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On2 get mobile on Flash video tech’

If the web was fashion, then video would be the new black. And let’s face it, like black, video seems to go with anything & everything these days.

And so it goes that video on a mobile device is becoming not just more viable, but also something people actually want .. apparently.

Personally, I’m not convinced about the whole mobile video thing. Looks to me like content looking for not just an audience, but a venue, too.

However, as these mobile devices get bigger screens, then the venue may well be set, thus the audience may then warm to the idea.

You get the idea.

On2 Technologies announced Feb. 12 that it has developed the Flix Engine 3GPP transcoder, a platform that allows Flash 8 video to be played on cell phones and other mobile devices.”

The news story itself is a heady mix of PR drivel and buzzword-ladden nonsense like: “the new compression platform from On2 Technologies extends from its Flix Engine encoding platform, which is a server-side transcoding engine…”

Is it now? Hmm.

Yes, I get the general gist, but some wouldn’t. So I’ll skip to the point: the guys at On2 have come up with a way of allowing developers to plonk their video onto a web server and then have the On2 software do stuff with the video that lets it play nice on mobile phones ‘n’ stuff.

Cart before the horse: mobile video

“In the business world, there has been a growing need for this content to be able to be distributed to mobile devices as Savello said that companies have previously used ‘Flash Video as a marketing and training tool and for building community within their customer base.'”

Nah, I’m still not convinced there’s a business need for this kind of thing, but it’s a neat step forward, none the less.

So you’ve sat through just one too many moments of Death by Powerpoint, and now someone wants you to site through a Flash video slideshow on a Treo?

Yes please! Gather ’round, everyone, there’s room left for a little’n at the end.

On2 Technologies eye buy-out?

I had a look through the management team over at On2 Technologies and I couldn’t find an Adobe alumni among them. Not one.

But the more I look at On2 Technologies, the more I see a company aching to be bought out by Adobe, who would do well to consolidate this area and bolster their Flash video offerings.

I can’t say I know the first thing about the ambitions of these guys, but if trends are to be observed with regards to high technology businesses, then the accountants usually take over the asylum at some point and someone gets to plant the flag that is the For Sale sign in the front lawn.

Mobile advertising

“Sites including YouTube, Google, MySpace and AOL can take videos from their users in any format and transcode them to Flash Video on a server or farm or servers,… The [mobile video] will run on Windows or Linux-based servers and produce the video files that would be compatible with mobile handsets from companies such as Motorola, LG, Samsung and Nokia.”

With the rapid ascension of YouTube, and then even more rabid rapid legalization due to begin shortly, Google (the now owner of YouTube) will want to bring some stickiness to their video service by working with viral marketeers and advertisers to produce a whole new class of adverts that people not only actually want to watch, but pass on to their friends.

Or that’s my take on things, anyway.

And I think for now, that’s where mobile video will operate; on the hinterland of content distribution, irrespective of monumental shifts in bandwidth et cetera, et cetera.

When all is said & done, a small screen does not a good video viewing maketh, no matter how funny, how entertaining or how informative.

A giggle or two while sat on a train or bus will rarely translate into a deal-closing presentation running from your cell phone…

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By Wayne Smallman

Wayne is the man behind the Blah, Blah! Technology website, and the creator of the Under Cloud, a digital research assistant for journalists and academics.

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