What’s new in Flash Media Server 4.5

Deliver content using Adobe HTTP Dynamic Streaming and Apple HTTP Live Streaming

Deliver adaptive bit rate on-demand and live content over HTTP to Flash Player, AIR, iOS, and Mac OS. The server packages live and on-demand content in real time when a client requests it. HTTP Dynamic Streaming and HTTP Live Streaming both support DVR.

Note: Flash Media Server 4.0 supported HTTP Dynamic Streaming, but Flash Media Server 4.5 adds support for just-in-time packaging of on-demand content.

For more information, see the following:

Protected HTTP Dynamic Streaming and Protected HTTP Live Streaming

Deliver protected live and on-demand multi-bitrate video to Flash Player, AIR, iOS, and Mac OS without using a DRM License Server. Protected HTTP Dynamic Streaming also supports SWF verification.

For more information, see the following in Flash Media Server Developer’s Guide:

Publish an audio-only stream for HTTP streaming

Apple HTTP Live Streaming requires that one stream in a multi-bitrate set be audio-only to deliver the content over a cellular network.

See Publish an audio-only stream (HLS)

Set-level F4M/M3U8 files

Create manifest files that describe a set of content for multi-bitrate streaming. These files are called set-level manifest files. The HTTP packagers generate stream-level manifest files in real time when the content is requested.

Note: For Adobe HTTP Dynamic Streaming, manifest files are F4M files. For Apple HTTP Live Streaming, the equivalent file is called a “variant playlist” and the filename extension is M3U8. The documentation uses the generic term “manifest file” to refer to both file types.

Set-level F4M/M3U8 files contain bit rate information about a set of content. Stream-level F4M/M3U8 files contain bootstrap information and DRM metadata. Flash Media Server 4.5 includes a Set-level File Generator tool that creates set-level F4M v2.0 files for HTTP Dynamic Streaming and set-level M3U8 variant playlists for HTTP Live Streaming.

See Set-level manifest files.

Use the File plug-in to manage content for live HTTP streaming

Use the File plug-in to manage content for live HTTP streaming, including asynchronous file IO operations. The live packager application (livepkgr) ingests a live stream and packages it into fragments (F4F files) and additional helper files. The server operations that record these files are routed through the File plug-in.

See Use the File plug-in to manage content for live HTTP streaming

Improved HTTP file system performance

The IO buffer improves the read and write performance of HTTP streaming (for HTTP Dynamic Streaming and HTTP Live Streaming). The IO buffer loads the disk file into an in-memory buffer. It reads and writes to the in-memory buffer instead of making system calls.

See Configure the size of the IO buffer

Disk management enables 24/7 live streaming

Configure the amount of live content the server stores on the disk. By default, the server stores three hours worth of content. This feature allows you to serve live streams 24 hours a day, 7 days a week without filling up a disk. It also allows you to use DVR for long live events.

See Disk management.

Distribute RTMFP peer introductions across servers

Flash Media Server introduces RTMFP clients to each other so the clients can connect to each other directly. This direct connection is called a peer-to-peer connection. Flash Media Server 4.0 can introduce clients to each other only if the clients are connected to a single server. Use Server-Side ActionScript APIs added in Flash Media Server 4.5 to introduces clients to each other even if the clients are connected to separate servers. Distributing introductions across servers allows you to scale peer-assisted networking applications.

See Distribute peer introductions across servers

Ingest a multicast stream

Use Server-Side ActionScript to ingest a multicast RTMFP stream. After the server ingests the multicast stream, write script to do the following:

  • Convert the multicast stream to a Stream object.

  • Connect to the livepkgr application and package the Stream for delivery using HTTP Dynamic Streaming and HTTP Live Streaming.

  • Record the Stream object.

  • Deliver the Stream object to clients over RTMP/T/S/E.

See Ingest, convert, and record a multicast stream

Administrator password stored securely

The administrator password for the Flash Media Administration Console is stored securely, not as plain text. See Delete administrator accounts and reset passwords.

Configuration file updates

Some configuration files have changed to incorporate new functionality and security enhancements. If you are upgrading from Flash Media Server 4.0 to 4.5, use the documentation to help you migrate from the older version.

For complete details about the differences in the XML files, see Changes to configuration files from 4.0 to 4.5.