Adobe Systems' Flash Media Server platform is poised to embrace new HTML5 capabilities that will enable content publishers to stream protected video to more mobile devices, including Apple's iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. To make this happen, Adobe will add support for HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) -- a technology developed by Apple as part of the company's QuickTime X and iOS software.
Demonstrated last week at the National Association of Broadcasters conference in Las Vegas, Adobe's HLS-enabled Flash Media Server (FMS) promises to deliver a compatible MPEG2 transport stream to mobile devices lacking Adobe Flash support, which is welcome news, observed Al Hilwa, director of applications program development at IDC.
"Many video sources which use Flash have not been able to serve iOS devices because of the cost involved in getting add-on servers to handle them," Hilwa said Monday. "This allows them to upgrade to the latest FMS and begin serving iOS devices potentially without new hardware outlays and added costs of managing new infrastructure."
A Great Strategy
Apple has already prepared an Internet draft document for HLS -- the first stage in the process of submitting the technology to the Internet Engineering Task Force as a proposed Internet standard. Moreover, Google has already added HLS support in Android 3.0 Honeycomb.
Adobe views the addition of HLS as a good way to dramatically reduce the publishing complexity for broadcasters who need to reach mobile devices on which Adobe Flash is not installed, noted Adobe Senior Product Manager Kevin Towes. The forthcoming technology "will allow us to deliver a consistent live video stream across multiple devices and over the desktop," he said.
In a video posted online at Adobe, Towes demonstrated some examples of live video encoding to the Apple iPad 2 and the Motorola Xoom as well as how web designers will be able to use Adobe's Dreamweaver web editor to create HTML5 pages on which HLS-enabled live video streams can be displayed.
"We also began previewing the next version of Adobe Flash Media Live Encoder, which can capture a live broadcast stream and publish out to multiple devices, including Android, Apple iOS, and Samsung TVs," Towes wrote in a blog.
Animation and Artwork Conversions
The move to embrace HLS within FMS is merely the latest sign that Adobe intends to leverage the web's transition to HTML5 to ensure that Flash developers don't have to make an either-or choice.
"This is a great strategy for Adobe Systems because plug-in approaches will always own the high end of graphics manipulation," Hilwa observed. "But HTML5 will be very widely adopted for all other web sites."
Unfortunately, Adobe's support for HLS will do nothing to help Flash-based animations and games run on iOS devices. But the software maker released an experimental tool called Wallaby last month that enables developers to convert their animation and artwork creations to a format that can be displayed on devices running iOS.
"Wallaby is aimed at allowing developers to keep developing for Flash, but also target iOS devices through the conversion to HTML5," Hilwa said. "To the extent that developers do use Wallaby, it will mean more and more content developed in Flash will reach iOS users."
Hilwa believes that Wallaby, coupled with the ability to deliver iOS apps with Creative Suite, should cover both bases for Adobe: Web apps and native apps. "Of course there will still be sites out there that will not be coded either way and so will be inaccessible to iOS users at this time," Hilwa added.
No comments yet.
Leave a comment
You must be logged in to post a comment.
No trackbacks yet.