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Macromedia Launches Flash Video Initiatives

New tools, resources, gallery and streaming service unveiled By Dave Nagel
Macromedia has kicked off a new initiative focusing on the use of Flash video for streaming. The company today launched new and updated tools for developing Flash video, resources for helping developers, a Flash video gallery and a new service for delivering streaming Flash video via an alliance with VitalStream.

Included in today's announcements is a new and updated range of tools for developing Flash video. These include an update to the Flash Video Exporter, which gains a variety of enhancements, as well as new video behaviors. Flash Video Exporter is a system-wide utility for exporting Flash video from NLEs and compositing and motion graphics applications. The new 1.1 version adds a new two-pass VBR encoder and some minor bug fixes and enhancements. It also gains improved media components, including improved operability with RTMP for streaming with the Flash Communication Server; support for the new VitalStream service (below); and automatic video length detection. Macromedia has also released several new video-related behaviors for Flash MX 2004 for a variety of languages, including French, German, Italian, Spanish and simplified and traditional Chinese. The new behaviors address rewind and fast forward issues and also now use OnRelease as the default event. The updates are available for Mac OS X and Windows and can be found at http://www.macromedia.com/downloads/updates.


Also announced today is an alliance with VitalStream, a streaming service provider. VitalStream has launched a new Flash Video Streaming Service, providing hosting services tuned specifically for streaming video. The service provides access to VitalStream's content delivery network for video delivery with built-in load balancing and full redundancy, as well as "a full suite of tracking and reporting tools," according to Macromedia. Pricing varies by the requirements of the user, but a Macromedia representative told us that that there are introductory and entry-level tiers available for users with moderate bandwidth requirements. A free hosting trial is also available. Information can be found at http://www.macromedia.com/go/fvss.

Macromedia has also announced a new Flash video gallery, showcasing 25 companies that have adopted Flash video in their creative. These include, among others, Ben & Jerry's, Comcast, Ford and Red Bull Energy Drink. The gallery is at http://www.macromedia.com/go/fvg.

Finally, Macromedia has also launched new resources for developers of Flash video. These include templates and tutorials for creating a variety of common interactive video projects, such as video showcases and presentations. The new resources can be found at http://www.macromedia.com/go/fvr.

For more information, visit http://www.macromedia.com.


Contact the author: Dave Nagel is the editor and producer of Creative Mac and Digital Media Designer; host of several World Wide User Groups, including Synthetik Studio Artist, Adobe Photoshop, Apple DVD Studio Pro, Mac OS, Adobe InDesign, Adobe LiveMotion, Creative Mac and Digital Media Designer; and executive producer of the Digital Media Net family of publications. You can reach him at dnagel@digitalmedianet.com.

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