Open Source Flash Media Server: Red5

I have been following the development of red5 since very early on. It was the prime motivator behind flixn, as having a freely available flash media server would allow one to do things that were inconcievable previously due to the financial weight of licensing. Just to be clear I have never, not by any stretch of the imagination, been a proponent of flash. To be perfectly honest I am one of those geeks who will steer clear of a website entirely if flash is a hard requirement. That said, I would like to think that I am able to recognize the merits of a technology no matter how foul a taste it leaves in my mouth. Flixn exploits the heck out of one of those merits, there will be no punches pulled here.

Over the last couple of months flixn has gone from one of those little backburner projects that is slowly building steam to seeing near fulltime development by several individuals. As work has progressed it has become abundantly clear that no matter how far red5 has come in its short life it just wasn’t going to be ready for prime time on the same timetable as In our case, the final phases of development are currently underway, including a switch to Adobe’s Flash Media Server 2. It is quite unfortunate, but such is life. I wish to point out that this should not be taken the wrong way, red5 has proved itself to be extremely robust and stable as a development platform. The switch to FMS2 was not a light one by any means, and yes, that does mean we were very seriously considering a launch using red5.

As critical as I am of flash, I am extremely eager to see what the entrepreneurial web 2.0 crowd will do in the next 6-12 months as red5 becomes mature. That Adobe seems to have taken an interest in getting Flash9 out for Linux doesn’t hurt my feelings either.

5 Replies to “Open Source Flash Media Server: Red5”

  1. On2 was not part of the decision, no. Red5 seems to be a bit flakey as yet in the areas of stream bandwidth management and recorded stream length computation (although SVN seems pretty much spot on in this regard). There is also the fact that Red5 is a very young project and we simply lack the time and/or infrastructure to adequately load test it. In summary, it probably would have worked out fine, we just couldn’t bring ourselves to trust it… yet.

    I have spoken to Mike Savello of On2 on several occasions regarding which of their products may be useful to us, and we are evaluating one of them for deployment.

  2. Interesting. Do you have a simple single or clustered FMS environment or something more advanced like an edge/origin setup? And are you considering switching back to Red5 when it hits 1.0 from a technical POV ( if you leave out the financial investments already made in FMS ).

    I just found out about Flixn and it’s nicely executed. Nice work 🙂

  3. Owen, thanks for the kind words. Since we are delivering videos to our player progressively via http, we were able to get away from the origin/edge setup and use something a bit more simple. We will definitely be looking at Red5 again in the future, if not for flixn then certainly for other projects.

  4. Thanks for pointing us in the direction of red5. We are also considering some webcam-uploading type application. Can I ask – do you think it would be possible to accept webcam video from flash without FMS / Red5?



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