Earlier this month video2brain released their new subscription plan that gets you access to no less than 139 courses (or 532 hours of video training) on a variety of topics. With the holidays coming up you might find you finally have a bit of time to work on your technology skills, so feel free to check it out. A couple of training titles I can highly recommend:

 
These are just based on my own interests - there are courses on photography, audio/video editing, introductions to a wide range of different programming languages,...

They've got some very competitive introductory pricing going for either monthly or annual subscriptions and give you a three year price guarantee. The Standard option gives you unlimited access to all 139 courses, Gold lets you download all the project files and the Platinum option (annual subscription only) also lets you download the courses.

Can highly recommend you give it a try, normal pricing starts at $14.99 for a full month but as a video2brain author I've been given an affiliate link that gets you a nice additional discount.

Give it a go, I'm a fan of the people at video2brain - let me know what you think!
 

Posted
AuthorPeter
CategoriesTraining, Video

I took a couple of videos with my Flip cam at the Adobe MAX awards and sneak peeks that I'd thought to share on the blog - Rainn Wilson was hilarious as a guest host and as usual there were some very good examples of technology the teams are experimenting with.





 

Posted
AuthorPeter
CategoriesEvents, Video

I'm excited to see my first ever video training DVD for Adobe Press/Peachpit now available. Together with Joseph Labrecque we recorded around 7.5 hours of training on building mobile applications with Flash CS5.5 and Flash Builder 4.5 for Android and iOS devices. Special thanks to the great team at video2brain in Graz, Austria for their hard work and making the whole recording experience so much fun.

 

Posted
AuthorPeter

I realize I haven't been blogging a lot about what I've been up to in the last few months so thought I'd better get a post out and share some of those things with you.

Cocoon P2P

The open source Cocoon P2P library has been released and got Dirk Eismann on board as a contributor after speaking at FFK11 in April. With his help we were able to take it from more of a proof of concept to a solid solution for doing local IP multicast with the Flash Player (no server required).

We have great support for device discovery, messaging and object-replication. Reworking the video streaming and fixing some bugs on the accelerometer support is still on my todo list for the very near future.

HTML5 Solutions

I've had the pleasure to work on a book called "HTML5 Solutions: Essential Techniques for HTML5 Developers" with fellow authors Marco Casario, Charles Brown, Nathalie Wormser and Cyril Hanquez.

My contribution to the book is on using the Geolocation API - which, if you haven't already tried it - is one of the most exciting features that is starting to become widely available with HTML5.

It turned out - in my humble opinion - to be a very good publication and should be shipping soon. I can't wait to get hold of my author copies and hear reader feedback when it hits the stores.

Mobile Development with Flash video training

Together with Joseph Labrecque I've recorded a video training title for Peachpit called "Mobile Development with Adobe Flash Professional CS5.5 and Flash Builder 4.5: Learn by Video" that is now available for pre-order.

We cover developing for Google Android and Apple iOS with Adobe AIR, ActionScript and the Flex framework from the very start of setting up your application, to using various APIs, debugging and finally submitting it to the marketplace and app store.

I had a great time recording this title in Graz, Austria with the nice folks at video2brain.

Mobile application development

I've been playing around with different mobile platforms - releasing a couple of applications for Window Phone 7, Google Android and Apple iOS as well as the BlackBerry PlayBook.

VAT validator on WP7 and Android

A while back I was giving the opportunity to do some development on Windows Phone 7 and have to admit it was a very nice experience and a solid development platform. Most of all the app submission and approval process was incredible, consistently taking only 2 days and getting detailed feedback on any problems they find - the best I've seen on any curated marketplace so far.

I decided to port the VAT validator app I had built some years back for iPhone in Objective-C in C#/Silverlight and did the same on Android through the Adobe AIR runtime. Also took the opportunity to test ad integration on mobile and made paid and free ad-supported versions to compare how well they do. I hope to share some statistics soon on how that goes and what model is most suitable for developers that do utility apps.

Sanskrit Clock iPad app

I thought it was high time to explore native development on Apple iOS again and see what the app store experience is like since I last tried it in 2008. Approval time has certainly improved and in less than a week after submitted, my Sanskrit Clock iPad app made it on the store.

Not sure how many people are interested in an app like this (aside from the handful of geeky Sanskrit enthusiasts like myself) but it includes optional romanized transliteration of the numerals, a couple of different color themes and a setting to disable the screen lock so you can use it as a clock on your desk or nightstand.

TWiT Live for PlayBook

TWiT Live is my second PlayBook app that lets you watch the live stream of Leo Laporte's TWiT network shows. I plan to add support for play/pause, volume control and switching between high and low quality streams some time soon.

It doesn't look like things are slowing down for me any time soon, end of next week I'm moving to London to start my new job at Google as a Rich Media Flash Developer. If I manage to find the time I'll be delving deeper into native Android development to do some experiments with widget development and other fun stuff.

Onwards and upwards!

 

It took me a long time to finally get round to it, but have updated the TWiT Live Desktop AIR application and released it as version 2.2. I've also gone ahead and made it open source under an MIT license, so feel free to check out the code and I'm open to having contributors to the project. For those that haven't tried it yet, TWiT Live Desktop lets you watch a live video stream of Leo Laporte's TWiT network shows as well as interact in the IRC chatroom and check out the twitter and other feeds.

A lot of people were having problems with the "black screen of death" in the previous version. Those issues luckily seem to be resolved and you now have the option of switching between the various video streams or even go for an audio-only version (just right-click for those options). You also have a feature to take image captures of the video stream.

Some minor improvements include saving your last video feed, window size and position when you relaunch the application. You can also double click the video to toggle between full screen and normal mode.

Since its an AIR application this runs on Windows, Mac and Linux -- if there is enough interest we can port it to support Android devices as well.

The old uservoice page will be faded out and I recommend people to use the issues page on the Google Code project to file any bugs or feature requests.

Note: the application loads in the default video players from the various streaming services and renders them in the background. This means the controls are not accessible to you. I'm working on having custom controls for the application that work across the different video streams.

I have plans for a 2.5 update in the next month and a 3.0 later on that will include the following features:

  • Controls for changing video feed, image capture etc.
  • Twitter stream widget
  • Volume control and mute button support
  • Production schedule interface (with timezone support)

There is built-in support to "check for updates" so when you have the application installed new version will get pushed to you as they become available.

[airbadge]TWiT Live Desktop,http://twitlivedesktop.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/releases/TWiTLiveDesktop_2_2.air, 2.2,http://www.peterelst.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/twit-badge.jpg[/airbadge]

Thanks for everyone's patience waiting for this update, and Leo and the TWiT team for their support. Enjoy the application and look forward to hearing from users on how to improve it further!
 
http://twitlivedesktop.googlecode.com
 

Posted
AuthorPeter

Last night I started writing a plugin to easily embed the Flash Media Playback video component on WordPress blogs and its now ready for you all to use! Flash Media Playback is a free media player based on the Open Source Media Framework and hosted by Adobe so its ideal for bloggers to use. You don't need to install the video player yourself and can very easily just point to a video file, set up some optional configuration settings and you're done.

Thanks to some very helpful beta testers I've got an update ready and a stable release is hosted on the WordPress Plugin Directory.

Using the plugin couldn't be simpler, in a post you just use the following syntax:

[FMP] path to your video file [/FMP]

[FMP]http://adobe.edgeboss.net/download/adobe/adobetv/platform_evangelism/believe.mp4[/FMP]
 
The path to the video file is the only required argument, in which case the video will be shown with the default width and height you set up in the plugin options page.

Optional arguments include: width, height, poster, autohide, controlbar, playbutton, autoplay, loop,...

Example:

[FMP width="320" height="240" controlbar="none" autoplay="true"] http://mydomain.com/video.mp4 [/FMP]

On the plugin options page you can set up whether or not to embed SWFObject 2.2, the text to be displayed if Flash Player isn't installed and the default width and height for the video if not specified.

Using SWFObject ensures cleaner embed code than the raw object / embed tags generated with the Flash Media Playback Configurator.

I plan to support setting up more default values in the plugin options page (controlbar style, autoplay,...) in a next release as well as possibly some of the more advanced features supported.

[update] version 0.8 now adds support for HTML5 video fallback (useful for iPhone, iPad) and default values for all optional arguments.
 
You can download the component here or install it through your WordPress admin interface. I look forward to seeing people use it on their blogs. Websites developed using WordPress will run both on Windows hosting and Linux hosting
 

Posted
AuthorPeter
7 CommentsPost a comment

Exciting times if you're working with Flash Platform technologies, the idea of deploying the same codebase to multiple screens is really taking shape and I for one couldn't be happier. AIR already allowed us to go cross platform with desktop apps (Windows, Mac and Linux), obviously the Flash Player allows the same across browsers and now with devices you can run your code on Palm webOS, Android devices and even package as apps for iPhone and the new iPad.

Christian Cantrell of the AIR team did an excellent demo on creating an application that automatically lays itself out based on the available screen real estate.

I'm pleasantly surprised about performance they've been able to achieve, that is one area I honestly had my doubts about but they seem to have pulled it off with flying colors (a testament to Flash Player 10.1 mobile optimization).

While we can argue all day long about Apple's decision not to have Flash Player support in their iPhone OS browser or how HTML5 is increasingly becoming an alternative to Flash -- this to me emphasizes the power of the Flash Platform tools and why it has a bright future ahead.

Thank you Adobe engineers for being lazy! ;)
 

Posted
AuthorPeter

Recently James Ward, Technical Evangelist at Adobe, did a video showing performance of Flex running on the Google Nexus One in Flash Player 10.1.

Consider that myth about Flash Player performance not being up to scratch for use on a certain mobile device well and truly busted!

Posted
AuthorPeter
CategoriesFlash, Video

In case you missed it -- AIR 2 beta 2 is now available on labs.adobe.com and among a bunch of other things there are now some really cool additional printing features that give you a lot more control than what we used to have. Be sure to check out the video interview Ryan Stewart did with Rick Rocheleau, one of the engineers on the core technologies group who made this possible.


 

Posted
AuthorPeter
CategoriesAIR, Video
2 CommentsPost a comment

I did a little experiment this morning, disabling plug-ins in my browser aka "the iPad experience". See where things start to break down? The Apple iPad web browsing experience, not quite what you expect. Yes, there are native apps for a number of these sites (social gaming on Facebook anyone?) I'm specifically talking about the web browsing which Steve yesterday called "the best web experience you’ve ever had".

The message here seems to be, if you have an interesting site that we don't support create an app for it.

Posted
AuthorPeter
31 CommentsPost a comment

We're about a month away from the next edition of "The ActionScript Conference" and I can't wait! This conference has fast become one of my all time favorites and this year will no doubt be even better with two days of sessions scheduled in. The speaker lineup looks excellent and includes people like: Ryan Stewart, Leif Wells, Andre Michelle, Marco Casario, Mohammed Khan and lots more local and international talent.

If you didn't make it last year, its worth checking out Lee Brimelow's video.

 
I'll be doing a session called "Getting Creative with AIR" and showing how you can take advantage of the various APIs and get creative with them building some unexpected applications.

Hope to see you there! I'll be in Singapore from September 12th until the 19th.

 
Get your ticket now: www.theactionscriptconference.com
 

Posted
AuthorPeter

I was happy to see this video by Dave McAllister, Open Standards Evangelist at Adobe, talking about Adobe's take on open initiatives and how that involves community.
 
There are some common misconceptions about Adobe being very concerned with keeping their core technologies closed and proprietary while, more so than many other leading technology companies, the opposite is true. Even more so in the last few years.
 

 
(via Serge Jespers)
 

Posted
AuthorPeter
5 CommentsPost a comment

Sometimes I really wish I worked over in San Francisco -- now and again Adobe does these great meet ups, like recently happened with FlashCamp. They've put the video of the presentations online including a keynote by CTO Kevin Lynch and the following topics:

 
These are some really good in depth presentations that I can highly recommend you check out!
 

Posted
AuthorPeter
3 CommentsPost a comment

Ryan Stewart has an interesting video up on Adobe TV showing the ColdFusion proxy tags for use in Flex based apps. Shows the ability to call ColdFusion functionality directly from Flex without having to write the server side code yourself. This feature will likely be available with the release of ColdFusion 9 aka Centaur.
 


 

Posted
AuthorPeter

Scotch on the Rocks went on the road this year, and I was happy to do a presentation yesterday at their London event. In many ways this was a new type of session for me -- not in the least because most of my audience will no doubt have had more hands on experience with the technology than me. It seemed to go down pretty well and think it was worth the ColdFusion community getting a glimpse at how their technology gets perceived by those outside. I did a couple of basic examples to show what I thought were the strong points of CFML and how I see things evolving.

I think the discussion afterwards was particularly interesting and most of us were in agreement that ColdFusion is in need of a renaissance and together with Adobe, the open source CFML vendors and the developer base we can make that happen.

 

I tried to get a narrated version up of my slides but had some audio sync problems, I'll see if I can get that fixed later.

In the next few days and weeks I'll be blogging a couple of basic CFML experiments I've been doing while preparing for this session. They should show how simple it is to get things up and running and connecting to Flash/Flex applications or even get some ColdFusion services integrated with other languages such as PHP, Python etc.
 

Posted
AuthorPeter