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Flash Access at Streaming Media and FMS User Group

We’ve been busy working on getting Flash Access ready for release in the first half of next year, while educating people about the product.

I presented last week at Streaming Media West, and got some really good questions from the audience, as well as a lot of interest in what we are doing around protected HTTP streaming.

If you are interested in a webinar/presentation, I will be talking with the FMS User Group on December 3, 2009 from 9:00 to 10:00 AM PST. I will cover the role of content protection in monetizing video content, as well as Adobe’s product roadmap in this space.

Anyone who can’t make the call should feel free to take a look at our whitepaper.


Flash Media Live Encoder 3.1 for the MAC

Adobe is excited to announce the development of Flash Media Live Encoder 3.1 (FMLE 3) for Mac OS. This has been, by far, the most requested “feature” since the release of FMLE. The Mac version will have all of the features of the Windows version of FMLE 3, which include:

  • Ability to perform up to 3 simultaneous encodes
  • Saving to local file during encoding
  • Auto-adjust (helps manage the stream quality to stay live under poor network conditions)
  • Support for H.264 and VP6 codecs

FMLE 3.1 for Mac will work with the built-in MAC iSight as well as devices such as Firewire cameras and video capture cards to support a broad range of use cases and workflows. Like the Windows version, the Mac version of FMLE 3.1 will be free. We are not announcing a release date at this time, but customers who are interested in participating in a private beta can do so by signing up at our pre-release interest form (

Flash Access at MAX

If you’re a longtime Adobe/Macromedia follower, you’re probably familiar with MAX, our annual conference, which this year is in LA starting on Monday. Whether you’re a long-time attendee or just hearing about it for the first time, there will be a lot of very cool stuff being shown at the conference, and that of course will include Flash Access, the upcoming version of our content protection solution that we announced last month at IBC.

There are always exciting announcements at MAX, and this year will be no exception. If you’re not attending, stay tuned for media reports/blogs/tweets. If you happen to be there, you’ll get a chance to hear about it first hand. Moreover, I’m told that this year the Flash Media Camp is the biggest it’s ever been, so if that’s your area of interest you won’t be disappointed.

Although I’m relatively new to Adobe (just under a year), a lot has happened since I joined. We’ve made great progress in rounding out our content distribution offerings, making the Flash Platform the ruling leader for video on the web. With the enhancements we are making in content protection, we can help content owners and publishers of premium commercial content monetize video online, creating engaging user experience whether for streaming or download, using Flash Media Server or HTTP, and playing back content on Flash Player or Adobe AIR.

In fact, that’s the topic for my presentation on Tuesday at 4:30 PM — Monetizing Premium Video Content on the Flash Platform [shameless plug]. If you’re interested in content protection on the Flash platform, that’s the place to be, stop by and say hi after the session… and if you can’t be there, you may learn about it in real-time on tweeter (search #adobemax261).

See you in LA.


Adobe announces Flash Access, a new content protection solution for Flash

Last week we announced the upcoming release of Adobe Flash Access, a new content protection solution for the Flash Platform that will be supported in Flash Player and Adobe AIR. As Product Manager for content protection at Adobe since the end of last year, I’ve been working with closely with several teams at Adobe and also with key stakeholders such as major film studios, TV networks and broadcaster. Although the software won’t be commercially available until the first half of next year, this announcement is a significant milestone … and allows me to blog about it.

Content protection (also known as digital rights management) is usually associated with anti-piracy, but it is much more than that: it is primarily a tool for monetizing content online. This enables content providers to enforce their business models, such as rental, subscription, or pay-per-view. Even for advertising-funded content, premium content generally requires adequate protection.

Adobe’s content protection solutions are widely deployed today and are used by leading content providers to distribute secure commercial content. Flash Access will raise the bar by providing a more robust and flexible solution that enables secure streaming and download of premium content. To learn more about our current content protection solutions (including RTMPE and SWF verification), check out this whitepaper that discusses how to protect streaming video using Flash Media Server and provides an introduction to Flash Media Rights Management Server, the precursor to Flash Access.

You may be asking yourself, what does all this have to do with me? How will I be able to leverage Flash Access? The answer of course depends on what you do. Here are a few examples:

– Content distributors such as broadcasters or online retailers can deploy rental, subscription, and download-to-own business models, as well as using advertising to monetize video assets.

– Content owners may use Flash Access as part of a direct-to-consumer offering, or may implement a B2B e-screening tool to distribute pre-release content to retailers, restricting access to authorized users.

– Service providers will be able to offer a hosted service to independent content producers and distributors who prefer to outsource their DRM infrastructure.

– Developers may use built-in support for Flash Access in Flash Player and AIR to develop rich, interactive experiences around premium commercial content.

– In the enterprise, Flash Access can be integrated into existing systems to enable secure distribute of audiovisual material, such as company meetings or high value training material.

Flash Access represents a big step forward in content protection and we are very excited about the opportunities that it creates for our customers and partners. You can learn more about Flash Access at — I recommend downloading the whitepaper, which provides a comprehensive high-level overview and enough technical detail to whet your appetite.


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.


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.


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 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

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

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.