Competition is a good thing, right? So, Adobe must think it’s a good thing to launch their new Adobe Media Player, AMP for Mac and Windows.
Why? Adobe seems to be leveraging their web page-based Flash into a DRM media management system. Do Mac users need yet another DRM infested media player?
Adobe created a cross-platform media delivery system known as AIR – Adobe Interactive Runtime. This is yet another media option for Mac users to view movies and TV shows on their Macs.
The first big AIR event of 2008 is Adobe Media Player for Macs and Windows PCs. What you get with AMP is not wholly unsimilar to iTunes, though a stylish black interface.
It’s slick looking, full of eye candy, a little short on content, and capable of playing up to 1080p high definition video. Make no mistake, though AMP is Adobe’s ubiquitous Flash with a new skin.
AMP marks a turning point for Adobe. No longer is Flash relegated to life as an embedded video or flashy graphics in a web page. Flash is liberated, which means you can download videos without using your browser. AMP works like iTunes.
Content choices appear thin for now, but are likely to increase over time, as Adobe offers a challenge to Apple’s iTunes hegemony for all things media, except music. How long before we see an Adobe Music Store?
Most of the content I’ve looked at via AMP is free, but it’s doubtful that will continue for long. Adobe is pushing their protected streaming capability, advertising protection capability, all wrapped up in their digital rights management system, DRM.
So, it looks as if you won’t be able to fast forward through advertisements.
For now, you can both stream video and download video, though it’s uncertain if those options will be available to all video through AMP. Without downloading and installing AMP, you can still check out Adobe TV. 35 pages and counting.
The AMP player is easily navigated and attractive. The video quality seems less than what you get with iTunes Store videos. For what it’s worth, I’ve always found QuickTime video to be superior to Flash, but that’s an opinion.
The big question here is a simple one. Or two. Do Mac users really need another media player? Will Adobe offer serious competition for Apple’s iTunes and QuickTime Trojan horse, for either Mac users or Windows users?
AIR is another name for Flash Everywhere. AMP is attractive, a bit gaudy, but seems to work well, even without much compelling content. Are you ready for AMP?