Using Adobe Speech Search Cue Points in a Brightcove Player

Written by Bob de Wit. Posted in ActionScript, Brightcove, Developer Blog, Flex

Adobe Speech Search is a function available in Adobe Premiere and SoundBooth CS4 that allows you to automatically transcribe spoken text in a video clip. The metadata can be incorporated into the video file as cue points, or can be exported to an XML file. The latter gives us some interesting possibilities for playback and navigation within a Brightcove Player.

Creating a Visible Brightcove Plugin

Written by Bob de Wit. Posted in ActionScript, Brightcove, Developer Blog

  The easiest way for a user to install a Brightcove plugin is through the player property window in Brightcove studio in stead of having to create a BEML template that loads the external swf. By default, this plugin interface is intended for invisible add-ons, such as an analytics connector. However, it is possible to surface plugins added in this way by getting a reference to the player’s Stage. This article provides a sample player with a visible plugin added in this way as well as some sample code.

Multilingual Subtitling Using BEML & External Subtitle Files

Written by Bob de Wit. Posted in ActionScript, Brightcove, Developer Blog

In some cases, you may need to display subtitles in more than one language, or in different notations – but not necessarily for the entire video. The music video above illustrates this case: it sometimes has three subtitle text channels: Japanese Kanji, Romaji Transcription, and an English translation, but some of the song’s lines are only in English. In such situations, I believe it’s more efficient to use time codes and external subtitle text files than cue points, and to “compose” a joint subtitle text file server-side. This BEML player uses a plugin that checks for external .srt file(s) for a video being loaded. As the .srt is a format that can be extracted from DVDs easily, it requires very little configuration other than a base URL and a file naming convention for the subtitles to be pulled in.
 

The Adobe Stratus Beta Sample App and PHP/MySQL

Written by Bob de Wit. Posted in ActionScript, AIR, Developer Blog, Flex

There is a new ActionScript 3.0 API in Flash Player 10 to support RTMFP, allowing for some really exciting stuff with regard to C2C (Client-To-Client) communications between Flex apps. This requires you to set up an account and a callback URL with the Adobe Stratus beta. There’s a really cool Stratus sample application on Adobe Labs, unfortunately the callback script syntax and responses are not described in much detail. This article attempts to reconstruct this and provide some PHP/MySQL code to work with Stratus.

Using Secured SWFs as BEML Widgets

Written by Bob de Wit. Posted in .NET, ActionScript, Brightcove, Developer Blog, Flash, Flex, PEAR, PHP

This article describes how you can use SWF files as widgets in BEML that have been protected by utilities that prevent decompilation. Before we start, just a couple of things I’d like to point out:
  • This article is NOT a review of the effectiveness of SWF Protection tools, there are plenty of (endless) discussions on that topic on specialized forums.
  • This approach is NOT my recommended one for creating User Generated Content upload widgets. I still believe using a secured mid-tier upload server is a better model. Event with a protected SWF, a proxy tool like Charles or WireShark will give a hacker all the information he needs to get your token if you do not protect your sensitive Widget/Server communications.

AutoIT with Flex GUIs using the AS3 ExternalAPI

Written by Bob de Wit. Posted in ActionScript, AutoIT, Developer Blog, Flex

I recently started writing a clan tool for my kinship in the Lord Of The Rings Online (LOTRO) using the open source macro programming language AutoIT 3. As the GUI functions of this language are really limited and it’s very time-consuming to create even a simple GUI, I checked if there was a way to use Flex as the GUI. I ended up with something endlessly more versatile than what the Adobe AIR project allows with regard to interfacing with the Win32 API. In this article I’ll go through the basic principles of SWF embedding into AI3, but bear in mind this principle can be applied to any development language that supports ActiveX embedding.

Using The Wimpy Player In Flex

Written by Bob de Wit. Posted in ActionScript, Developer Blog, Flex

player.jpgThis one took some digging. The Wimpy Player uses the ActionScript 2.0 _root variable for configuration, and this has of course been deprecated in AS 3.0.Wimpy expects some variables to be defined at _root level: the filename of the Wimpy Player (usually wimpy.swf) and the name of the wimpy Configuration XML file (wimpyConfigs.xml). Since there is no way to pass this information from Flex through an Image or SWFloader element, I decided on using an intermediate Flash file, much like the WimpyLoader example that can be found on the Wimpy Site for embedding Wimpy into Flash. However, I wanted to construct it in such a way that anyone who doesn’t have Flash could use this Flex Loader without having to adjust the dimensions in the source file depending on the Wimpy Player skin used (and as a result, recompile the loader in Flash). You can see the result on my MySpace artist page. You will need my preloader. You can get a trial version of the Wimpy Player at www.wimpyplayer.com.

PEAR PHP XML Serializer and Flex

Written by Bob de Wit. Posted in ActionScript, Developer Blog, Flex, PEAR, PHP

PEAR is a framework and distribution system for reusable PHP components. The code in PEAR is partitioned in “packages”. Each package is a separate project with its own development team, version number, release cycle, documentation and a defined relation to other packages (including dependencies). Packages are distributed as gzipped tar files with a description file inside, and installed on your local system using the PEAR installer.PEAR contains PHP classes that are perfect for serializing data to be passed to a Flex application. Unfortunately, there is currently no package that would allow automatic installation for a Flex/PHP developer that wants to use the PEAR XML Serializer functionality.

In this article, I am going to describe how to do a local tweak and installation of the PEAR XML classes on a server that does not have PEAR pre-installed. Even if your server has PEAR installed, this approach will work.