Macromedia Seeks to Simplify Flash Video

By Matthew Hicks  |  Posted 2004-08-17 Print this article Print

The company unveils a toolkit to help Web developers more easily create and deploy video through the Flash Player.

Macromedia wants to make the creation of video easier for Web developers while expanding the use of Flash. On Tuesday, it announced a new toolkit for adding Flash-based video to Web sites. The kit builds a wizardlike tool into Dreamweaver MX 2004 and provides software for converting video from other media formats such as Windows Media or AVI into the Flash Video format. The Flash Video Kit is a response to what the San Francisco-based company sees as pent-up demand for deploying Flash Video and interactive presentations on Web sites.
In a series of user surveys, it found that 74 percent of Dreamweaver users wanted to add Flash Video but found it technically challenging, said Mike Downey, Macromedias technical product manager for Flash.
"The kit is based around leveraging the ubiquity of the [Flash] Player, so its a fast and easy way to get video on their sites," Downey said. The kit will ship Sept. 1 and requires Macromedia Studio MX 2004 with Flash Professional, Downey said. It is free until Sept. 30 with the purchase of a full or upgrade version of Studio MX 2004 with Flash Professional. Current users can purchase it for $49. Click here to read more about the release of Studio MX 2004. The kit includes the Flash Video extension for Dreamweaver and a version of conversion software Sorenson Squeeze. Through the tools, developers can add Flash Video either as streaming media or as a video download, Downey said. For streaming, the kit also includes a 15-day trial of the Flash Video Streaming Service from VitalStream Inc. as a hosted streaming service. As part of the video kit, Macromedia is providing an introductory guide with detailed information about deploying online video. Macromedia introduced the creation of Flash Video with its release of Flash MX, and the Flash Player began supporting video playback with Version 6, Downey said. Flash Player 7, the most recent release, has expanded to Linux. Click here for more. Among the companies using Flash Video in their sites are adidas-Salomon AG, Discovery Communications Inc.s The Discovery Channel and Inc., Macromedia said. Check out eWEEK.coms Developer & Web Services Center at for the latest news, reviews and analysis in programming environments and developer tools.

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Matthew Hicks As an online reporter for, Matt Hicks covers the fast-changing developments in Internet technologies. His coverage includes the growing field of Web conferencing software and services. With eight years as a business and technology journalist, Matt has gained insight into the market strategies of IT vendors as well as the needs of enterprise IT managers. He joined Ziff Davis in 1999 as a staff writer for the former Strategies section of eWEEK, where he wrote in-depth features about corporate strategies for e-business and enterprise software. In 2002, he moved to the News department at the magazine as a senior writer specializing in coverage of database software and enterprise networking. Later that year Matt started a yearlong fellowship in Washington, DC, after being awarded an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellowship for Journalist. As a fellow, he spent nine months working on policy issues, including technology policy, in for a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He rejoined Ziff Davis in August 2003 as a reporter dedicated to online coverage for Along with Web conferencing, he follows search engines, Web browsers, speech technology and the Internet domain-naming system.

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