Posts tagged "drm"

Announcing Adobe Media Server 5.0.1

Today, we announce the launch of Adobe Media Server 5.0.1 – a product that has completed a successful decade in the Video Streaming industry. Adobe Media Server is  targeted for Broadcasters, Enterprises and Governments across the world for their video on demand and live Streaming initiatives. It  enables adaptive bit rate streaming to desktop and mobile devices along with content protection. It has features to enable DVR, IP multicast, Application multicast, Media origin configurations that are useful in global video streaming workflows.

In the communication space, Adobe Media Server supports scalable P2P communication like in Online Games, many to many Video Chats on Social networks and in Collaborative Web Conferencing.

Our recent success stories include Streaming of BBC Olympics and landing of NASA Mars Rover Curiosity.

Adobe Media Server Logo

Adobe Media Server Logo

Adobe Media Server 5.0.1 brings to you – Closed Captioning compliance, DRM protection for millions of iOS Devices and Playback Support for Multiple Language Audio Tracks. Before we detail these features – let us tell you about a few goodies.

There is a Starter edition that is free for you to try out the various features. Adobe Media Server 5.0.1 comes bundled with Adobe Media Gateway – a powerful technology to connect SIP telephony devices to flash based applications.  The Sample Player that gets in the bundle and the Flash Media Live Encoder together provides a comprehensive suite of technologies to jump start your Video Streaming initiatives. There is a Closed captioning plug-in which helps you to play HDS and RTMP closed captions. And there is Adobe Access iOS library written in Objective C for your HLS DRM players.

We have simplified the product upgrades pricing from the earlier versions.  The product has also been re-branded to reflect our reach beyond Flash devices.  We would explain the features now.

Closed Captioning

Closed captioning allows the content provider to display text overlayed on the video content thus providing

Adobe Media Server enables Closed captions compliance as per FCC regulations

Adobe Media Server enables Closed captions compliance as per FCC regulations

additional information about the video content to the consumers. The term “closed” in closed captioning indicates that the captions are not made part of the video by default. Hence, the captions have to be decoded/extracted by an external tool.  Adobe Media Server supports  CEA-608 (also called Line 21) and CEA -708 closed captions in video files containing H264 video codecs. This plays in HLS, HDS and RTMP Streaming protocols.

Additionally, the timed text track defined by Apple for Quicktime movie files is also supported. AMS provides a tool to convert videos with timed text tracks to videos with captions embedded in H264 video codecs.

Adobe Media Server 5.0.1 also provides support to embed your content programmatically while encoding the content via an AMF message. This works for RTMP and HDS techniques. More details can be read in our User Guide. The Closed Captioning  feature provided by Adobe Media Server will help the US broadcasters achieve FCC compliance.

AMS Player playing a video with Closed captions

AMS Player playing a video with Closed captions

Support for Multi Language tracks

Adobe Media Server 5.0.1 has support for including multiple language tracks for HTTP video streams, without requiring duplication and repackaging of the video for each audio track. This feature, called as “late” binding of audio tracks allow content providers to easily provide multiple language tracks for a given video asset, at any time before or after the asset’s initial packaging. The initial packaging of the video asset can include an audio track, and the publisher can still choose to provide one or more additional audio tracks for the video. The OSMF framework based Strobe Media player provides support for allowing the viewers to switch between audio tracks either before or during playback. Read Details here.

Content  Protection for HLS Streams

Adobe Media Server offers both stream and content protection across HLS, HDS and RTMP protocols. It also enables DRM protection using the Adobe Access DRM license server.

In this release, we added the ability to provide Adobe Access DRM protection to HLS streams. Now, Adobe Media Server can dynamically segment, encrypt, and deliver standard MP4 assets using the HLS format with Adobe Access DRM policies on native Apple iOS applications (using the Adobe Access Objective-C library for iOS). This would enable broadcasters using our Adobe Access DRM  to secure their streams to millions of iOS devices

Adobe Media Server 5 also supports a light weight content protection of HLS video streams using Adobe Access protection but without requiring a separate license server. This technique is called PHLS ( Protected HLS). Here  the content encryption key is sent via a metadata that has the license files and the access rights are negotiated between the player and the Adobe Media Server instead of a license server.

Please check out the Release notes for the  list of bugs that have been fixed. There are new documents being made available on Developer Centre. So check that out as well. Product Features, Pricing and Edition comparison can be done on the Product pages. If there are any queries – you can always reach us out on our Forums.

If you are new to Adobe Media Server – we hope you get started using the Free Starter edition.

We are committed to deliver awesome features that simplify your Video Streaming flows. So stay connected and  expect more action from us in the coming months.

Cheers

Team AMS

Flash Access 3.0 Launching Today at IBC

I just arrived in Amsterdam to help with the launch of Flash Access 3.0, the evolution of Adobe’s premium content protection solution. For those of you who read this blog, you’ll know that Flash Access is a studio-approved content protection and monetization solution used by many of the leading content providers. With this new version, we are dramatically expanding the device reach and introducing features to enable emerging use cases. Let’s walk through some of these changes.

As we had anticipated, Flash Access will now be supported on mobile devices, including a number Android tablets and smartphones as well as other devices such as RIM’s Playbook device. While the commercial availability of the client runtimes will need to wait until the upcoming release of Flash Player 11 and AIR 3, we have been in prerelease for a while and working closely with a number of customers on this. With the immediate availability of Flash Access 3.0, customers can begin deployment and be ready by the time the clients ship later this year.

With Flash Access 2.0, our primary focus was on video-on-demand use cases. Now with 3.0, we are extending this to linear content, in a model that we refer to as TVoIP. This will enable both established MVPDs/PayTV operators as well as programmers looking to “go direct” to consumer devices with the equivalent of TV channels. This gets extra interesting as we introduce this capability in the upcoming AIR 3 for TV — customers can now offer a TV-like experience, on a big-screen TV, going over IP either in a managed network or over the open Internet.

Another key forward-looking enhancement is that Flash Access 3.0 will allow content retailers and service provider to create UltraViolet experiences. If you’re not familiar with UltraViolet, it is a cloud-based solution for content distribution that helps remove many of the barriers that exist for great digital content experiences by improving compatibility between devices and content retailers. Adobe is a founder in DECE, the entity that is creating UltraViolet, and Flash Access had previously received the nod from the studios as one of the approved technologies.

With Flash Access 3.0 and the upcoming Flash runtimes, it will be possible to offer a full UltraViolet experience, including support for centralized device domains and playback of content in the UVVU Common File Format, on the vast number of devices that support our platform, while also offering premium features such as rich interactivity.

There’s a lot more than I can cover in this blog post. If you’re at IBC, stop by the Adobe booth and somebody will walk you through a demonstration. Tell them you read about it on the Flash Media blog!

Florian
@florianatadobe

Flash Access 2.0 ships – come and get it!

Today at Streaming Media East in New York City we announced the commercial availability of Adobe Flash Access 2.0. Flash Access is a content protection and monetization solution that is part of the Adobe Flash Platform and can be used for streaming or download of protected content to a browser or application. The client runtimes, Flash Player 10.1 and AIR 2.0 will be available shortly, with support for Flash Access on Windows, Mac and Linux computers.

For the Flash Access team, this represents the culmination of many months of hard work to create the next gen content protection solution. We have received very positive feedback from customers and partners and look forward to seeing adoption by the ecosystem.

Flash Access can be used on its own, e.g. to protect content delivered over progressive download, or in combination with other Adobe video distribution technologies such as Flash Media Server or HTTP Dynamic Streaming that enable the best possible end user experience.

Ultimately, the purpose of content protection is to enable content providers to strike the right balance between access and control. By providing flexible mechanisms to support business models such as subscription or rental, Flash Access creates new opportunities for media companies to realize new sources of revenue and for consumers to gain access to compelling video content that otherwise would not be available online.

In the enterprise space, where video content is increasingly important for use cases ranging from company meetings to training, Flash Access can help secure these video assets and preserve confidentiality were required.

To find out more about Flash Access, please visit our product page at http://www.adobe.com/go/flashaccess.

Florian Pestoni
Principal Product Manager
Adobe Systems

Flash Access 2.0 Shipping in May + Adobe Sponsoring DRM Conference

It’s been a long road, but we are in the final stretch to ship our next-gen content protection product, Adobe Flash Access 2.0, next month. We are seeing a lot of interest in the product from partners and customers waiting for Flash Access to fill a need for stronger content protection in Flash Player and enable new monetization strategies.

We have been in private beta for some time now and have received great feedback from partners who have helped us improve the product. We look forward to continue working with them as they deploy Flash Access, whether internally for their own use or as the technology for enhanced content distribution and monetization services.

Some of you may be familiar with the work we are doing around HTTP Dynamic Streaming (aka “Project Zeri”). What you may not know is that this technology is designed to work in conjunction with Flash Access to enable protected HTTP streaming for both Live and Video-on-Demand online video distribution.

You’ll be hearing more about Flash Access and HTTP Dynamic Streaming in the weeks and months to come. I’ll be at NAB next week, with presentations at the Adobe booth scheduled for Monday and Wednesday at 9:30 AM. Then it’s off to Streaming Media East in NYC next month.

I’ll be back in New York in June for the Copyright and Technology Conference, which Adobe is sponsoring. I’ll be moderating a panel on Best Practices for Monetizing Premium Video Content, where we are planning on having some great speakers; more on this later. There are other panels that also promise to be very interesting.

If you are planning on attending any of these events, feel free to stop by to say hi.

Regards,
Florian
Twitter: @florianatadobe

The Ownwall: Is ‘own-to-stream’ the new ‘download-to-own’?

When MP3s first came on the scene, some industry observers doubted they would ever catch on because, so the argument went, music lovers would not trade the “physical experience” of a record or CD for the empty, unsatisfying experience of a virtual good that could be electronically downloaded. Well, we know how that one turned out for music.

The video download business, on the other hand, has not fully made that transition. Sure, people do download movies, from both legitimate and illegitimate sources, but the vast majority of video distribution (in the broadest sense of the world) outside of cable/satellite is still based on physical goods, whether rented at the supermarket or bought out of the back of a van.

With increasing bandwidth, emerging media home networking standards, and ever-lower storage costs, it would seem that we are on the verge of the “download-to-own” and “download-to-rent” markets taking off, right? Well we’ve been on the verge for a while now, and I don’t think it’s a matter of technology. What if that’s the wrong model for video content?

In the meantime, streaming has emerged as the distribution model of choice for short-form video, including user-generated content: YouTube serves 1B streams per day. Increasingly, streaming video is also extending to TV programs and feature film, ie professionally-produced, long-form content. In the US, Hulu alone sources roughly 1 billion streams per month. Traditional broadcasters around the world (including the BBC) are also getting in on the action, with TV Everywhere, Catch-up TV and Over-the-top being variations on a common theme.

As more and more consumer electronics devices have built-in Internet access, whether it’s a $69 broadband box or a $1,000 Connected TV, we are getting to the point where accessing content in the cloud is not only technically feasible, it is just much more convenient. No longer having to move files around, I can access the content wherever I may roam.

There is still much room for business model innovation. “Paywall” seems to be the buzzword of the month. (Whatever happened to “subscription”?) Time-based access such as rental also lends itself to streaming. But there is also an opportunity to use streaming for content that users have “bought”, although not too many people seem to be using this model yet.

Think of it as a permanent right to access the content you’ve bought, without being burdened by moving files around. I call this the Ownwall. The greatest consumer benefit is that the content is available wherever there is an Internet connection — and these days, in most areas you need to try hard to go somewhere where there isn’t one.

A couple of industry initiatives like DECE and KeyChest are promoting the notion of a “rights locker” that keeps track of all the content you’ve bought. Maybe this is just me, but the term “rights locker” elicits some negative associations — smelly socks and athlete’s foot. What did my rights do wrong to get locked up? My reservations with the terminology aside, if successful these initiatives will represent a step in the right direction. (Nyuk, nyuk. Get it? The right direction. I crack myself up sometimes).

Consumers will be able to aggregate the content they purchase from any participating retailer and download it to their devices. DECE goes beyond this by defining their own media format and enabling content downloaded to one device to be side-loaded to another device, as long as it is in the user’s “domain” of approved devices. (Full disclosure: I represent Adobe in DECE; however, the description provided here is based on publicly available information.)

Now, if all content lives in the cloud and I can stream it to my notebook/netbook/tablet/smarphone/smartbook/connected TV/[add device not yet invented here], then maybe all of this could be a lot simpler. I could go around buying content, and have instant access to it on any Internet-enabled device. Interoperability is handled in the cloud, which is not as daunting as it sounds, since in practice there really aren’t that many complete platforms for video distribution out there.

But wait, there’s more: as the technology gets better (more interactivity, higher resolution, 3D, 4D, holodeck), so can my content experience. I don’t need to re-download, because I never downloaded in the first place; the next time I go to watch the movie, I am pleasantly surprised by the upgraded experience.

Most of this is possible today — well, maybe not the 4D stuff. There are still some open questions, such as “How can I be sure I can go back 20 years from now and still retrieve my content?” (I would answer that one with another question: do you use Gmail?) Or “What if I’m on a plane or in a submarine and can’t access the Internet?” (I say design for the main use case and accommodate the corner case, not the other way around.)

At the end of the day, consumers will provide the answer. As technology/content providers our role is to enable and experiment, and then let the market decide. What do you think will be the predominant model? Is ‘own-to-stream’ the new ‘download-to-own’?

Florian
Twitter: @florianatadobe

DECE Adopts Adobe Flash Access

The Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem (DECE) has selected the upcoming Adobe® Flash® Access software as one of the approved content protection solutions required for premium video.

Adobe is a DECE Founder, and there are over 45 companies from every industry involved in digital media participating in this effort. In case you haven’t heard of DECE before, it is a consortium of leading technology vendors, content providers, consumer electronics companies, and service providers working to enable improved consumer access to entertainment content.

I’ve been spending a lot of my time over the last year or so working in DECE with representatives of these various companies, so it was great to be able to announce a number of key milestones today. Adobe is pleased to contribute to the creation of a vibrant ecosystem that makes possible new ways to connect users with premium content. DECE’s adoption of Adobe Flash Access will vastly expand the reach for DECE content and generate new revenue streams for participants.

Flash Access software will allow retailers and content owners to utilize the Flash Platform to reach hundreds of millions of devices in a short period of time, enabling compelling end-user experiences. DECE’s approval also signals broad studio support for this technology.

If you follow this blog, you probably already know that the Adobe Flash Platform is a complete system of integrated tools, frameworks, clients and servers for the development of Web applications, content and video that runs consistently across operating systems and devices.

Adobe Flash Access 2.0, a key component of the Adobe Flash Platform, is a scalable, flexible content protection solution that enables the distribution and monetization of premium content. Flash Access 2.0 provides a way to combine the unprecedented reach and interactivity of the Adobe Flash Platform with robust security and flexible usage rules so that businesses can enforce necessary constraints, such as limiting viewing to a given rental period or set of devices.

As announced last year, content protected with Flash Access 2.0 will play on the upcoming version of Flash Player. Adobe Flash Player is on over 98 percent of connected computers and delivers approximately 75 percent of Web video worldwide. Major broadcasters and media companies including Hulu, Warner Brothers, MLB.com, and DirecTV use the Adobe Flash Platform, which also powers the popular social media sites YouTube and MySpace.

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.

Florian

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 http://www.adobe.com/go/flashaccess — I recommend downloading the whitepaper, which provides a comprehensive high-level overview and enough technical detail to whet your appetite.

Florian