Adobe releases Media Player beta, boosts SaaS

Companies line up to offer content, but WMV, MOV files not supported

Adobe Systems will boost its strategy of helping developers and users create desktop and Web applications that share a similar user experience at its Adobe MAX user conference in Chicago this week.

Adobe plans to announce Monday the acquisition of Virtual Ubiquity, the maker of a Web-based, multi-user word processor called Buzzword.

Adobe also will spin out the beta of a new service called Share that allows users to share and work on documents together online, as well as publish them to wikis or Web pages, said Erik Larson, director of product management for Adobe.

The multimedia software maker will also make the first beta of its upcoming Adobe Media Player available for public download at its Adobe Labs site, while announcing partnerships with a slew of content developers it hopes will drive demand for the free desktop product.

The final version of Adobe Media Player, originally scheduled for release by March of 2008, is now scheduled to ship sometime before July of that year, according to Jen Taylor, group product manager for Flash at Adobe.

The Media Player can play files in the Flash Video (FLV) format used by a fast-growing number of Web sites including YouTube. Those videos can be streamed to the player or saved on a computer for later offline viewing. It takes up less than 1M byte, though users must also download the Adobe Integrated Runtime beta plug-in, which is a 9M byte file for Windows, for it to run.

Companies that will offer content for Adobe Media Player include CBS, PBS, Yahoo, Blip.TV, Fora TV, Meredith, Motionbox, MyToons and STIMTV.

Taylor expects most of the partners to release content supported via advertising, such as "pre-roll" and "post-roll" ads permanently embedded in videos themselves, or via banner ads on the player itself.

"We see a transition where consumers want more content that is free," she said, adding that digital rights management (DRM) technology in the Flash format will prevent users from removing the ads, even from downloaded videos.

The Media Player, which will be available for Windows and Mac OS X platforms, can also be set to receive RSS feeds and download videos according to user preferences for later offline viewing, said Deeje Cooley, an Adobe project manager.

While Adobe has the Flash Player for video playback through Web browsers, the Adobe Media Player fills a hole in Adobe's rich Internet application (RIA) strategy, said Melissa Webster, an analyst with research firm, IDC.

Microsoft, which already had Windows Media Player for the desktop, in September unveiled Silverlight, a Web media player that promises high-definition video playback.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?