Adobe Flash Media Server 4.5 Brings Flash Video Streaming to iOS Devices
Adobe yesterday announced the release of Flash Media Server 4.5 and Flash Access 3.0, updated tools to allow publishers to host streaming Flash video content. As noted by Computerworld, the release includes a new solution to allow Flash content to be repackaged and streamed to iOS devices, which famously do not support Flash Player directly.
"With Adobe Flash Media Server 4.5, media publishers now have a single, simple workflow for delivering content using the same stream to Flash-enabled devices or to the Apple iPhone and iPad."
In other words, Adobe's solution repackages content in real-time, changing the protocol to suit the target device, HTTP Dynamic Streaming or HLS, for example. This should mean that iOS devices will get much of the advantages of Flash video support, without the processor degradation and battery life cost of the format in use on other devices.
Consequently, as media publishers begin to adopt the new Adobe software, they will be able to easily deliver HTML5-compatible content to mobile devices alongside the traditional Flash Player content. Because the feature utilizes video streaming technology rather than running the Flash content directly on the device, it does not yet support interactive Flash content such as games and banner ads, but the ability to access streaming Flash video on iOS devices will certainly be a welcome addition for many users.
A number of media providers have of course already taken to providing HTML5 versions of their video content in order to bring compatibility to iOS devices, but direct integration of the functionality into Flash Media Server should simplify the process for those content providers who have invested in the platform.