Chapter TWO (continued) STREAMING SERVER TECHNOLOGIES — FLASH MEDIA STREAMING SERVER 4.5

By mike
24 February 2012

CHAPTER TWO  (New Content):
STREAMING SERVER TECHNOLOGIES
Flash Media Streaming Server 4.5
Flash Media Streaming Server 4.5 (FMS) is a proprietary data and media server from Adobe Systems (originally a Macromedia product). This server works with the Flash Player runtime to create media driven, multi-user RIAs (Rich Internet applications). The server uses ActionScript 1, an EMCA script based scripting language, for server-side logic.
FMS will allow you to deliver adaptive streams to a wide audience. It allows you to secure your premium content with protected RTMP and HTTP streaming to Adobe Flash® Player and iOS, delivered by a full-featured media origin server.
As with the other streaming servers discussed, FMS provides the capability to control the streaming process from creation to playback, and is an end-to-end suite of products.  It incorporates an Encoder/Producer capability, and the Server functionality.
Because the Flash Media Player is the flagship Adobe product as far as the client is concerned, the FMS product is naturally designed to perform  ideally with this media player.  It supports the Flash RTMP protocol for streaming, as well as interacting with Android, Blackberry, and Symbian protocols.
It should be noted that interoperability with mobile devices such as those, and the iPhone, iPad, and iOS systems were not an issue in 2004 when this blueprint was developed, so these issues there were never addressed.   FMS does not offer compatibility with all of these platforms, as the Helix Universal Server does, but it is ideally suited to interface with the Flash player, claimed to be supported on 98-99% of PC’s deployed.
The Adobe spec sheet for FMS list five editions of the current 4.5 version of the server, based of course on the applications and the extent of streaming services that would be required.   Based on my contact with Adobe sales to discuss the best version for Internet Radio, I would recommend just the basic Flash Media Streaming Server 4.5 edition, as this will provide the ability to stream one program channel to multiple clients (Flash media players).  Should additional levels of interactivity be desired, (such as the capability for a live chat), you can move to the FMS “Interactive” Edition.
It is good to see that the basic version, while offering a one-way broadcast capability only, does state an “Unlimited” capability for RTMP streaming for FMS, as well as the other editions ( with the exception of the Development Server edition).  The caveat on the unlimited capability is as follows:
“Unlimited” means there is no technical or license limit to the concurrent connection count; however, limits may be imposed by configurations, server applications, and resources (such as CPU, disk, or network)”.  The concurrent connection count would be a key issue and metric for an Internet Radio Webcaster.
For more information on the FMS and the various editions, please visit the Adobe site at:
http://www.adobe.com/products/flashmediastreaming/
A data sheet for the FMS 4.5 edition can be downloaded from this site with a nice comparison of the capabilities of all 5 versions of the software.

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