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Flash Media Server 3 preview FAQ

What are the new features in Adobe® Flash® Media Server 3 that are being previewed?
  • Improved performance — Adobe Flash Media Server 3 software will increase its capacity for the number of concurrent streams by over 200% compared with the previous version. This improvement will help lower the cost per stream, because more streams can be delivered per server. The performance gains will be achieved in both Windows® and Linux® Red Hat® 4 implementations. Adobe will publicly release performance benchmarks when the product ships.
  • H.264 and AAC streaming support — Adobe Flash Media Server 3 will support streaming of industry-standard H.264 and HE-AAC video and audio content to Flash Player, Adobe AIR™, and Adobe Media Player. Flash Media Server 3 will also support enhanced seeking for H.264 content, which means you can seek to any point within the video and start streaming quickly.
  • New security features — Adobe's Real Time Messaging Protocol (RTMP) will be enhanced with new, higher performance encryption to help secure streamed media and communication. This enhanced protocol is called RTMPE. Similar in strength to our current SSL protocol (RTMPS), this enhancement can be leveraged by content owners and communication developers to add additional protection to their content. Additionally, SWF verification will also help protect SWF files from being reused, modified, or hosted in alternate locations. Flash Media Server 3 will also support streaming of encrypted content to Adobe Media Player.
  • Improved live video support — Adobe Flash Media Server 3 will introduce scalable live streaming support for high-quality video and audio streams from Adobe Flash Media Live Encoder. This will allow more live streams to be hosted from a single Flash Media Server.
  • Adobe Media Player support — Adobe Flash Media Server 3 will introduce content measurement services for the upcoming release of Adobe Media Player. Flash Media Server 3 can also be used to stream protected content to Adobe Media Player.
  • Mobile video delivery to Flash Lite™ 3 — Adobe Flash Media Server will support both prerecorded and live streaming to the Flash Lite 3 mobile platform. The same video experience in the browser can now be delivered to mobile devices supporting Flash Lite 3.
  • Better out-of-the-box experience — Adobe Flash Media Server 3 will ship with special prebuilt services to make it easier to stream. The documentation and help systems have also been completely updated to support ActionScript™ 3 in Adobe Flex™ and Flash CS3 Professional.
  • New plug-in architecture — Adobe Flash Media Server 3 will increase its extensibility by introducing powerful new C++ APIs to customize the built-in authentication and file access functionality. These plug-ins can be used to develop geo-filtered content or HTTP-based Origin services.
  • Server-side republish — This exciting new feature will let developers push either a live stream or a playlist to another Flash Media Server or content delivery network (CDN). A developer can inject cue-point messages into a live stream before it gets distributed, making it easier to develop applications that react to the video events.
I use a web server today to deliver my video; why should I buy Flash Media Server 3?
Adobe Flash Media Server 3 is a streaming solution that provides a higher quality of service and better user experience for video delivery. When you deliver video from a web server, it's called progressive download. Here are some of the benefits of using Flash Media Server 3:
  • Content protection — Streaming with Flash Media Server 3 offers methods to help publishers protect their content from file theft, deep linking, and other attacks. The new Enhanced RTMP and SWF Verification features will also help protect content and communication services. Additionally, Flash Media Server 3 streaming does not store video in a client-side cache, so the video is never available on a consumer's computer the way it is when you deliver video from a web server.
  • Live video streaming — Flash Media Server 3 and Flash Media Live Encoder enable publishers to broadcast high-quality live events and programming around the clock.
  • Social media services API — Flash Media Server 3 lets you take advantage of the communication APIs in Flash Player and Adobe AIR. You can develop powerful real time communication services using ActionScript on the server side to enhance your video experience with new services such as live webcam chat, video messaging, videoblogging, podcasting, and more. Using Flash Media Server 3 with Adobe AIR will let you build desktop applications or widgets that you can push data to and from.
  • Tracking — Flash Media Server 3 provides detailed information via W3C-standard logs to enable media publishers to understand and monetize the anonymous content viewing habits.
  • Better video experience — Flash Media Server 3 capabilities such as bandwidth detection, player detection, and dynamic buffering create the best user experience for video. Flash Media Server 3 can deliver the appropriate video (bit rate and format), quality of service monitoring, and the ability to jump into any point within the video and instantly start playing.
  • Network efficiencies — Streaming video through Flash Media Server 3 can support more concurrent high-quality streams per server than with progressive download, because streaming only serves the video that's requested.
When will Flash Media Server 3 ship?
We expect to ship Flash Media Server 3 in the first quarter of 2008.
How much will Flash Media Server 3 cost? What versions will be offered?
Pricing and product configuration information is not available at this time.
I have Flash Media Server 2; can I upgrade to Flash Media Server 3?
Yes, there will be an upgrade configuration for Flash Media Server 3 for Flash Media Server 2 owners. However, if you own Flash Communication Server 1.x, you will need to either upgrade to Flash Media Server 2 to qualify for the upgrade or purchase a full version of Flash Media Server 3.
When will CDNs like Akamai and Limelight support Flash Media Server 3?
Adobe will make every effort to encourage our current CDNs and new CDNs to adopt Flash Media Server 3. We encourage you to contact them to learn more about their plans.
Can Flash Media Server 3 run on all versions of Linux?
Flash Media Server 3 will be officially supported on Windows Server® 2003 (all editions) and Linux Red Hat 4. Flash Media Server will also be supported in a development configuration on Windows XP.
Which version of Flash Player will support Flash Media Server 3?
Flash Media Server 3 can connect and stream to versions of Flash Player since Flash Player 6. To leverage the new Enhanced RTMP protocol, SWF Verification features, and H.264 support, users will have to run the Flash Player 9 update (currently available on Adobe Labs).
Is Flash Media Server 3 scalable?
Yes, Flash Media Server 3 will continue its support for Origin and Edge configurations. The Origin and Edge architecture provides the caching services required for large and distributed installations.
Does Flash Media Server 3 work with Adobe AIR?
Yes, you can build compelling desktop applications such as instant messengers, instant webcam chats, or even application remote control widgets using Flash Media Server 3 and Adobe AIR. Because your Adobe AIR application can connect to Flash Media Server 3, you will always have a way to push data such as stock quotes, weather, RSS feeds, video, audio, and more to Adobe AIR.
Will services I wrote in Flash Media Server 2 still work on Flash Media Server 3?
Yes, the services (or server-side applications) developed for Flash Media Server 2 will run on Flash Media Server 3 with no change to your server-side or client-side ActionScript.
Will Flash Media Server 3 support ActionScript 3.0?
Yes, Flash Media Server 3 supports ActionScript 3.0 only on the client side. Services (applications) will continue to be developed using ActionScript 1.0, which is similar to JavaScript. Flash Media Server 3 will also introduce support for AMF3, allowing you to send bitmap data objects from one client to another.
Will Flash Media Server 3 run on my 64-bit Windows or Linux systems?
Yes, Flash Media Server 3 will run on 64-bit systems, but it will run in 32-bit mode. Flash Media Server 3 will also now support 64-bit file lengths. This means that Flash Media Server 3 can handle file lengths greater than 2GB.
What are some of the tools that will ship with Flash Media Server 3?
Two new tools will be shipped with Flash Media Server 3. FMSCheck is a command-line program that can check on the health of critical Flash Media Server subsystems. You can use it within your own script to report the status of the server. FLVCheck is a tool that verifies the structure of the FLV file so it can be streamed. This tool will also support the validation of MPEG-4 structures. The FLV version for Windows is currently being previewed on Adobe Labs.
Will Flash Media Server 3 support a solution similar to HTTP-302 redirect?
Yes, this will be a new feature of Flash Media Server 3 to support advanced load balancing and smart redirection.
My company requires that all new servers support IPv6. Will Flash Media Server 3 support IPv6?
Yes, IPv6 will be fully supported with Flash Media Server 3.
Does Flash Media Server support Multiple Camera Angle switching?
Yes, you can develop solutions that dynamically switch live or prerecorded video streams.
Can I create an Internet TV or radio station with Flash Media Server 3?
Yes, using server-side playlists, you can leverage prerecorded content or mix between prerecorded and live content to create your always-on Internet television station.