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 newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Show Comments

Essentials

Brother MFC-L3745CDW Colour Laser Multifunction

Learn more >

Mobile

Exec

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?