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Adobe finally delivers Flash video to iOS devices

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September 11, 2011

Adobe's Flash Media Server 4.5 lets Flash video content be viewed on iOS devices

Adobe's Flash Media Server 4.5 lets Flash video content be viewed on iOS devices

In April 2010, Steve Jobs' outlined why Flash would not be permitted on iOS devices in his "Thoughts on Flash" open letter. While Jobs made some valid points in terms of Flash's proprietary nature, security concerns, and the fact it drains the batteries of mobile devices, the popularity of the Skyfire 2.0 mobile web browser and standalone VideoQ Flash video player showed that there were still plenty of iOS users keen to Flash video on their mobile devices. Now Adobe has finally come to the party with its own solution that will allow Flash video content to be viewed directly within Safari on iOS devices.

When it detects a lack of Flash support on a device, Adobe's Flash Media Server 4.5 will allow Flash content to be streamed using the iOS-compatible HLS (HTTP Live Streaming) protocol - an HTTP-based media streaming protocol supported by HTML5 that Apple created and already uses for Quicktime X and iOS. As with Skyfire's solutions, the Adobe solution sees the on-the-fly video crunching taking place on the server, so the mobile device won't have to carry out the processor-intensive crunching themselves, resulting in improved battery life. It also means that Flash-based games and animations still won't work on iOS devices.

The use of the HLS protocol means Safari on iOS already supports Adobe's new solution. All that is needed is for content publishers to shell out US$4,500 and implement the new Adobe Flash Media Server 4.5, which Adobe showcased during the IBC trade show in Amsterdam last week.

About the Author
Darren Quick Darren's love of technology started in primary school with a Nintendo Game & Watch Donkey Kong (still functioning) and a Commodore VIC 20 computer (not still functioning). In high school he upgraded to a 286 PC, and he's been following Moore's law ever since. This love of technology continued through a number of university courses and crappy jobs until 2008, when his interests found a home at Gizmag.   All articles by Darren Quick
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10 Comments

$4500 bucks and run another server?!!

Wouldn't it be easier to just to convert the flash content to HLS or HTML5 prior to anyone accessing the site?

Adobe acted like it didn't care. I wonder why it does now? Oh yeah iOS is the choice of the rich people that can afford Apple products. Like me. :^)

RAMLOT
12th September, 2011 @ 12:16 am PDT

Rich poeple? More like i-Diots.

Joseph J Shimandle
12th September, 2011 @ 04:09 am PDT

@RAMLOT - Considering the old cliche "time is money", paying $4500 for a robot that will constantly process and cache NEW Flash content on demand makes economic sense for companies that stream lots of Flash content. Imagine the scenario of processing 500 new Flash files per day, day after day, month after month, year after year. THAT is the type of scenario this server is intended for. The cost for a body or two to do that manually for a year? In such a scenario, $4500 is a great bargain.

kalqlate
12th September, 2011 @ 10:27 am PDT

So, it's still half-a$$ed

Phil Sergent
12th September, 2011 @ 10:42 am PDT

Apple was just waiting until they had another expensive product to sell, in this case the $4,500 server software, which isn't a complete Flash implementation.

Four thousand five hundred dollars for crippleware?

Gregg Eshelman
12th September, 2011 @ 02:34 pm PDT

RAMLOT, I was going to let this go, I am not the type that usually starts things in comments, as a matter of fact, I had even

stumbled" off of this page, but my back button beckoned.

As far as converting to HLS or HTML5, your probably right, easier or cheaper than a new server, remember that someone just said your right, because i doubt it happens very often.

Your line "...iOS is the choice of the rich people that can afford Apple products. Like me"

Really, iOs is the choice of LOTS of people, I am not even going to go into how it is the wrong choice (another time maybe). With carriers offering discounts with 2 year plans, and people always wanting what they perceive to be the "in" thing, that's why iOs is so pervasive, not because people think they are snobby and elitist (although I imagine it started that way). You know, I have so much more to say, but I can't imagine it will do any good, so just shut up, please...

Lucas Murray
12th September, 2011 @ 04:25 pm PDT

kalqlate is missing the point. You create new content on a new platform, html5+js and jettison flash. 4,500 USD plus another server to install and manage? Total cost of ownership will be even more.

Lucas you are wrong. Pervasive is not the right word. Broaden your perspective beyond US/EU and you will see that iOS is a premium product for the affluent. RAMLOT is correct.

Jeff McNeill
13th September, 2011 @ 12:46 am PDT

So Steve doesn't like Flash's proprietary nature. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black! Apple makes Microsoft look open source. Apple systems are as closed and proprietary as you can get.

"It also means that Flash-based games and animations still won't work on iOS devices." This is the reason that Apple did not want to support flash. It would mean that people could play free games and not pay for the ones on their App store. Admittedly this does make short term economic sense but it will eventually go sour.

Mark my words, Android will do to iOS what Windows did to MacOS.

Edgar Walkowsky
13th September, 2011 @ 05:16 am PDT

Doesn't sound like you recall what Flash was like before Adobe bought Macromedia. Since then Adobe has done nothing to maintain Flash and HTML5 is the attempt to move on. Single source of failure is how I see Flash content. And yeah, I've programmed in ActionScript for a decade now.

Apple moving on from Flash isn't proprietary. Quite the opposite. And I'm not rich, btw. I work hard. I like Android and iOS about the same. To take a one is better than the other approach seems immature to me and missing the point how mush each is doing for the other to move us on into smartphone land and away from straight cell-phones and laptops.

As a programmer, Apple got me paid for apps I worked VERY hard to write. Cydia took it to another level. Writing apps for Android isn't so much hard as it is frustrating. Sorry, I'm rambling now.

PR Noyes
14th September, 2011 @ 09:41 am PDT

nice info, thanx) but as for me, i'd recommend this converter http://www.macvide.com/Macvide_FlashVideo_Converter/, i heard a lot of positive opinions about it))

Jane Gergel
10th October, 2011 @ 10:24 am PDT
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