Chapter 11. Integrating the Flash Media Server

Engaging your client with rich media experiences using shared objects, webcam chat, and streaming media is the purpose behind the Flash Media Server. It all started with the Flash 6 player and had the code name "tin can". It was called the Flash Communication Server and could stream media and shared objects. Since then, the Flash Communication Server has evolved into two separate versions – one for just streaming media (Media Streaming Server) and the other for streaming media plus interactivity (Media Interactive Server). For 3D you're most interested in using the Media Interactive Server, which lets you create interactive applications such as video recorders and multiplayer games.

So what's a Media Server? The Flash Media Server (both versions) is an open socket server – which means that the connection to the server stays open until you quit the connection (most likely by exiting the application). As a result you can stream media, audio, video, text, and shared objects. Regular web servers don't do that – they close connection after info has been transmitted. The Flash Media Server uses a different protocol than your typical web server. It's called RTMP, which stands for Real-Time Messaging Protocol (or the newer RTMPE where E stands for encryption).

When running an FMS app you first connect to a Web server using HTTP and then to the Flash Media Server using RTMP (or RTMPE). Essentially, the FMS rides (or piggy backs) on your Web server. ...

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