Kurt McKee

lessons learned in production

Hey there! This article was written in 2007.

It might not have aged well for any number of reasons, so keep that in mind when reading (or clicking outgoing links!).

Adobe Flash and online audio

Posted 27 January 2007 in adobe-flash, audio, open-source, and web

I've spent quite a bit of time enjoying the music I've acquired through eMusic and for free from various sources. I decided that I wanted to blog about some of the tracks with an embedded audio player, in case others might enjoy what I've discovered. That's when I realized that the state of free Adobe Flash- based audio players is atrocious. I've compiled a list at the end of this post.

First of all, many are proprietary or unlicensed. This is unacceptable to me for philosophical reasons. Second, in some cases the player is restricted (see the Creative Commons-licensed players that forbid commercial usage). Restricting use is silly - why not reap the benefit of a greater usage, particularly when commercial entities have the potential to send valuable feedback, features, or fixes? So those players are unacceptable. What's left?

The only truly open source player I could find was XSPF Player. It has a spartan interface and fewer features than the proprietary players. More features could be added, but the author seems unresponsive - a long time ago I sent in fixes to make the official website standards-compliant, but the author never responded to my email, and the website was never updated. I expect that further contributions would be similarly received.

There is potential for someone to enter and dominate the niche for free online audio players. If only I had the time to attempt it!

Free Adobe Flash online audio playersName Source code license Notes

XSPF Player| BSD| At least two derivatives exist

Flash MP3 Player| Creative Commons (By-NC-SA)| Can handle RSS/Atom playlists

RadioBlog+| Unlicensed| Demo? Proof-of- concept?

CHOMP3| Proprietary| Source never released; unmaintained; unlicensed

RadioBlog| Proprietary| No XSPF support

FMP3 XSPF| Proprietary|

Multiple Tracks Flash MP3 Player| Proprietary| No XSPF support

[XSPF]: XML Shareable Playlist Format [BSD]: Berkeley Software Distribution *[RSS]: Really Simple Syndication