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December 13, 2007

Flash Video in RIAs Just Got Easier

Adding video to your RIAs got a little easier yesterday, and a little more affordable too. Adobe announced the release of Flash Media Server 3, which includes a number of features like h.264 streaming, along with a new pricing structure that cuts the price by 90%. There is also a developer edition that's available for free, limited to 10 concurrent connections. One of the new features for FMS 3 is the ability to stream video to handsets running Flash Lite 3. The handsets send back their profile information to Flash Media Server and the server sends the proper encoded file to the handset.

David Berlind wonders whether or not this means that we'll see more YouTube's on the Net. 75% of the video online is currently served in Flash format, so there's not much more room to grow there, but with H.264 support and a huge price drop, it might be possible.

The biggest feature of the new release is probably support for h.264. That's the same format used by Apple for their QuickTime videos and for BluRay DVDs. I think the biggest change in 2008 will be the death of proprietary video codecs. With Flash Media Server and Flash Player supporting h.264 video there's no reason to use anything else. Its a move towards a more open, standards based digital world, and I expect most online video will be using it by the end of 2008.

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