Distributing with Flash

Market Repositioning of Flash Begins

We've heard much doom and gloom about Flash for the last few months, much of it due to Adobe's clumsy handling of their withdrawal from Android. Now Fabio Sonnati, an insightful and well-connected Flash consultant, is seeing some upside for the Flash...

Creating a Flash Player in Adobe Flash Catalyst

Adobe Flash Catalyst is my "go-to" tool for creating and uploading simple Flash Players to the web, and if you own Adobe CS5, you already have the tool. Click over to the article to view a short tutorial on how simple it is to create Flash Players with Adobe Flash Catalyst.

Adobe Provides Adaptive Streaming Presets for Adobe Media Encoder

amepresets1.JPGAdaptive streaming is a hot topic for most streaming producers. If you produce your files with Adobe Media Encoder, you should know that Adobe has provided some downloadable presets that you can use as a starting point. Click here to go to the download page.  

Even if you're not using AME, it's useful to check the configurations that they recommend. Read on to see a summary of those settings.

Flash - the George Bush of Web Technology

I didn't vote for George Bush in his second term; truth be told, I wasn't that keen on him his first term, but found him better than the alternative. But despite this opinion, I never felt it fair to blame him for all the awful events that happened on his watch. The Crash of 2000, Katrina, Enron, MCI, the sub-prime mess, 9/11, I'm sure I'm missing a few. Sure, they happened while he was president, but the seeds for all these events were planted long before he got to the White House. He just turned out to be the unluckiest president ever.

Now, I'm starting to get the same feeling about how some very vocal computer users are starting to criticize Flash. Slow performance? Must be Flash. Instability? Flash. Slow to load a web page? Gotta be Flash. Fan whirring? Flash.

For more, click to the main article.

Pre-MAX News: Flash Player 10.1 Is A New Milestone

Adobe made some significant announcements at their MAX conference - I've included the first half of a summary by Stefan Richter, a Flash consultant and owner of Flashcomguru.com, a very popular site for Flash coders. Here's what Stefan had to say:

In what appears to be an on-purpose release of MAX related announcements ahead of the event which starts today in LA, Adobe have announced the latest version of Flash Player: version 10.1. Do not let yourself be fooled by the .1 release as this version is much more than just another point release, it is a huge upgrade to Flash and the entire platform, touching many parts and in particular mobile and media delivery. Justin Everett-Church has a great breakdown of all the new features.

From my perspective, the big news was that Adobe did announce support for HTTP streaming, which is a smart move that should blunt some of the momentum of Microsoft's Smooth Streaming/Silverlight/HTTP strategy. For my thoughts on this, see Smooth Streaming, Silverlight's Trojan Horse. Adobe briefed me on the new release last week; the only negative was that it won't ship until the "first half of 2010" which could mean 1/1/2010, or 6/30/2010. Whatever the release date, lots of live events will happen between then and now, and Smooth Streaming will be the more proven, better supported HTTP technology through the end of 2010. Still, lots more live events will happen after that, and HTTP is only one feature in a broad Flash product offering. In other words, it's all good, but many live event producers will be wishing that it was available sooner. 

Streaming Gets Smarter: Evaluating the Adaptive Streaming Technologies

With adaptive bitrate streaming, companies can post multiple streams of a video and let the technology sort out the rest. Contenders include Move Networks (Adaptive Streaming), Microsoft (Smooth Streaming) and Adobe (Dynamic Streaming). So which product is best for you?

Producing VP6 Video – What You Need to Know

Though overshadowed by H.264 in the news, On2’s VP6 is still the most widely used streaming codec in the world today. In this short article, you’ll learn what you need to know to produce video using the On2 VP6 codec, including the relevant configuration options and the cost of producing VP6 video.

Smooth Streaming - Silverlight's Trojan Horse

Silverlight presents Microsoft with the classic chicken and egg problem – web sites won’t use Silverlight until the installed base passes some unknown tipping point, but the installed base won’t grow until web sites start using Silverlight. With recent high profile design wins, Silverlight's Smooth Streaming technology may break the logjam.

Reflections on H.264 and Silverlight from a week at Stanford

All’s been quiet on the Streaming Learning Center front as I spent the last week teaching several courses on streaming media production and encoding at the lovely Stanford Campus at Palo Alto. Other than a quick sneak peak at the new Final Cut Studio, which you can read about here, it was pretty much full immersion into the streaming world from a user’s perspective. This led to several conclusions about the future of streaming video and Microsoft Silverlight that I thought I would share.

Producing H.264 Video for Flash: An Overview

As a producer of video on the web, you know that you're judged by the quality of your video. In this regard, many producers are considering converting from the venerable On2 VP6 codec to H.264. H.264 offers better visual quality than VP6, and the AAC audio codec offers much better quality than the MP3 codec paired with VP6. Starting with Adobe Flash Player 9 Update 3, you could play back files encoded in H.264/AAC formats. As of September 2008, the penetration of H.264/AAC-compatible players exceeded 89% in all Internet-connected PCs. No wonder they're switching over.

This article first discusses the issues involved in such a changeover, including the potential requirement for royalties. I then describe the H.264-specific encoding parameters offered by most encoding programs. Finally, I cover how you can produce H.264 video with Adobe Media Encoder CS4 and Adobe Flash Media Encoding Server 3.5.