Adobe revs media player, signs up Sony

Haven't seen Jerry Maguire enough yet? New movies from Sony and TV shows from CBS are arriving on Adobe Media Player so you can stream them to your computer.

Adobe Systems is revamping its Media Player with a new interface and a deal that will let users of the software watch movies from Sony Pictures.

The home screen on the new Adobe Media Player 1.1 presents more shows to watch with a new interface.
The home screen on the new Adobe Media Player 1.1 presents more shows to watch with a new interface. Adobe

The interface update in the new version 1.1, due to ship Tuesday afternoon, presents users with a larger number of video shows. "There's more content that we surface earlier," said Ashley Still, senior product manager for Adobe Media Player.

The new Sony partnership means people will be able to watch full-length movies, including Jerry Maguire and Men in Black, on Adobe Media Player, she said. A total of about 600 shows and 25,000 individual episodes are available. Users can browse various content categories, selecting some as favorites, or subscribe to their own video feeds via RSS, Still said.

Also new are full-length episodes of Beverly Hills 90210, 48 Hours, The Love Boat from CBS, which expanded the content already available through its existing partnership with Adobe. CNET News is published by CBS Interactive, a unit of CBS.

Content providers get free access to the player, and can control whether the content is available only in streaming format or can be saved onto a person's hard drive, as in the case of Epicurious shows, Still said. Content providers show what ads show and whether they're in the frame around the content or in the content itself, and the technology lets them embed ads that can't be skipped over, Still said.

Adobe takes an undisclosed fraction of the advertising revenue.

Shows can be encoded in the Flash video format, called FLV, or in H.264. The Adobe Media Player uses Adobe Integrated Runtime (AIR), a programming foundation that lets software run on Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux computers. Adobe Media Player, though, works only on Windows and Mac OS X, Adobe said.

Update 10:40 p.m. PDT: I can confirm that Ghostbusters, from Sony Pictures, is in fact available. It's broken into eight chunks, each from 7 to 15 minutes long, and the end of the first chunk has an advertisement. The screen resolution isn't fabulous, but you can at least click a full-screen button that cuts away the clutter, and you can scrub back and forth.

About the author

Stephen Shankland has been a reporter at CNET since 1998 and covers browsers, Web development, digital photography and new technology. In the past he has been CNET's beat reporter for Google, Yahoo, Linux, open-source software, servers and supercomputers. He has a soft spot in his heart for standards groups and I/O interfaces.

 

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