Reprinted from a Macromedia press release:

Macromedia (Nasdaq: MACR) today announced a video kit that will enable Macromedia Studio MX 2004 with Flash Professional users to add video to their websites without any special technical knowledge. The kit makes it quick and easy to add streaming or progressive download video through a Dreamweaver MX 2004 extension. Video deployed with the kit can be viewed instantly with Macromedia Flash Player, the world’s most ubiquitous rich client, making the video instantly accessible to about a half a billion web users.

For a limited time, customers who purchase or upgrade to Macromedia Studio MX 2004 with Flash Professional and register online by September 30 will receive the video kit for free. In addition, for a limited time, the kit will be available for purchase to existing Studio MX 2004 with Flash Professional customers for $49. Other upgrade options to receive the kit are available online at http://www.macromedia.com/go/videokitupgrades/.

“The demand for streaming media on the web, including video, is growing by leaps and bounds, and companies or technologies that reduce the technical hurdles to implementation and distribution will have an ongoing advantage,” said Paul Palumbo, research director for AccuStream iMedia Research. “Studio MX 2004 with Flash Professional makes video a more integrated part of the production workflow, and adds degrees of interactivity to streaming content that simply aren’t possible with standard linear video.”

The kit includes four components: a Flash Video extension for Dreamweaver; a special version of Sorenson Squeeze that converts common video file formats into Flash Video format (FLV); a free 15-day trial of Flash Video Streaming Service powered by VitalStream that allows customers to harness all the power of streaming Flash Video without the need to install and maintain their own servers; and an introductory guide to deploying video online.

Macromedia Flash Video Streaming Service Lite powered by VitalStream is a subset of Flash Video Streaming Service and gives users access to VitalStream’s award-winning content delivery network. The network empowers users to deliver high-performance streaming video with no programming required to integrate the streaming video into a website. The service also includes interactive real-time reports for monitoring audience viewing habits and media popularity. While the Lite service is designed specifically for use with Dreamweaver, the full Flash Video Streaming Service enables customization and interactivity when authoring video files in Flash Professional.

“We are seeing a real explosion of video on the Web,” said Greg Stern, vice president of developer relations, Macromedia. “Macromedia recently surveyed web professionals and the majority are already planning to add video to their sites: 70 percent want to use Dreamweaver to embed Flash Video on the sites, and 74 percent want to build interactive video applications with Flash MX Professional 2004. The Flash Video kit and Studio MX 2004 with Flash Professional address both of those desires.”

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