Streaming video from a server running Flash Media Server 2 (formerly called the Communication Server) or from a host Flash Video Streaming Service (FVSS) provides the most complete, consistent, and robust delivery option for Flash-based audio and video files. As a dedicated server solution, this delivery method is optimized for the delivery of streaming real-time media.
In this article, I provide a review of the new Flash Media Server—including its capabilities, components, and server architecture. I conclude with some development tips gleaned from the Adobe help documentation and with an overview of the process involved in deploying a typical Flash Media Server application.
If you decide that all this server hosting and maintenance is just too much for you, in a follow-up article, I’ll cover how to use an FVSS to have all this work done for you.
Flash Media Server 2 (FMS2) offers the unique combination of traditional streaming media capabilities with a flexible, powerful media applications development environment. Developers can use Flash 8 to create media applications with ActionScript and then use Flash Media Server to deploy these applications. This combination makes it possible to create and deliver a range of basic experiences such as video-on-demand; live web-event broadcasts; MP3 streaming; and rich media communication applications such as video blogging, video messaging, and multimedia chat environments. With this power and flexibility, you can reach your audiences just the way you want (see Figure 1).
Figure 1 Fabchannel.com has built one of the largest online concert archives in the world. More than 550 full-length concerts, festivals, performances, debates, and lectures can be freely streamed from their on-demand archive via the Flash Media Server.