Archive for April, 2006

Brightcove Commercial Preview Launches

My old boss Jeremy Allaire’s new venture, Brightcove, just announced a free commercial preview today (running through August 1st ’06). Brightcove enables easy distribution, browser-based management and monetization of internet-distributed video channels. Final pricing structures for Brightcove’s services will be announced before the end of the commercial preview, but is expected to include free use for ad-supported content (given that you’re accepted into Brightcove’s advertising network model), pay-per-view/rental and unrestricted paid models at final launch. Their Premium service is expected to allow you to sell and manage your own advertising (outside Brightcove’s own ad network) as well, should you choose to manage your own advertising.

Did I mention the Brightcove management console (requires joining the preview program, of course) is a pretty sweet example of Flex in action as well? Well, it is- there you have it. ;-)
Plus, FLV versions 7 and 8 are what Brightcove’s internals require for uploading videos, so I’d consider it a very Flash-savvy service. Kudos!

So- if you’re looking to publish and monetize your video assets in a broadband channel quickly, I’d definitely suggest checking out the FAQ, and getting involved in Brightcove’s preview program. Looks like a lot’s on the horizon at Brightcove- a rather bright future for Jeremy and crew indeed.

Flash 8 and Active Content

I’ve heard a lot of questions lately about the Internet Explorer ‘Active Content’ update, from creative Flashers who don’t care to implement the code-based solution suggested at the Adobe Active Content Developer Center in their HTML files, and want to publish directly – with the fix in place – right from Flash 8. Surprise- that’s already an option!
(although the code route is dead easy, should you decide to rethink that decision and give it a shot… ;-)

The Flash (Basic & Pro) 8 Active Content Update was also linked from the Dev Center recently. You can find more information on it in this technote, too. This MXP extension will give you two new HTML templates in the Publish Settings > HTML tab, which will allow you to directly apply the fix to your published SWF/HTML projects. You can find specifics on the process you’ll follow here (and it’ll be very familiar, just two new HTML publish templates and then applying the new ‘Apply Active Content Update’ Command to the publish folder before uploading your files).

So if you’re skeptical of the MSIE update’s effect on your content and equally so of working around it in code, rest easy, download and install this update, and get back to creating those sweet Flash projects.

Active Content – Adobe Updates

As JD noted earlier today, the Adobe Active Content Center updated today with more resources and suggested ‘design-arounds’ for the upcoming MSIE ‘Active Content’ update (expected to roll out to the public on Tuesday, April 11th).

One of the best pages to bookmark is the new ‘Preparing Websites with Active Content for Announced Browser Changes‘ (phew!) article- which does a great job of both summarizing the change and it’s effect on your site(s), and provide some new Javascript ‘design-around’ code samples for addressing this change across larger sites. Although sure, this MSIE update could present some short-term (but mitigatable) headaches for larger sites using Flash, Java, QuickTime and other object/embed/applet tags heavily (i.e. “Active Content”), you’ll find a lot of good resources, links and pointers at the Active Content Developer Center to make it as smooth a transition as possible.

Apple opens up, Microsoft clamps down

Lots of chatter this morning across blogspace on the announcement of Apple’s Boot Camp beta, which will enable dual-booting MacTel machines between OSX and WinXP going forward (sweet!). However, there’s been a bit less chatter about Microsoft’s parallel push in the UK market (noted here on ZDNet UK) to deter PC hardware vendors from selling ‘raw’ systems (i.e. without preinstalled operating systems and software) in an attempt to curb piracy. Interesting contrast, to say the least.

I’ll avoid in-depth opinions, but today’s breaking news sounds like GREAT news for MacTel/Apple customers, business as usual for XP/Vista loyalists, and not-so-pleasant tidings for the Linux faithful- who seem to be the most affected by Microsoft’s antipiracy measures in the UK. Regardless, I sure hope I don’t get visited by the antipiracy police when I slap down the cash for my next Linux hardware upgrade… ;-)

Dave Shea – CSS Zen Master

Get to know Dave Shea and some of his thoughts on CSS, web standards, design/data separation and more in this ~11 minute podcast we recorded at SXSW 2006. This marks the first of a semi-regular series of conversations I’m having with various folks inside and outside the Adobe communities (dedicated RSS feed published here) – please let me know if there are any topics or speakers you’d like me to interview going forward, and I’ll see what I can do to accomodate!

MP3 Download

Upcoming CSS eSeminars

If you’re a CSS-jockey, you’ll want to catch these two sessions hosted by Dave Shea (CSS Zen Garden, Bright Creative) and Jason Brightman (Harris Publications):

These eSeminars are hosted in Breeze, so all you’ll need is a browser with Flash Player installed, and an live internet connection. Audio is available both as VoIP in Breeze, as well as by phone- you’ll get full details once you register.

Sweet Bass tones + Flash Video

I busted up my vintage Octavia stompbox at a recent gig, so was poking around online at the latest & greatest hardware this morning to pick up a replacement. Lo and behold, the new Bass Pod XT Live has an utterly delicious FLV-powered product demo online! Now I’m not one who’s easily marketed to online, but have to admit between their Flash-delivered tone samples they have online and the afore-linked video tour, Line 6 just made a compelling argument for this admittedly analog-heavy bassist to consider adding a digital-heavy Bass Pod XT Live to my main SWR stage rig. The inner skeptic in me will still run down to the Guitar Center to verify it’s structural integrity in person, of course (I can get rather animated onstage)- but I must admit this is one time where a Flash shopping experience just ‘had me at hello’. Simple implementation, but VERY effective. Nice job!