Flash video n' related stuff

Archive for January, 2008


FMS “Uncensored”

Jan 31, 2008 Author: Lisa Larson-Kelley | Filed under: Flash Media Server, Resources

Last night I gave a talk about the new FMS3 to my friends at FlashCodersNY. (“uncensored” refers to the fact that last time I talked about FMS3, a few weeks ago, I couldn’t talk about most of the details!) I basically outlined the new features, what I thought about them, and how they might be helpful/valuable. I included a bunch of info from the upcoming whitepaper I wrote for Adobe, which should be publishing to the Developer Center shortly. (Will let you all know when it does!) In the meantime, here is the preso for reference.

I exported this to a SWF from Keynote, so you’ll have to click to move forward through the slides, and there’s no back button (grr). But anyway, here it is. 🙂

Flash Media Server 3 Released!

Jan 25, 2008 Author: Lisa Larson-Kelley | Filed under: Announcements, Flash Media Server, Industry News

Today’s the day… FMS3 is here! In response to market pressures and lots of feedback from the developer community, Adobe has broken FMS3 up into three different editions:

Flash Media Interactive Server (FMIS) – $4500
Featuring full functionality of FMS, with customizable server-side code, Origin-Edge configurations, access control APIs, redirection support, server-side video recording, distributed core processing, and more. FMIS is ideal for large-scale deployment, developing custom video and communication applications, or enhancing your live or on-demand streaming apps with interactive functionality. It features everything we are used to in FMS2, and more.

Flash Media Streaming Server (FMSS) – $999
FMSS is the most economical if you just want to stream and protect your video. It comes pre-configured with live and ondemand applications, or ‘services’ as they are now being called. These are non-customizable FMS applications that allow you to stream content, right out of the box. Everything you need to stream video is included, such as H.264 support, high performance, enhanced seeking, encrypted streaming, multiple bitrate, and advanced tracking and reporting.

Flash Media Development Server (FMDS) – FREE
Available for free, this edition allows you full server functionality for developing advanced streaming or social applications. (There is a capacity limit of 10 simultaneous inbound connections.) FMDS can even be used to leverage the new multi-point publish feature which allows you to create a live publishing point, inject metadata into the stream, then push the video up to a content delivery network! Did I mention it’s free?

All three editions of FMS3 feature a wealth of new features such as:

  • New real-time encrypted communication channel (RTMPE Protocol)
  • Enhancements in content caching
  • Connection throttling
  • Stream data access (allows you to take snapshots from a stream)
  • Authorization plug-in API for stream security
  • Better quality of service for live streaming with data keyframes
  • Better DRM framework of encryption and access control
  • New File adapter API, allowing for remote content caching
  • New support for mobile streaming to Flash Lite 3
  • New AMF3 support to send complex data to clients
  • New IPv6 support
  • Complete support for legacy FMS2 applications
  • Easier to deploy, with new services, improved documentation, and pre-configuration
  • Significantly optimized server performance

And best of all —

  • UNLIMITED BANDWIDTH AND CONNECTIONS (FMIS + FMSS)!
    So go download your FMDS (as soon as everyone else is done…) and try out the new features for yourself. I’d love to have your comments here about the new editions, and how they are working out for you.

Time to Flex

Jan 24, 2008 Author: Lisa Larson-Kelley | Filed under: Announcements, Flex

Well, after an inspirational and informative intro to Flex 3 at last night’s FCNY meeting by Seth and Brian of 9Mmedia, I’m feeling ready to take the leap into Flex development!

My first project will be an ambitious one; porting my iFoxCam FMS application over to Flex and FMS3 (from, ahem, AS1 and FMS1.5). It’s about time, I say!

So I’ll be posting about video and data integration in Flex as I go along. Watch this space for tips and lessons learned.

“Wrapper is Open”

Jan 10, 2008 Author: Lisa Larson-Kelley | Filed under: Announcements, Resources

What if you could create a dynamic Flash website without compiling, and without writing a lick of ActionScript?

And what if I told you that this site was fully standards-compliant, readable and indexable by search engines?

And what if this magic SWF-creator was completely open-source and available now?

Well, believe it my friends — Wrapper is here!

My friend and fellow FlashCodersNY member, Tyler Larson, has finally released his baby into the world, and has graciously decided to make it open-source. He presented to FCNY last night, explaining both the implementation and some of the inner workings, and showing some amazing examples.

An ActionScript 3 HTML/CSS rendering engine, Wrapper makes it simple to create attractive, functional, full-Flash websites using just standard HTML/CSS markup. Now, this may be hard to ‘wrap’ your head around at first, as it was for me, but once you see it in action, you begin to understand the power it gives you, and why Tyler’s been tirelessly working on it for lo these many months.

To see it in action, go to Tyler’s site: http://www.motionandcolor.com/
This site is constructed using Wrapper. Looks like a normal, slick site, right? Remarkably, the whole thing is a SWF, which was constructed using HTML/CSS (view the source).

Very basically, this is how it works: When this page is loaded into the browser, a javascript file, wrapper.js, is loaded. This file “eats” your HTML/CSS and renders all of your content into a SWF, which (using the standard SWFObject method) replaces the HTML and fills the browser window. All this happens instantaneously, as Wrapper is nicely optimized at a lean, mean 22k.

Some of the major benefits of Wrapper include:

  • Dynamic loading of custom fonts, by importing a SWF with that font embedded
  • Bitmap fills (and notice the nice smooth gradient background on the sample link above)
  • Filters (shadows, glows, etc.)
  • Draw shapes (basic primitives such as circles, squares, rounded rectangles, etc.)
  • Standards-compliant
  • Content can be indexed by search engines
  • Can set up and call custom methods for more advanced interaction and functionality
  • Open-source and free
  • And much more, once you get under the hood…

So, if you’re interested in streamlining the development of Flash-based websites and want to produce Flash sites that are fully indexable and standards-compliant, check out Wrapper at Google Code:
http://code.google.com/p/htmlwrapper/

or at OSFlash

http://osflash.org/projects/wrapper

p.s. There’s even a simple WordPress Theme example. Amazing stuff, Tyler, you rock!


Lisa
Larson~
Kelley

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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