updated 06:20 pm EDT, Mon October 1, 2007
Adobe Media Player beta
At the Adobe MAX 2007 developer and designer event, Adobe offered the first pre-release of its Adobe Media Player technology and a pre-release update to its Flash Player 9 as well as debuted new Adobe AIR software (formerly called Apollo) initiatives with partners such as AOL, eBay, NASDAQ, Nickelodeon, and Yahoo. Leveraging Adobe AIR to create the next generation desktop experiences, dozens of companies showcased new Adobe AIR applications at Adobe MAX 2007. In addition, major television broadcasters and content publishers including CBS, PBS, Yahoo! Video, Blip.tv, and others said that they will distribute video content via the new Adobe Media Player. [updated]
Built using the cross-platform application runtime that extends rich Internet applications (RIAs) to the desktop, the Adobe Media Player leverages Flash technology for delivering rich, interactive content, while also offering control to watch video both on- and off-line. The beta version of the Adobe Media Player is available immediately as a free download (in English) for both Windows and Mac OS X operating systems. The final release, the company said, is scheduled to be available in early 2008.
Adobe notes that the beta player does not yet support H.264 (already supported in Flash Player 9) and Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard (currently in testing and expected later this month). It also does not support hardware-accelerated video on Mac OS. The player software requires Mac OS X 10.3 or later and 1GB of RAM.
Following its first official Universal release in August, the new Flash Player 9 update includes the previously announced (and delivered) support for H.264 video and HE-AAC audio codecs, enhancements to full-screen mode to use hardware scaling for improved video performance and quality on systems running Windows 2000/Mac OS X 10.2 and later, and faster rendering of vector graphics on multi-core CPUs. Adobe also said that the update will bring higher quality and performance for downscaling large bitmaps when using SWF 9 file format as well as support for caching common platform components, such as the Flex framework, to reduce average application sizes (enabled in the Flex 3 beta). It also brings support for full-screen mode on Linux and other enhancements.
The hardware scaling feature of Flash Player 9 requires a 1GHz PowerPC G4 processor later and Mac OS X 10.2 or later. Adobe also cautions that users should uninstall older versions of Adobe AIR and Adobe Media Player before installing the latest AMP prerelease.