Adobe announces Media Player

  • San Jose (CA) -  There is another media player coming your way. Adobe is trying to squeeze itself between existing applications such as Microsoft’s Windows Media Player and Apple’s iTunes and offer a new desktop software that will allow consumers to stream, download, manage and play videos.

    Adobe is showing a preview of the new player at the currently running NAB 2007 tradeshow in Las Vegas and said that it plans to release a free, public version of the software later this year.

    What makes the software unique is that it promotes and supports the use of Flash playback, apparently in a higher quality than the regular Flash player can. In contrast to the standalone Flash player client, the Media Player is positioned as an extended application that will try to create a marketplace for video content: Users manage and view videos; content publishers are promised a “wider selection of monetization and branding options” as well as “new abilities to distribute, track and build businesses around their media assets.”

    According to Adobe, the Media Player will be supporting digital rights management, based on the currently offered protected streaming to Flash Player from Flash Media Server (FMS). The firm said that it will also provide protection for download-able content. Adobe apparently pursues two different models of content protection where ad-supported content will be generally protected, while purchased content will integrate protection that is unique to a specific user.  

    In times where everyone talks about high-definition, Adobe confirmed that the client will support “high bitrate, high quality downloaded video,” but stopped short of calling this content actually “high-definition.”

    When available later this year, Adobe will offer its Media Player as a “cross-platform” software that the company claims is developed on open Internet standards such as HTML, RSS and SMIL. The firm said that the application will run on Windows XP and Vista, and Mac OS X 10.4 and 10.5 on launch, with support for Linux to follow later.