It seems that everyone is slowly starting to realise that the future of video broadcasting lies online rather than inside a television.
Following the success of Joost, Babelgum and VeohTV, Adobe decided to get in on the act with the release of the Adobe Media Player. The philosophy of the software giant is that if you use a browser to navigate web pages, why shouldn't you use one to view multimedia too?
The result is basically a version of Joost as seen through the eyes of Adobe. Now out of beta release, the app provides an interesting and immersive way of watching videos online. Navigation is very smooth and feels natural and there are a number of features and services that make it easier to eyeball TV more effectively. For instance, you can create a list of favorites, and keywords add ratings to Flash video, build playlists and use the Dashboard-style interface to check out the latest episodes of your top shows. You can also now subscribe to RSS feeds that tell you when new episodes are online.
Content is king though, of course, and version 1.1 of Adobe Media Player adds a lot more episodes and channels from a broad range of genres. At the time of writing, Adobe estimates that there are around 25,000 episodes available through its media player. Adobe has even partnered with Sony Pictures to offer some movies through the service, such as Jerry Maguire and Men in Black. I was also impressed by the speed and quality of the videos.
One of my main qualms with Adobe Media Player though, is that many of the episodes are not available outside the USA. Fine if you live there, of course, but for those of us in other lands it's so frustrating to see a show you want to watch only to discover it's not available (of course, you don't find this out until after an advert has played in the player).
Glossing over the unavailability of some programs and channels, Adobe Media Player is making all the right strides to becoming the best place to watch TV online.