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SxSW: Flash Video Superhighlights

Glenn Thomas, Producing Future
Brad Henderson, Producing Future
Trevor Dodd, Digett
Nick Hippe, Macromedia

Again, another packed room. Brian and I are both shocked with the turn out on Tuesday. If I remember correctly, the conference attendance slowly dropped each day last year, and it does not seam to be the case this year. Another interesting observation is the film guys are here. The conference attendee’s look different today vs. the other days. It’s the film guys and music guys.

This was a very interesting and intriguing session. The guys from Producing Future know there Flash as well as anyone that I have ever meet. They showed off the site. Digett designed and produced the site, and Trevor was the creative director. Wow, that is some cool and functional stuff. The entire site is Flash, with XML calls to a database.  They also showed off some cool tools that they are building for Flash video blogging. They have developed some plugins into WordPress to do on the fly Flash video blogging. Loved it.

Next Generation Video was largely discussed by Nick from Macromedia. He mainly talked about the new Flash Player 8 that is coming out in an undisclosed timeframe (3-9 months). Who knows. But he did have the Beta version of Flash 8 on his machined and showed off some great stuff. It looks to me that Flash 8 focused on:
    >Much Better Performance and Speed
    >Much better video Codec
    >New Alpha channel capabilities within the player

Question and Answers:

Q: With all the new features is it going to take away from the simplicity?
A: Some will get easier and some will get more complex. An example of easier is added que points will be built in.

Q: With the new Alpha channel and green screen capabilities, can we use Sorenson Squeeze?
A: This is a new codec and we can not disclose who it is yet.

Q: How did Flash not get bundled with Firefox?
A: As you can see, I run Firefox like you. I just think we (Macromedia) missed the boat but I don't really know.

Q: Is the player going to be better on the Mac?
A: Yes, there is a lot of focus on making the player better for Mac.

Q: With all the cool new features, will the player be larger?
A: Yes it will be larger. However, we are very cautious with how large the file size will be. We are testing a ton, and will make sure that it does not effect the end user.

Q: What role if any do you see Flash video playing on devices?
A: We have hired a lot of people (device team) and now have Flash light, Flash cast. Those products are in adolescent stage but it is coming around. We think video is the killer app, and we are making this a priority at Macromedia.

Q: With the new video codec, how much is that going to increase the video file size?
A: The video file does not have to get bigger, the quality is going to get better with the same file size. However, when you start using alpha channels your file will grow.

Q: Audio/video sync over long clips can get out of whack on the old codec is that being addressed in the new codec?
A: Yes.

tags: sxsw | flash
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SxSW 2005Terry Storch