In case you didn't pick this up with all the announcements Adobe made this last week -- Adobe Media Player is now available on labs.adobe.com as a prerelease product along with beta 2 of the AIR runtime. Adobe already has some content providers lined up such as CBS, PBS, Yahoo! and services like blip.tv help you with creating feeds that target Adobe Media Player (one of the reasons why I used them for uploading the MAX conference sneak peek video's).
Its really cool to finally see Adobe with a product that plays back FLV files on the desktop, something we had to rely on third party apps for in the past. Although AMP is still pretty rough around the edges, the feature set looks very promising.
Here's a little walkthrough of how to subscribe to a feed not listed in the catalog.
- Launch Adobe Media Player - Click "My Favorite Shows" - Click the "Add Show" button at the bottom of the screen - Type in the URL to the RSS feed (e.g. http://skipintro.blip.tv/rss) and click "Add"
You're now subscribed to this feed inside Adobe Media Player -- if you click on it you'll see the list of available episodes inside the show.
There's an information tab that can contain a description of your show and other relevant information and an options tab where you can specify how many of the most recent episodes AMP should download for you.
Another interesting option is what they call the storyline subscription, where you can tell the application to start at a specific episode and download x episodes from that starting point.
Adobe Media Player has an interesting approach in terms of monetization of video content with advertisement, it includes support for the traditional banners, pre-roll, mid-roll and post-roll and interactive overlay ads (Flash based). From what I've heard ads can even be served when the user is in offline mode and statistics sent back he next time the user goes online again. On top of that content providers can customize the look 'n feel quite extensively, all from their show RSS feed. I believe they use SMIL and some RSS extensions to synchronize the ads with the video content, there's also talk of P2P technology to help with the delivery.
There was quite a bit of talk at MAX Chicago around the idea of "movement to convey meaning" which you see implemented in the AMP user interface. I think we'll see more of this type of interface design, especially in the online services Adobe is building like Photoshop Express.
Hope to catch some more Adobe Media Player sessions at MAX Europe to get more indepth information about where they're taking the application and what the deal is with DRM (I'm not a huge fan of digital rights management to say the least, so hope they'll do this right).