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When to use Flash Media Server

From: Flash CS3 Interactive Video Techniques

Video: When to use Flash Media Server

Two of the actions that the Flash Video Import Wizard gives us for using video in Flash require the use of the Flash Media Server. It's beyond the scope of this title to cover the Flash Media Server in detail, but it's worth taking a brief look at what the Flash Media Server is in contrast to using Flash video without the Media Server so that you can decide if it's something that you want to investigate on your own more deeply. Adobe's Flash Media Server is separate software that adds server capabilities to Flash applications. You can develop applications for the Flash Media Server using the standard tools that ship with Flash CS3 and your end user can playback applications that use the Flash Media Server in the normal Flash Player.

When to use Flash Media Server

Two of the actions that the Flash Video Import Wizard gives us for using video in Flash require the use of the Flash Media Server. It's beyond the scope of this title to cover the Flash Media Server in detail, but it's worth taking a brief look at what the Flash Media Server is in contrast to using Flash video without the Media Server so that you can decide if it's something that you want to investigate on your own more deeply. Adobe's Flash Media Server is separate software that adds server capabilities to Flash applications. You can develop applications for the Flash Media Server using the standard tools that ship with Flash CS3 and your end user can playback applications that use the Flash Media Server in the normal Flash Player.

To get Media Server capabilities, you can either purchase the Flash Media Server as a product and install on your own server or pay a hosting service that utilizes the Flash Media Server. If you're using your own installed Flash Media Server, you'd select the third option from the Import Wizard. If you using a hosting service for Flash Media Server, you'd select the second option. A developer version of the Flash Media Server is free and fully functional for creating Flash Media Server applications as well as testing them with your team. In the context of video of the main reason for using Flash Media Server is to allow for true video streaming.

Now we already mentioned that Flash is capable of streaming video as progressive download without Flash Media Server. With progressive download, the option that we talked about in the previous movie, the video file is streamed sequentially from the server, stored on the end user's hard drive when it's downloaded and it's played from the end user's hard drive. This means that if you have a three-minute video file, the user can be watching the first minute of the video while in the background they're downloading the next minute. However with progressive download, there is no way to watch minute three until the first two minutes have completely downloaded. This is fine for most videos, especially shorter ones, because most people watching videos start at the beginning and watch it sequentially.

But so you're putting up an hour-long video file for a training program or college course that was online, if the user decided that they already knew the first segment of the material and wanted to skip ahead, there is no way that they can skip 45 minutes into the file until the first 44 minutes have been fully downloaded. This can take a very long time and the user probably wouldn't want to wait around for that. With live streaming there would be no wait. Live streaming means that whatever part of the file the user's watching, it's streaming directly from the server and if they want to skip right to 45 minutes, they scrub to 45 minutes and it begins downloading from the server immediately. This is the type is streaming the requires the Media Server.

The other major advantage of the Media Server is that because it can happen live in real time, you can do a live streaming event as it takes place. This means an event taking place in one location to be videotaped, captured and streamed to a Media Server in virtually real-time, streaming it to as many simultaneous viewers as possible. All versions of the Flash Media Server support this live streaming. More advanced and expensive versions of the Flash Media Server include other features that allow you to create multiuser applications, do videoconferencing, multiuser games and to control digital rights management.

Again, everything that we're doing in this title can be done without the use of the Flash Media Server but if you're doing longer form videos, if you need to stream a live video event, if you need to record video files to a server, or if you're concerned with digital rights management then you should look deeper into the Flash Media Server. If you'd like to find out more, visit adobe.com and see Lisa Larsen Kelly's title on Flash Media Server at lynda.com. For now, we'll go on and continue importing our video into Flash.

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This video is part of

Image for Flash CS3 Interactive Video Techniques
Flash CS3 Interactive Video Techniques

50 video lessons · 19067 viewers

Chris Florio
Author

 
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  1. 2m 47s
    1. Welcome
      34s
    2. Prerequisites
      1m 26s
    3. Using the exercise files
      47s
  2. 6m 51s
    1. The benefits of Flash video
      1m 33s
    2. The FLV format and how it works with Flash
      1m 8s
    3. The history of video in Flash and version issues
      2m 52s
    4. Supported file formats for converting to Flash video
      1m 18s
  3. 18m 45s
    1. Checking the size and frame rate of imported video
      1m 48s
    2. Embedded video vs. progressive download
      2m 59s
    3. When to use Flash Media Server
      3m 9s
    4. Using Flash video presets
      2m 7s
    5. Choosing compression settings
      3m 15s
    6. Adding embedded cue points
      2m 18s
    7. Choosing video controls with prebuilt skins
      1m 25s
    8. Files for playing back Flash video
      1m 44s
  4. 4m 8s
    1. The Flash Video Encoder
      2m 5s
    2. After Effects CS3 and other video applications
      1m 8s
    3. Sorenson Squeeze and Flix
      55s
  5. 17m 50s
    1. Creating instances of the FLVPlayback component
      3m 35s
    2. FLVPlayback parameters
      4m 25s
    3. Adding FLV instances with ActionScript
      3m 3s
    4. Setting FLV parameters with ActionScript
      2m 45s
    5. Using the List component to select from multiple video files
      4m 2s
  6. 20m 20s
    1. Three ways to create custom controls
      38s
    2. Customizing the built-in skins
      4m 59s
    3. Using the FLV UI components
      2m 21s
    4. Controlling multiple FLVPlayback components
      2m 24s
    5. Customizing the UI components
      1m 25s
    6. Creating custom controls from scratch
      8m 33s
  7. 16m 43s
    1. Three classes for Flash video
      1m 28s
    2. The NetConnection and NetStream classes
      3m 36s
    3. The Video class
      1m 14s
    4. Methods of the NetStream class
      3m 56s
    5. Using multiple instances of a video object
      2m 38s
    6. Accessing NetStream metadata
      3m 51s
  8. 13m 28s
    1. Creating alpha channels with After Effects CS3
      2m 14s
    2. Exporting an FLV file with transparency
      1m 38s
    3. Exporting a QuickTime movie with transparency
      2m 16s
    4. Using video in Flash with an alpha channel
      2m 6s
    5. Masking video in Flash with ActionScript
      2m 25s
    6. Drawing masks in ActionScript 3
      2m 49s
  9. 9m 42s
    1. Embedded vs. ActionScript cue points
      1m 11s
    2. Working with Navigation cue points
      1m 4s
    3. Creating chapter navigation
      3m 3s
    4. Working with Event cue points
      4m 24s
  10. 5m 2s
    1. H.264 and Flash
      1m 37s
    2. Using full-screen video
      2m 33s
    3. Hardware and multiprocessor acceleration
      52s
  11. 1m 24s
    1. Additional resources
      52s
    2. Goodbye
      32s

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