So Adobe has launched its own 1.0 version Media Player – but how does the AMP actually perform?
Well, with a minimum of effort we are sat watching an episode of CSI: New York from the AMP channel’s CBS feed, which suggests that, DRM issues aside, it’s fairly successful.
Downloading is a cinch – although you will need both AMP and Adobe Integrated Runtime, both free downloads with rather weighty T&Cs. Once it’s up and running you have access to the central AMP application and channel.
It’s certainly not difficult to navigate around, and finding the shows we wanted was as simple as clicking on the network and browsing to the right channel. So far, so intuitive.
We plumped for the latest submitted episode of popular US programme CSI: New York – DOA For A Day – which is dated to 04/03/08.
As far as streaming, the programme plays by default in a minimised view which is perfectly watchable, although far from HD quality.
The fullscreen option allows a bigger picture, although it only fills to width, with the picture staying in 16 x 9.
Moving onto an episode of MTV cribs saw the picture quality suffer, unless 50 Cent’s Crib really is blurry. Even in the miniscule default size, the programme is far from clear.
A music video from Universal Music did run in full screen resolution, however, and quality was okay.
The sizing also gives options to fit to ‘size to fit’ and ‘full window’ and again the quality seems to depend on the provider.
Downloading and managing files is a little more problematic, with Adobe seeming to block the option of downloading for the major shows, leaving a little yellow marker for ‘online access only’, although this is perhaps different if you are US based.
The application allows you to add programmes to favourites, and will then tell you when a new episode is available – be it streaming or downloadable. The stated goal is to allow users to keep tabs on their favourites and download them for offline (or online) use, and this functionality appears to be in place.
In fact an awful lot of fairly intuitive and useful tools are working well. From an early perspective the system is fine – the functionality is there and the GUI is intuitive.
A lot depends on the content providers and the take-up, but in its current state, Adobe doesn’t appear to have dropped the AMP ball.