Flash Communication Server MX (FlashCom) is a technology that enables your Flash movies (which are referred to as clients in the context of FlashCom) to communicate in real time with the server. FlashCom enables clients to communicate using text-based commands and enables Flash clients to record, stream live, and play back video and audio. The applications of using FlashCom are vast. You can:
Create text-based chat rooms
Create video conferencing applications
Broadcast live events, conferences, and seminars, and archive the audio and video streams for future playback
Create interactive education systems
This chapter addresses many problems specific to publishing and subscribing to audio and video content. Additionally, we'll take a look at the server-side aspects of FlashCom. See Recipe 16.6, Recipe 17.5, and Recipe 17.6 for applications using FlashCom remote shared objects.
Here is some of the terminology used throughout this chapter. Note that our conventions are not used universally by the developer community.
A stream is used to control the flow of data?be it text, audio, video, or other media?to, from, and within a Flash movie. A net stream, which takes its name from ActionScript's NetStream class, is any audio or video content that is sent to a FlashCom server from the client (publishing stream) or from the server to the client (subscribing stream).
We use the term FlashCom to refer to the software that enables realtime communication (including the server software and the client components), or as an adjective to modify other words, as in "FlashCom audio" or "FlashCom application."
The term FlashCom server refers to the computer running FlashCom or the address at which such a device can be found.
Full coverage of FlashCom is beyond the scope of this book. For basic information about FlashCom, refer to the list of online documentation at:
For a list of online articles, tutorials, and more, see:
Macromedia has a free developer edition of FlashCom to get you started. You can download the software from: