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New partner supports Flash video

Content delivery provider Speedera Networks adds Macromedia's Flash to the streaming video formats it supports.

Macromedia is set to announce a partnership Tuesday with streaming media company Speedera Networks to deliver video clips in Macromedia's Flash format.

Speedera is a global content delivery provider that connects to more than 1,000 carrier backbones in North America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region and manages delivery of software downloads, media and other services for companies that don't want to host content on their own servers. The company currently supports Windows Media, Real and QuickTime video formats and will now add Flash video to the mix.

Macromedia is amid an effort to transform Flash, once mainly used to deliver blinking banner ads, into a broad foundation for creating Web applications, running Web conferences and other tasks.

Video playback became part of the package with a major update of the Flash Player two years ago, which included outfitting the software with a video engine based on Sorenson Media's software.

Macromedia has since sought to promote Flash as a vehicle for delivering Internet video, touting advantages such as the widespread installation of the Flash Player, which already resides on more than 90 percent of Internet-connected PCs, eliminating the need to download special client software. "It's just a better user experience for the end user," said Chris Hock, director of product management for Macromedia. "The video just starts playing."

Flash-based video has yet to make significant headway, however, against competitors such as Real and Windows Media, thanks partly to the format's reliance on complex and relatively expensive authoring tools sold by Macromedia.