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Adobe Media Player 1.0 released

Adobe Media Player 1.0 released

The final version of Adobe Media Player (AMP) was just released on Adobe.com. A great showcase for AIR as well as a free (ad based) media player loaded with good content and high definition video.

After some months as a beta download on Adobe Labs, Adobe Media Player (AMP) was released today. You can download it from here. AMP is one of Adobes poster AIR applications and it really shines. You can play back local FLVs as well as some QuickTime movies (h.264 encoded), by adding a video RSS url, you can subscribe to content, follow popular tv shows as well as a lot of good content in the Catalog. All the featured content in the Catalog is encoded as either 480p, 720p or 1080p streams, so the quality is really good. The video is streamed from various locations. Some is streamed from large Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) and others from private servers, but we've found the quality to be good in general. This could of course change now that the audience will increase.

 

If you're a content owner, you can get in touch with the Adobe Media Player team to have your content listed. AMP will get wide distribution quite fast as Adobe intends to offer it as an optional install to the Flash Player. We talked to AMP Product Manager Ashley Still and asked her about Adobe now taking on Windows Media Player, Quicktime and Real?

Ashley: "Well, we compete with different parts of each. Microsoft is more focused on desktop playback and Apple clearly is more focused on the [iTunes] Store. TV content is a pay per download versus AMP that is advertising based."

FM: But this will surely be a major competitor to Joost?
Ashley: "I think that's [a fair comparison], because you have to download the Joost player to watch content, both are advertising based, both have a catalog, so I think that's fair. One of the things I find interesting about this market is that it's changing so fast that I do think that there are a lot of partner opportunities, so companies will look very competitive. We wouldn't want to say that any one entity is our sole competition and that's what we're gunning for. What we are looking to create is a really compelling technology platform and we'll partner as needed to do that."

FM: Is this a full, new business unit inside Adobe?
Ashley: "We have a business development team that works with content partners and they're actively out managing relationships and securing additional content etc. There's an engineering team and a support team. Photoshop is a huge product but it's not it's own business unit. I think [AMP] is a very important strategic initiative for Adobe and while we don't have a huge team, we do have the resources we need to be successful."

FM: Where did the idea for AMP come from?
Ashley: A small group of Adobe engineers who wanted to be able to watch what they wanted, when they wanted online — and saw an opportunity  to create a platform where viewers could actually subscribe to their favorite shows and have content come to them, while at the same time giving content publishers large and small the opportunity to create their own branded channels and reach lots of viewers with a great experience around their content.

 

In the beta version, we were impressed by the amount and quality of the content available from the Catalog. Adobe have got a lot of partners with a lot of cool content. CSI: New York, CSI: Miami, Big Brother, Star Trek, Melrose Place, Hawaii Five-O, The Twilight Zone, MacGyver from CBS; clips from The Hills, MTV News and Yo! MTV Raps from MTV Networks; select shows on HGTV, Food Network, DIY Network and Fine Living Network from Scripps Networks; Epicurious.com, Style.com and Wired.com from CondéNet; PBS programming and music videos from Universal Music Group. Quite a list? And there's more coming. Additional content from MTV Networks’ brands including MTV, Nickeloedon, COMEDY CENTRAL, VH1, CMT, Logo, Spike, The N, GameTrailers and Atom Films will be made available over the next several months.

AMP also integrates with a brand new Adobe site: tv.adobe.com. Here you'll find more than 200 videos, sorted according to content and subscribing to a category in AMP is as easy as clicking a button on the webpage. Smooth. The videos on the site appear to be just about every video produced at Adobe the last two years. They are of varying interest and a lot of it is just plain boring marketing from Adobe. For developers, OnAIR video blog is probabl a better option.

 

The AdobeTV site itself is just a big SWF that offers no back buttons support and no bookmarking (though linking is possible). This is a video site after all, so the site has little need for being indexed, but it would be nice since the site is built with Flex and this is one of the many possibilities in Flex. If you happen to click the backbutton, you'll have to browse all the way back to where you were. That would be really easy to fix by storing progress to the Local Shared Object.

 

 

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