This chapter started with a journey along Fifth Avenue to the Empire State Building in New York and concluded with turning a Flash MX 2004 application into an Internet-based video phone. Though it may be difficult to see how those two events are connected, the common factor is streaming video and the Flash Communication Server MX.

The New York story was used to illustrate the fact that, when it comes to dynamic video streams through the Flash Communication Server MX, equipment is irrelevant. As long as the camera can capture video, you can stream a signal through the Internet.

We next reviewed how streaming video got its big start thanks to the Rolling Stones in 1994 and how Macromedia may have just blind-sided RealNetworks, Microsoft, and Apple with the release of the Flash Player. By introducing the most popular piece of software in history, Macromedia also removed developers' reliance on the streaming media clients from those three companies.

Before building an audio application and a video application, we briefly looked at the issue of usability and functionality when planning these applications. The bottom line is that if the technology is transparent and the user instinctively knows what to do, then the interface works.

We then constructed two very basic applications, using only the Communications Components, to stream audio and video through the Flash Communication Server MX to a .swf file using the Flash Player in a Dreamweaver MX 2004 page.

In the next chapter, we show you how to combine chat, audio, and video capabilities to construct an interactive and dynamic meeting facility for the Oakbridge Community Center.