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Linux gadgets gain access to video websites

Oct 9, 2007 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

Opera Software, Freescale, and NEC have collaborated on a port of Adobe's embedded Flash player plug-in to Opera's device-oriented browser on Freescale's i.MX31 multimedia applications processor. The port currently targets the Linux version of Opera for Devices, and will enable the viewing of “video websites” such as YouTube on handhelds, Opera said.

The joint technology preview will be showcased at the Freescale Technology Forum in Paris on Oct. 9 and 10. The Linux-based demo reportedly will comprise “Opera 9 SDK for Devices” equipped with Adobe's “Flash Lite 3 plug-in.” The latter was recently ported to Opera by NEC Corporation of America, Opera said.

“Browsing dynamic Internet sites poses significant challenges in terms of feature integration and multimedia performance on handheld devices,” Opera said in a statement. “This is why today's device users have had limited access to video Web sites.”

Today, “with the multiplication of connected devices, consumers are demanding to replicate the desktop Internet experience on wireless devices,” adds the company. This “breakthrough,” according to Opera, will satisfy that urge by enabling users “to enjoy rich video content right from their handheld device.”

Opera on the Archos 604
(Click to enlarge)

Opera for Devices is the standard browser on Nokia's N800 and 770 Internet Tablets, the Archos 604 media player (depicted at right), Sony's Mylo multi-function handheld, and numerous other Linux-based consumer devices.

Opera senior VP Scott Hedrick stated, “This is an important milestone for Opera and we are excited to bring very popular Web sites, in a fast and innovative way, to handheld devices,” says Scott Hedrick, senior vice president of business solutions, Opera Software. “This collaboration with Freescale and NEC strengthens our reputation for providing leading-edge browsing capabilities within the mobile and embedded space.”

“NEC is proud to provide the integration of a Linux-based Adobe Flash Lite 3 plug-in technology to accompany Opera's leading software and Freescale's powerful i.MX31 architecture,” said Yuji Ichimura, vice president, Solutions Business of NEC Corporation of America. “This new solution from Opera will greatly enhance the way people utilize embedded devices.”

Former NEC subsidiary Vibren Technologies in 2004 became the first value-added reseller of the device-oriented version of Macromedia's Flash player. Vibren subsequently was absorbed into NEC, and Macromedia has been acquired by Adobe.

According to an Opera spokesperson, this port of the Flash Lite plug-in to Opera for Devices is “in early development and only supports Linux at this stage.” However, the spokesperson “would not rule out [support for] other operating systems as future development occurs.”

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