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Adobe ships Flash Player 10

It's aimed at helping designers and developers build interactive content

By Heather Havenstein
October 15, 2008 12:00 PM ET

Computerworld - Adobe Systems Inc. began shipping its Adobe Flash Player 10 browser plug-in Wednesday with new features aimed at helping designers and developers build interactive content and online videos.

This version of Flash, which Adobe launched in a beta version in May, includes support for custom filters and special effects, native 3-D transformation and animation, advanced audio processing and GPU hardware acceleration, Adobe said. It also includes a new text engine aimed at providing designers and developers with more text layout options.

"A lot of the features in [Flash Player] 10 are all about providing interactive designers and developers unprecedented creative control," said Tom Barclay, senior product marketing manager in Adobe's platform business unit. "Designers and developers ... can transform and animate 2-D content into the 3-D space. That functionality is now exposed in the form of tooling in Flash Creative Suite 4 (CS4) to allow designers to do 3-D transformation animation without having to write code."

That support for 3-D transformation is one way Flash Player 10 extends the capabilities of the Adobe CS4 (also shipping today) with new levels of Flash integration, he added.

For example, with the new Adobe Pixel Bender, users can create custom filters to animate effects or change the effects on rich media context at runtime, Adobe noted. Pixel Bender is the same technology used in Adobe's After Effects CS4, which creates motion graphics and visual effects for film and broadcast.

The new player also has new application-level audio processing using a calibration engine and advanced sound APIs that allow developers to dynamically generate audio and create new audio applications like music sequences, Barclay added. For example, users can extract data from an MP3 file and use that data to create an audio visualizer to show audio waves.

Barclay noted that a third-party software vendor called NoteFlight has created a software application that will use this feature to allow people to create their own musical scores by dragging and dropping musical notes onto a staff; the application can then play back the notes.

Adobe is available for Windows, Macintosh and Linux, with support for Solaris expected later this year. All of the new features and performance improvements introduced in Adobe Flash Player 10 will be available in Adobe Air later this year for designers and developers to build applications that run outside a browser.

Read more about Web Apps in Computerworld's Web Apps Topic Center.

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