Pre-orders and previews underway ahead of launch.
Adobe Launches Media Player 1.0 for Mac and PC
Adobe launched the Adobe Media Player 1.0 today. Adobe's Media Player is a standalone Video Jukebox application that runs under their AIR platform. The Media Player is compatible with both PCs and Macs.
In many ways, the Adobe Media Player mimics iTunes Video and Podcast functionality by providing users with an all-enclosed application that provides access to network shows and podcasts. Content is sparse at the moment, but Adobe has partnered with a number of content providers such as CBS, PBS, MTV and more. Unlike iTunes, however, Adobe's Media Player is not presently a "store" and offers free and ad-supported content. Adobe, however, has said that it plans on adding payment systems later to offer purchase and rental options.
The player supports playback for FLV and h.264 encoded content at up to HD quality (1080p, 720p). Content may be available for streaming or download with and without DRM depending on the rights granted by the content providers.
Predictably, there will be many iTunes users who don't see the point of transitioning to a different player, but what this represents more than just another media player is the first effective cross-platform Digital Rights Management (DRM) video platform alternative. As much as end users dislike DRM, the lack of an additional cross-platform video DRM has hindered some features on Mac. Notably, Netflix stated that the lack of a publicly-available Mac DRM solution was what prevented them from offering their streaming service to the Mac. It's not clear if Netflix will necessarily adopt Adobe's DRM, but this may open up additional alternatives to Apple's iTunes for content delivery on the Mac.