Adobe targets video with Flash Lite, new media player
Adobe put the focus on video at its developer conference this week with a new version of its Flash Light client for mobile devices and a new Internet video player.
The new Flash Lite 3 software is the first small footprint Flash player to support video playback, which potentially opens up a world of video content -- most notably all YouTube content -- to portable devices for the first time.
Adobe's browser-based Flash player is too large to fit on most mobile devices, not to mention another Flash target, set-top boxes. The new Flash Lite 3 brings Flash video to a variety of mobile platforms, S60 on Symbian OS, Qualcomm BREW and Microsoft Windows Mobile 5. It can also be embedded directly within OEM operating systems.
The Apple iPhone drew attention for enabling users to download and watch YouTube videos, but those videos are transcoded from the standard YouTube Flash format to H.264.
Meanwhile, one enterprising developer has already built a Flash Lite-based application that can access YouTube videos directly from mobile devices, and look for more mobile device makers to deliver similar capabilities soon, said Anup Murarka, director of technical marketing for Adobeís mobile and devices business unit.
"This really enables a lot of content that was originally created for the Internet to be delivered to mobile devices," Murarka said. Among carriers and device makers, both NTT DoCoMo and Nokia are committed to bringing Flash Light 3 out on new devices shortly, Murark said.
Today, 300 million mobile devices ship with Flash capabilities with Adobe targeting one billion devices by 2010, he added.
In addition to mobile devices, Flash Lite 3 could play a role in set-top boxes to aid in the delivery of so-called "over-the-top" content, or Internet video delivered from outside the standard cable/telco head-end. Murarka said Adobe has a number of set-top projects underway, with partner announcements expected early next year.
Speaking of Internet Video, Adobe made a play in that area this week as well with the new Adobe Media Player, available now at the Adobe Labs Web site. The software is currently in beta form, with final 1.0 release scheduled for the first half of next year.
The Adobe Media Player is built using AIR, Adobe's new rich media development environment. Users download the player and can view high-quality Internet video content from a variety of players, including announced partners including CBS, Yahoo! Video, PBS, Blip.tv, MotionBox, and MyToons.
To that end, the player ostensibly competes with other Internet video players and services such as Joost (which went live with its 1.0 release), Babelgum and Veoh, the latter of which was also built using Adobe AIR.
In addition to that model, publishers can also license and custom-brand the Adobe Media Player to deliver their own video content from their Web sites.
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© 2014 Penton Media Inc.
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