Adobe Media Player Now Available

Adobe, which for several months has made public betas of its Adobe Media Player (AMP) available at its Adobe Labs site, today announced immediate availability of the 1.0 version of AMP.

This marks the first time that Adobe has created a branded player that it licenses out to content owners. AMP, which requires the Adobe Integrated Runtime (AIR) architecture on Linux, Macintosh, and Windows platforms, is itself platform independent. This allows content owners to "skin once, play many" with key branding and delivery exactly the same across all three platforms.

Within the AMP GUI, users can search and browse for content, and can subscribe to shows they want to receive on a regular basis. In an early discussion of AMP, an Adobe representative likened it to "RSS for video." In order for the player to work, users must first install Adobe's AIR on their machine.

As expected, Adobe announced a sizable number of large content owners. Major content is available from CBS, the CSI franchise and select Scripps Network shows from HGTV, the Food Network and Fine Living, with the Adobe 1.0 press release noting that content from MTV, Nickeloedon, COMEDY CENTRAL, VH1, CMT, Logo, Spike, The N, GameTrailers and Atom Films will be available in coming months.

Figure 1
The Adobe Media Player (shown above) lets users browse content channels, search for specific content, or subscribe to regular updates of content they want.

AMP will play back streamed, downloaded, or locally-stored Flash Video content. The company's press release on AMP 1.0 added that consumers can now "download video outside the browser in the Flash format, which can be viewed in 1080p, 720p or 480i video display resolutions with the most advanced audio quality."

At launch, all downloadable content is available without any rights management or usage restrictions. This is due, in part, to the fact that the Flash Media Rights Management Server, a companion server to the Flash Media Interactive Server that is designed to manage rights/protect offline content played locally on AMP, has just recently seen public release and has not yet had widespread adoption. In the future, according to Adobe, much of the content available for download via AMP will have varying degrees of DRM applied to them.

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