Adobe Media Player, a desktop software like iTunes or Windows Media Player, will probably change the way we watch and download web videos and video podcasts. The software will be available for free on Windows, Mac and Linux platforms.
Think of Adobe Media Player as a marriage of the best features offered by Apple iTunes, Democracy Player and Adobe Bridge.
What can Adobe Media Player achieve ?
With Adobe Media Player, it becomes possible to download streaming Flash Video flv content offline without any third-party hacks, subscribe to Video RSS feeds (aka video podcasts) and organize digital media content stored on your local hard drive with tags, ratings and playlists.
The black contemporary interface of Adobe Media Player looks clean n intuitive and may have drawn inspiration from Adobe Bridge, another popular tool from Adobeplex for organizing digital photographs.
Why Adobe Media Player is bad news for Apple ?
Though Apple revolutionized the podcasting industry with iTunes and iPods, Adobe Media Player definitely has the potential to beat Apple at their own game and one very strong reason in support of this argument is video podcasts monetization.
Adobe will offer content producers an opportunity to monetize podcasts with pre-roll ads and the media player will also track and report viewer statistics (using cookies) back to the actual publisher. [Viewers though have the option to opt-out]
At a time when most video podcast publishers are struggling to make money from their content, this new offering from Adobe will be like a dream come true. Therefore, content producers are more likely to advocate the use of Adobe Media Player among their audience than iTunes - the more people download and watch content inside Adobe Player, the more the advertising revenue for the publisher.
What's in for consumers ?
Adobe Media Player can download and play video podcasts with FLV enclosures (in addition to the Quicktime mov). Due to better compression codecs, FLV files are relatively smaller in size than MOV formats which will bring down the size of the video podcast enclosures and the files will download faster on computers that have a slow internet connection.
Adobe will also include DRM like features inside Adobe Media Player that allows content publishers to restrict copying.
Adobe Media Player has all the right ingredients to catch on with the internet audience provided the software is light-weight and not a memory hog like iTunes.
Adobe Media Player is more of a threat to the marketshare of Apple iTunes / Quicktime and Democracy Player than Real Player or Windows Media Player. It's also a bold step by Adobe to make Flash Video (flv) as the standard for distributing video podcasts replacing Apple Quicktime (mov).
Download Adobe Media Player PR, Adobe Labs
Update: To download Adobe Media Player, you may have to wait until end of 2007.