at the same time. Ok, now add another layer – most live events use redundant ingest points – basically the live stream is published to at least 2 servers, incase 1 goes down. In this scenario, you now need to start the DVR cache not on 1 server with 1 stream, but multiple servers and multiple streams. DVRCast helps solve this problem (see the scheduling feature, below)
  • Schedule future DVR Streams – Often times live events have a scheduled start and end time.   DVRCast lets you pre-program the server to wait for the live stream to be published, and at the scheduled time, the server will automatically start caching the live stream.   You can program any number of streams and duplicate the program over multiple servers.
  • Add/Change Metadata – Metadata is used in streaming to add descriptive information about the live stream (i.e. name, author, copyright) but also information about the stream – most importantly the duration.    The duration data is important so you can build a user interface (i.e. Seek Bar).   If you watch your DVR at home, you will notice that the Seek bar has a set duration.    What happens if the event runs long or short?   The visual interface needs to be updated.    DVRCast makes it easy to add/change metadata such as duration.    The updated FLVPlayback component will respond to duration change, but modifying the seek bar scale.
  • Extend or trim the end time of an existing stream – Have you ever known a live event that has ended on time? DVRCast will let you extend or reduce the stop time of a DVR Cache.    You can build a utility that lets you manage this easily.
  • Append to an existing cache – An original feature of FMS is to support appending to existing media files.    DVRCast makes it easy to use that feature with Flash Media Server 3.5.
  • Support for Dynamic Streaming (Mulitbitrate)– Multibitrate live streaming is a new feature with Flash Player 10 and Flash Media Server 3.5. The start DVR button in the Flash Media Live Encoder 3.0 will begin the DVR cache for all bitrates streaming from the encoder. You can also use the scheduling feature in the DVRCast application to start the cache at the same time for multiple streaming coming in from the server.

Can you customize DVRCast?

Absolutely yes.   DVRCast is available as “Sample Code” and it is within the EULA to modify, and use this application to suit your custom needs. Some ideas for extending DVRCast could be adding functionality to return all existing streams on the server, and selectively enable/disable DVR on the streams. You can also build protection mechanisms within DVRCast to limit usage of the API’s or signal content management systems when the DVR stream is complete to create a smooth transition between live and VOD.

Does the FLVPlayback component support DVR?

Yes, we have updated the component to support DVR functionality. We now support this component in both Flash Professional CS4 and the Flex SDK.   The current version is FLVPlayback 2.5.0.15, and is included in the DVRCast download.   You can also download it separately.

Can I edit the DVR cache?

Yes. Part of the design was to allow customers to edit the DVR cache in our CS4 Production tools such as Adobe Premiere CS4 or Adobe After Effects CS4.   There are a couple caveats. First you need to use H.264/AAC. Second you need to use the F4V Post Processing tool (from our tools page). This tool will remove the fragments from the F4V, and make it usable in the production tools. Note, this will not work with VP6 content.




Flash Media Server 3.5.2 now available

We just release Flash Media Server 3.5.2 on Adobe.com (see link below)

This service pack release is a bug fix release focusing of improving transitions for Dynamic Streaming content, more support for multibitrate live encoders plus increasing memory management under heavy load. We’ve also added a few more event messages to help developers respond when exceptions happen. This release also addresses a security issue around remote procedure calls (we also back ported that fix in version 3.0.4).

DOWNLOAD FMS 3.5.2 today: http://www.adobe.com/support/flashmediaserver/downloads_updaters.html

Kevin Towes

Video Encoding for Flash

A key question that I get asked by customers is how do I encode this video to make it look good in Flash? In response, we now have 3 articles up on the Adobe Developer Connection to help you get started.

The first is a high level overview of the various tools in the market for Live and Video on Demand Encoding – both those available from Adobe as well as from our partner ecosystem.

http://www.adobe.com/devnet/video/articles/video_encoding_ecosystem.html

The second is an introductory encoding article – H.264 for the rest of us – written by Kush Amerasinghe of Ask the Adobe Ones fame. It takes you through all of the basics of encoding and some of the specific nuances of H.264.

http://www.adobe.com/devnet/flashmediaserver/articles/h264_primer.html

The third article is an advanced H.264 piece written by industry expert Jan Ozer, focused on some of the nitty gritty settings to get the best out of an H.264 encode.

http://www.adobe.com/devnet/flashmediaserver/articles/h264_encoding.html

Video compression and encoding can be pretty daunting if you’re just starting out, but these resources should start to demystify the process and help you deliver the best video experience through Adobe Flash Player.

-Laurel Reitman
Sr Product Manager
Flash Media Solutions

Welcome to DVR with Flash!

Today we published the first of a 2-part series showing how to use DVR functionality with Flash Media Server 3.5 and User Generated Content. David Hassoun from Real Eyes Media is the author of this in-depth 6-page article that shows how developers can create a DVR-enabled stream using Flash Player and DVR a playback solution from scratch. Here’s an excerpt:

“With the evolution of broadcast television and the ability to watch time-shifted content with pause and seek functionality, why wouldn’t that same standard apply to the web?With the evolution of broadcast television and the ability to watch time-shifted content with pause and seek functionality, why wouldn’t that same standard apply to the web?”

As we all look for ways to monetize content, one thing is clear – the longer you can engage a viewer, the more opportunities you have to draw revenue. DVR functionality will change the way we consume live video on the web by allowing the developer to create new ways to interact with live events including Instant Replay, live Clipping, instant VOD, Restart and jump-to-live.


DVR_ScreenShot.jpg

This article will cover how to create Instant Replay applications and how to publish and play DVR-enabled streams. It will also discuss DVR publishing workflows.

Coming Soon! The next article of the series, you will learn how you can enable DVR Functionality without writing 1 line of code!