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Adobe Showcases Media Player (with DRM)

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Adobe will unveil Monday its business plan for a desktop Flash media player still in development. The product, due for beta release “this spring,” will be a free platform monetized through licensing DRM and analytics tools.

Adobe Media Player, which has been called “Philo” both internally and in early demos, looks like it could be an able competitor to internet TV efforts like Joost and video aggregation tools like Democracy. However, Adobe is not going that direction. The company is being careful not to set up its own proprietary platform, store, or even serial video index.

That’s because Adobe doesn’t want to cause conflicts with its partners and customers, said Craig Barberich, group product manager for Adobe Dynamic Media Organization, in a call last week. “The media companies have a lot of questions about the other technology providers – are they becoming media companies or becoming providers… We are not a media company,” he explained.

Adobe Media Player, in both Windows and Mac versions, will be distributed through Adobe’s own site as well as in branded form by media company customers. It is essentially a video RSS reader, with episodic content being brought in through feeds. Here’s a screenshot, including some sample content, though Adobe cautions that it is not yet ready to announce any partnerships.

Another business Adobe is not getting into is advertising, though the player will include tools for a wide variety of ad insertions, said Barberich: animation, pre-/post-mid-roll, overlay, and banner, all both offline and online. All content on the platform will be ad-supported; Adobe does not plan to include support for content sales, according to Barberich.

Through the player, Adobe will be launching its first effort at Flash DRM, something a third-party vendor, Widevine, had been the first to announce just last week. The timing suggests Widevine forced Adobe to show its hand, as one NTV commenter posits.

Barberich said Adobe’s DRM will come in two flavors: content integrity protection, where the company ensures advertising stays attached to content, and identity-based content protection, where the company disallows playing content outside of the computers on which it’s approved. Adobe will also sell a cookie-based reporting system for installation on customers’ servers.

29 Responses to “Adobe Showcases Media Player (with DRM)”

  1. FlashCTO

    So I talked to Adobe yesterday…Their DRM is just SSL encryption between the FMS and the client with user and device authentication. It seems you must pay $4500 for a FMS (plus HW) and you do not get that many streams.

    They claimed their use of a non rtsp protocol keeps you from listening in…what a joke I can listen in on RTMP very easly

    This is certainly not a DRM…now move to ON2 and Widevine…that one appears to use industry standard DRM methods… It looks robust I saw it in booth #C1855…It is truely end to end and works with any server…Encryption, forensic watremarking and something they call “digital hole protection or DCP”. It seems this DCP protects shared memory and the bus stream recorders and screen recorders…The question remains is Widevine what Abobe is planning for their next DRM release?

    I asked Adobe booth folks that said that is what they thought but they were not sure.

    Widevine and ON2 would not disclose details regarding next efforts only that it works with Adobe Flash players 8, 9 and Flash Lite

  2. There is a web service that does this already called enScramble. Check it out at It requires no additional client side code (uses Flash) or a new proprietary player (philo is yet another player download with no penetration or distribution in the market) The solution also does not require a poorly scaling, expensive streaming server either…

  3. FlashCTO

    It is funny

    Widvine is already showing this stuff with Flash 8 and 9 in thier booth Booth #C1855

    No new Adobe player needed …They demoed it for me last night