Flash video n' related stuff

Archive for September, 2007

VP6 is dead! Long live VP6!

Sep 27, 2007 Author: Lisa Larson-Kelley | Filed under: Industry News, Video News

This morning saw another new development in the Flash codec story.

On2 has announced support in their Flix encoder (and even more importantly, in Flash 9/Moviestar) for a new codec profile: VP6-S.

From the press release:

The new VP6-S video profile offers greater simplicity in the encoding and playback of high-resolution, full-screen video, thereby allowing high definition video to be streamed and played back within processor power limitations posed by the majority of personal computers. On2 will ship its flagship Flix Engine upgrade for VP6-S mid-October, concurrently with the Adobe Flash Player 9 update. The remaining Flix product line with VP6-S upgrades will ship during the fourth quarter of 2007.

The target of this new codec profile is high-definition/high bitrate video on machines with slower processors. The original codec, VP6-E is still the recommended format for typical video with bitrates at or below 500Kbps.
Flash video used to be simple… ‘Spark or VP6?’ No longer! Encoding is going to be a bigger and bigger issue with Flash video, as we get more choices, optimized for different deployments. This is great news, though, for audiences with slower, older machines. The Flash video experience is getting better and better for everyone!

{grumble}Now I need to go update my MAX presentation on encoding for next week, again…{/grumble}

!! UPDATE !!

I just spoke with Mike Savello of On2 about the details of this announcement.

Apparently, this new profile has been part of the Moviestar release from day one, but was overshadowed by the announcement of H.264 support.

According to Mike, where the new codec shines is in high datarate video / slow CPU environments. The VP6-S profile is much less complex than the standard VP6-E currently in the Flash Player 8. The videos do not increase in filesize, nor do they decrease noticeably in quality, but they consume less CPU overhead on playback. On2 will have more specific benchmark data at their booth next week at MAX in Chicago.

Flash Video Crash Course

Sep 25, 2007 Author: Lisa Larson-Kelley | Filed under: Books & Articles

My article that published in last month’s Streaming Media magazine has been posted online! Though it doesn’t address the new H.264 support in Flash, it’s a good overview of Flash video for those who are just getting started, or would like a refresher.

Chapter 5: Page 81

Sep 25, 2007 Author: Lisa Larson-Kelley | Filed under: Book Errata & Updates

In the very simple example, showing how to Instantiate and Configure the FLVPlayback component, there was one crucial line of code missing:

myFLVPlaybk.source = “examplevideo.flv”

In this example, we’re pointing to an FLV in the same directory as your SWF, called examplevideo.flv. If you don’t specify a source, your FLVPlayback component won’t know which video to play.

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  • Reference for Book Updates and Corrections

    Sep 25, 2007 Author: Lisa Larson-Kelley | Filed under: Book Errata & Updates

    First off, thanks to everyone who bought our book, Flash Video for Professionals.

    Writing a book is challenging, to say the least. Even with two authors, eagle-eye copy editors, savvy tech editors, and helpful friends, mistakes can slip through.

    And with each new version of software, new issues can be introduced… sometimes helpful, sometimes not.

    So, to be sure that readers have the most up-to-date code and information, we’ve started this topic: Book Errata & Updates. If you ever run into trouble with an example, or find a typo or error, check here first for an update. If you don’t find a reference to it here, feel free to post a comment and we’ll sort it out for you ASAP.

    Flash Forward Boston: Fun with FMS!

    Sep 23, 2007 Author: Lisa Larson-Kelley | Filed under: Flash Media Server, Tutorials & Code

    Whew. Just getting back from Boston and taking a breath. Wow, what a whirlwind conference!

    This year’s FF was sold out, with a fantastic line-up of speakers and informative and entertaining sessions. I was honored to be a part of it, with my session, “Fun with Flash Media Server.”

    As promised, here are the source files for you to play around with.

    [ Fun with FMS : Source ]

    Note that the connection string will have to point to your own server running the free FMS developer edition (running on your local machine), or using a third-party FMS hosting service such as Influxis. (As an helpful alternative for Mac users, you could run RED5 locally and connect to a default application file you name funwithfms, to test.)

    Please post any comments or questions, and I’ll keep an eye on this space. Now go have some fun with FMS! 😀

    The brilliant minds of Flash developers are always working… More proof here, on FlashcomGuru, where xmoov has developed an improved solution for emulating streaming’s smooth seeking, for progressive download video delivery. Like the solution mentioned in our book, this is PHP-based, and allows you to skip around freely within a progressive video, even if that portion of the video file has not yet been downloaded. He’s open-sourced the code, and also offers a plug-and-play version for a small fee, (UPDATE: contact the developer for pricing) if you don’t want to get your hands dirty with PHP.

    The updated source by xmoov.com is available from FlashComGuru’s site.


    Adobe Community Professional Author, speaker, developer, geek, mom.

    Flash Video for Professionals book
    Our book, Flash Video for Professionals, is now shipping! This is the book we always wanted to have by our side when developing Flash Video applications. It takes a holistic approach -- from concept, to client interaction, to application architecture. With code examples in AS2 and AS3, you can get started right away (and ease your transition from one version to another). We cover all aspects of Flash video including encoding, using the components, creating your own custom players, filters and transitions, buffering issues, hosting choices, and more.
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