Flash video n' related stuff

Archive for the ‘Announcements’ Category

I’m now an “Adobe Community Expert!”

Mar 8, 2008 Author: Lisa Larson-Kelley | Filed under: Announcements

Adobe is really making developer relations a top priority these days, so they’ve opened up a few more spots in the Adobe Community Experts program… and I’m proud to announce that I’ve been invited into the fold!

The program is made up of Adobe customers who are committed to sharing their knowledge and expertise with the community. That’s me! In the coming months, I’ll be getting even more involved in the Adobe Developer Center; publishing additional podcasts, tutorials, and whitepapers; and keeping you up-to-date here on my blog with new developments in video on the web.

Pretty much what I’ve been doing, but now with a shiny new badge on my webpage. 🙂

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  • FMS on Lynda.com!

    Feb 11, 2008 Author: Lisa Larson-Kelley | Filed under: Announcements, Flash Media Server, Tutorials & Code

    Last fall I presented “Fun with Flash Media Server” at Flash Forward Boston. For those of you who weren’t able to make it to beantown, Lynda recorded the session and has added it to the Lynda.com library! If you’re not already a member, it’s just $25/mo. for unlimited online tutorials (on a wide range of subjects, not just Flash). If you are a member, here’s the direct link to my talk:



    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 —

      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:

    or at OSFlash


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

    FLV editor (preview)

    Dec 31, 2007 Author: Lisa Larson-Kelley | Filed under: Announcements

    A clever Flash/Flex/AIR developer, Benjamin Dobbler, has made some serious progress on a simple FLV editor, called RichFLV. This AIR app allows you to import multiple FLVs, trim them, splice them together, and export a new edited FLV. Check out the video to see it in action (and encourage him to release it soon!)

    Next generation RichFLV preview

    Second Day MAX News

    Oct 2, 2007 Author: Lisa Larson-Kelley | Filed under: Announcements, Industry News, Video News

    Share beta: Free Adobe service with 1GB of disk space; app for sharing files. Remembers who you shared your files with. Also “like flashpaper on steroids” letting you embed PDF content into webpages, etc. AS3 libraries also available to work with the service.

    Pacifica: Voice, messaging, presence into Flash and Flex apps. High quality voice. Real-time collaboration
    High Quality voice chat
    Text instant messaging
    NAT/Firewall Traversal
    Ajax, HTML, JS, Flex, Flash
    t/c video Chat
    PSTN Access — connect into telephone network
    Private beta starting this month, and hiring developers and quality engineers.
    Will be open to developers to build custom apps.

    CoCoMo: New version of Adobe Connect (Nigel Pegg)
    Client UI has been rewritten in Flex (was Flash MX)
    The worldwide hosted infrastructure will be opened to developers to access via Flex.
    API/components will be available, along with the foundation classes
    (Finally opening screensharing?) more in a few… battery’s dying!

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  • 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.

    BIG NEWS: Flash to Support H.264!

    Aug 21, 2007 Author: Lisa Larson-Kelley | Filed under: Announcements, Flash Media Server, Industry News

    With one earth-shaking announcement, Adobe has changed the landscape of online video.

    Flash Player 9, Update 3 will support playback of H.264 encoded video in the following file formats:

    – .MP4

    – .M4A

    – .M4V

    – .3GP

    – .MOV

    It’s important to note that the video file must be encoded using the H.264 codec (FairPlay is not supported). All H.264 formats including Base, High, and High 10-bit streams will play.
    What does this mean for you? Well, depending on your application and the demands of your video projects, it could be business as usual — or it could be a whole new business model.

    Flash will continue to support both Sorenson Spark and On2VP6. Note that there are still reasons to use VP6; alpha channel video, for example. You also won’t be able to stream H.264 videos via Flash Media Server until a future version of FMS is released. Also, FLVs are built for fast-start streaming, where many H.264 videos are not. That being said, the benefits and opportunities that the new codec brings are huge.

    You can now re-purpose existing H.264 content, and play it back in the browser WITHOUT any other special plugins. This means that iTunes files (with all metadata) can be played back through Flash. Videos with karaoke tracks or multiple-language subtitles encoded in can be read and and displayed in Flash. All of this (and more) in the browser, without any special codec or plugin downloads.

    The big-picture benefits are clear: Adobe has given their customers what they’ve been clamoring for — a non-proprietary, standards-compliant video format. This gives them confidence that their often huge libraries of content are not held hostage by a single company and their player. It also gives us access to more encoding tools, a more flexible codec, and native hardware support.

    All of this, and less than 100kb added to the Player!

    There are two potential issues with this announcement that I’ll be keeping an eye on. One, there may be additional licensing required for H.264 video used for commercial content. The implications of this are not yet clear. The second is the assertion by Adobe that the Flash Player will not support playback of streams from non-Adobe H.264 servers. Though neither of these issues will likely become deal-breakers, they could prevent the industry from fully embracing the news.

    Watch this space for more details, and what the new codecs will mean for you. You can bet I’ll be keeping up with the latest developments!

    This update for Adobe Flash Player 9, code-named Moviestar will be available in beta later today on Adobe Labs. The full release is planned for later this fall.
    More info:

    What just happened to video on the web? — Tinic Uro, Adobe
    Flash Player Supports H.264 Video — Ryan Stewart, ZDNet
    Adobe Extends Web Video Leadership With H.264 Support — Yahoo News

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  • Flix Encoder to support H.264

    Aug 15, 2007 Author: Lisa Larson-Kelley | Filed under: Announcements, Rants & Ramblings, Video News

    On2 has announced today that they will add support for the H.264 codec (widely used for HD and mobile content, including iPods and iPhones) in their Flix video encoder. This additional transcoding format will be an available as an upgrade in Q4 2007. With companies such as On2 being compelled to support the iPhone video format, one wonders who’s going to blink first — will Adobe give in and add a codec, as Flashers have been clammering for, or will Apple finally support Flash on iPhones?! Somethin’s gotta give.

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  • Lisa

    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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