It has been a long time since the last post here that had any “real” content. In my opinion. Parroting updates to software we use because people visit here regularly to see pertinent content on Flash Media Server or Wowza or Flash video and live communications, doesn’t count. While important, I’m not actually providing much value to the reader. It has bugged me for a while so I thought I would finally put a quick post together to explain why there has been a lack of updates.
First up.. we’re busy. I can most definitely say “we” now because I have a team put together now that sticks together, rather than here sometimes and sometimes not. Literally, there is so much work out there that I could happily hire on a couple more people and probably only then be slightly comfortable that I have the current workload under my thumb. As it is though, there just isn’t much talent out there that fits the bill. At least not that I can find..
With that, I have to say that there are some very particular trends to take note of. If you visit this blog to hear about FMS and Wowza stuff then this is important as we get a lot of trend like stuff come our way which allows us to keep a good finger on the pulse of the industry.
First up, and least surprising I think, is that HTML5 is on the rise. It’s easy to go up when you start at zero though. That said, the amount of requests that come alongside the requests for other work to go with it are going up. To be more precise clients are looking to have video work on the lowest common denominator, iOS. I say the lowest because it is the one device out there that supports the least amount of video types or communication processes. You get the browser and apps. Most clients want to build in the browser and I’m seeing many shy away from creating a dedicated app. Which is an interesting trend to me. My guess is that they know it is expensive and you are tied to one device with that app. What I always have to remind them of though is that if we create one app for iOS, we can easily port that over to Android and most likely it will run in the browser as a Flash app too. Handy.
I think the other thought that goes through their minds is that if you build a pay app for iOS, that you lose 30% of your profits to Apple (even if they don’t need it thanks to 100 billion in the bank). Either way though, that’s lovely capitalism for you and such is the way of business at this point in time. Having a web only app takes away that limitation and you can then have subscription services that don’t have the top skimmed off.
That’s just my opinion of what clients may be thinking, it may be way off.
The next trend I see is wanting to do more and more in HTML5 and then realizing that you can’t. It really brings a client down. More precisely, clients want to do live streaming and live communication. Not possible in the browser of iOS/html5, despite all the iOS fanatics that would claim that HTML5 would be a Flash killer. Maybe in some circles, like the lower end stuff, but not live communication. That’s for sure. It will be interesting to see where that goes in the coming years.
To go with all that, because they came to market first and cornered it, I see a very strong trend for client to start out with and also move off to Wowza rather than FMS. In fact, I have only seen maybe two projects (out of many many..) for FMS in the last two years I think. The current demand is increasingly on Wowza and I don’t expect that to change. As sad as it is (in a way, I’m not actually sad), I think FMS is dead. The only thing it is marginally useful for at this point is P2P handshake connecting. Even that though can be done in other ways (you can build your own service if you want for no cost), and in turn FMS then really has no purpose in comparison to a far superior product at a quarter of the cost.
I can’t understand why Adobe isn’t changing their stance on FMS pricing. It is priced so far out there that clients nowadays just don’t even consider it anymore. If a client ever comes to me with an FMS project, the first thing I ask is if they have looked at Wowza. They haven’t, then they do and then they ask if there is a catch of some sorts. There isn’t, other than the fact that they have found the better product and it will cost them less.
So, trends to HTML5 video for iOS mainly, trends away from FMS that have been going on for a while now to Wowza, trends to get live streaming and live apps to work on ALL devices. Makes perfect sense writing it out in one simple paragraph of course. This is what I see happening and the flood of work is powerful and says a lot of where skills are needed. I’m perpetually amazed at the amount of devs out there that can only do one thing. While that is good in a way to be an absolute expert at one thing, I would never hire somebody like that. To give an example of that, I hired on a Flex dev who knew a bit of PHP, mySQL, JS, HTML etc kind of thing. He now is far more aware of PHP, has learned Coldfusion and increased his JS skills in the few months of working together. That is the last trend I think I would comment on, is that there is no way you can get away with being a mono-language developer. You must have multiple skills and be good at most of them, or at least good at figuring out how to be good at them for the task at hand.
The trend is to be fluid, tech changes fast, projects grow and demands of clients change as fast as you change your socks. Hopefully you change your socks often, or that’s not going to make much sense… Anyways, to wrap it up, if you happen to be wondering on what to work on next, I think the above would be a good indicator of where work is at. You may need to look to find it if you don’t have the connections, but overall there is no shortage of work if you know how to find it or know those that are asking for it.
No complaints here of course, Wowza work rocks. I love it. I’ll try to post more thoughts on these types of things as I go along. I have tons of tips and ideas to put out that will hopefully help those that are getting in to this area. FMSGuru.com has floundered a bit lately but I’m really hoping to get back to that too.
So, apologies for the silence, as I mentioned above, work has gone through the roof and ends up leaving less time for idle chat/blog posts.