Adobe Launches Media Player


Adobe today launches its Adobe Media Player, a product we’ve been following closely. AMP channels RSS feeds for streaming and download of online video from partners such as MTV and CBS. The Adobe Air-based software has a simple UI that feels a bit like a file organization system.

The player is meant to be customized by content owners, rather than programmed by Adobe. “It doesn’t matter whether you’re CBS or — you can do your own branding on your own content,” AMP product manager Ashley Still told us last week. While only Adobe partners can get into the program index, individual users can also bring in any show they wish if it has an RSS feed and Flash or MPEG-4 videos. Everything is free and/or ad-supported.

The product clearly competes with Apple’s iTunes and Microsoft’s Windows Media Player, though it’s much more narrow at this point. At the same time, it’s much more flexible than the controlled Joost environment. We asked Still about the independent Miro player and she said the difference between it and AMP is “Miro is going to have problems bringing in broadcast content.” As for other potential content deals, Still called out Hulu as “a great Flash partner” and pointed out the site recently added RSS feeds.

Still was friendly to all sorts of feature additions to her product (see our previous interview about distribution methods for AMP), so we asked her to name which changes were highest priority. She said:

– download to own or rent will be coming this year
– the UI will be constantly tweaked
– more content will be added
– white-label distribution will be pushed
– user-generated content will be added “if not this year then pretty soon after”
– also coming are social features like recommendations

At this point I’m doing most of my media consumption through the browser, though I can definitely see the benefit of saving up my favorites for offline consumption. But Still had some pretty good justification: before AMP there was no simple way to play back Flash video locally — you had to be in a browser. That seems reason enough for Adobe to create a desktop client.


Dis Appointed

Whew – calling this waste of space a “media player” is a complete misnomer. Having tried it out and then reread this blog entry I see that it’s implied, but beware – taking feeds is all this thing does. Unless you want content that is exclusive to Adobe (and even then unless you’re in the USA most of it probably won’t play, unlike what Adobe imply), don’t bother. This is what I posted at

Frankly, I feel extremely misled by the description of AMP on its product page. Calling it a Media Player and all the talk of being able to watch what you want, when you want and streaming and downloading video – all you can actually do is watch stuff from the signed up content providers, or that you’ve already got on your hard drive (and have presumably got a player for already, that will almost certainly take up a lot less screen estate than this beast). Oh, and there’s some mention of adding RSS feeds of videos – though looking at other posts here whether that works is debatable. Anything else might as well not exist.

I had hoped that it would be a way of watching embedded streamed flash videos without having to have the whole webpage that they’re on open – this would give you just the video, so would be more compact, and would be resizeable so you could watch it at any size you liked, not just the default or full-screen. After all, coming from Adobe, there would be no problem about having to reverse engineer the RTMP format.

Maybe even (though I thought it unlikely) being able to download videos where the provider permitted it – no worry though, there are other tools for that.

Also – the design. A massive window, not resizeable at all except to minimise / maximise. Appalling contrast – it’s like being in a cave, everything’s so black. I couldn’t even see that there were scroll bars – just waved my mouse around where I thought they should be.

It’s like having the worst, most useless part of RealPlayer (the download centre, or whatever they call it) and not the player itself. This is not a media player – a client, maybe.

Frankly, the only reason I can see for installing this is if there is some content that it has that you can’t get anywhere else. If not, don’t waste your time – use something else.

Like I say, I’m disappointed. I feel like I’ve been lied to and had my time wasted. Unless I’m really missing something??

Now we’ll see how easily it uninstalls…

Rick K.

Mark, you can’t be serious. Between the format limitations imposed by being a flashed-based player and the lack of cross browser compatibility, AMP is about as market changing for Adobe as Photoshop’s new logo.

Now consider the focus Adobe has admitted to (white label publishers) vs offerings like Miro and VLC (other human beings), and I don’t think you could be more wrong.

Flash Ophile

@ Knose Phiker

You’re obviously joking. Please, let’s stop comparing established companies with solid software like Adobe with bogus nonsense companies like Odeo.

Nice screen name by the way.

Knose Phiker

Hey, ease up Stan. Joost and Miro might have to worry about Adobe’s software introduction – and the white label marketing juggernaut that will ensue… But my money is on Odeo to deliver a much better user experience. Why use an off-the-shelf app when you can build your own from scratch and tailor it precisely to user needs? I agree with Jeremy when he says the universal device support in the Odeo player will be the killer app. Can’t wait!

Stan Oslavsky

Why would anyone in their right mind sit around waiting for something from a lifeless company such as Odeo, when a platform company such as Adobe introduces the goods?
Miro & Joost remember this day well, because it’s the day your greatest fears came true. Odeo? Keep those great jpegs “coming soon” coming soon LOL!

Mark Worlson

What a joke to wait for Odeo’s player! its just old fireant garbage not even half recycled from the dumpster! We’ve all been waiting for Adobe’s AMP, the real goods from real developers from a real company doing really cool stuff!

Jeremy Kliebnor

I’m going to wait for the Odeo player. That’s the killer app. It will port all your audio and videoblog content to any handheld device you want – seamlessly. It will be easy to use too.

Brian Moura

Hmm, looks pretty limited compared to Miro where you can play many types of video files and RSS Video Feeds – not to mention Flash Video files as well.

Steve Elbows

Does it work with all mpeg4 or just the newer h264 type? Because I seem to remember flash, and thus AIR, only supporting h264, but maybe Im out of date.

Tim Street

Looks pretty cool.

In their promo video they say, “leverage the built in Advertising and Branding Tools.”

Anyone here get to play with that yet?

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