Adobe Systems has an ear on audio in the newest version of Adobe Flash Player plug-in.
Flash Player 10, released today, brings improved audio and video playback, according to the company. The product’s sound APIs have been tweaked so developers can dynamically generate audio and create new audio applications like music sequencers and mixers. Developers can also do real-time audio processing.
Adobe executives explained that developers have access to the binary data of audio in Flash Player 10. They can also process it and add effects by taking the data out of a loaded MP3 file. Application level compositing of audio is also possible, so multiple files can be mixed together into a single output.
Developers can also access the sound buffer in Flash Player 10, which allows them to pass binary data into the sound buffer. “I saw a great example the other day with a stock chart, where you can listen to the chart and not just do it visually,” said Justin Everett-Church, a senior product manager with Adobe. “It had a slide whistle effect where as the stock went higher over time, the pitch went higher, and as the stock went down, the pitch started going down. This was something you couldn’t really do by just loading an audio file, you really need to produce this at runtime.”
When asked what benefits Flash Player 10 offers enterprise developers, Tom Barclay, senior product marketing manager for Adobe's platform business unit, said, "Enhancements to the drawing API in Flash Player 10 and use of the graphics card will significantly improve Flash Player’s already significant lead in RIA visual application performance." He also said a new text engine, along with an upcoming ActionScript library for improved text
layout, will let developers create "print-quality" RIAs that can use all major languages.
Flash Player 10 offers new custom filters and effects, along with new native 3D transformation and animation. Barclay said the company has improved its drawing API, so there is less code to write and an improvement to 3D image rendering.
Users can create their own custom filters and effects and apply them to text, animation and video. To do this, the company uses a feature called Adobe Pixel Bender, the same technology behind Adobe After Effects CS4, which is used to create motion graphics. Developers can use Pixel Blender to blend modes and fills to animate effects or change an effect on rich media content.
“Adobe After Effects CS4 creates cinematic effects for Hollywood movies, and now you can use those same effects at runtime on Flash Player 10,” Barclay said.
A new text engine lets developers control text layout and add text components. The text engine was designed by the team that created InDesign, company executives said, and this enables “print quality publishing” on the Web with Flash Player.
Later this year, Adobe will release a set of ActionScript-based text components that offer the ability to do multi-column text flow and display different languages, including Arabic, Chinese, Hebrew and Japanese, Barclay said.