Nokia N800 + Flash Player = Perfect Video Blogging tool, or "Adobe should make implementing proper web cam support in the Linux Flash Player part of its mobile strategy"
Linux is an operating system that's used mainly by hardcore geeks who think in binary and don't mind spending hours compiling their own device drivers. Oh wait, sorry, the year is 2008, not 1998. Scratch that, today, Linux is the operating system that came pre-installed on my easy-to-use Asus Eee PC and my flashy little Nokia N800 Internet tablet.
Both of those devices, by the way, are excellent candidates for my dream video blogging machine. The N800 more so than the Eee PC.
Both the Eee PC (at least the 4GB model I have) and the N800 have internal web cams and WiFi. They're both tiny enough to carry around easily (far more so than a full-size laptop like my MacBook Pro), and, in the case of the N800, the camera actually swivels around so you can shoot your subject while looking at the screen.
And they both support Flash Player 9.
So, budding video bloggers, grab your N800s, connect to Seesmic, and start vlogging away, live, from anywhere with a WiFi Internet connection.
Not so fast. They're a slight niggle. The web cam on neither the N800 nor the Eee PC works with the Flash 9 Player for Linux. (And, reportedly, the same holds true for the newer N810.) In fact, according to reports on the Net, you would be hard-pressed to find a web cam that does work well with Flash Player 9 on Linux.
The problem is that Flash Player 9 on Linux supports an outdated interface (Video4Linux 1) for connecting to web cams; leaving the built-in web cam in many newer devices, including Nokia N800 and the Asus Eee PC, unsupported. What Adobe must do is add Video4Linux 2 support to Flash Player on Linux.
As video blogging becomes mainstream, I can't help but feel that Adobe is about to miss another chance in the mobile arena by not implementing proper web cam support in the Flash Player for devices like the N800 that run Linux.
If I was Nokia, I would be talking to Adobe right now about what we can do to realize web cam support for Flash Player 9 on Linux as soon as possible and start pushing the N800 and N810 as the perfect live video blogging tools.
If I was Loic Le Meur, I would be emailing Adobe about how important this feature would be for my popular Flex-based RIA, Seesmic. I would probably also be on the phone to Nokia too to have Seesmic included as a standard application link in the N800 series OS.
And, finally, if I was calling the shots at Adobe, I would be redoubling my efforts to get proper web cam support into the Linux version of the Flash Player as part of my mobile strategy. I would make it a priority to support and encourage the use of Flash-and-WiFi-enabled Linux devices with web cams, coupled with Flash applications like Yahoo! Live and Seesmic, as low-cost live video blogging and real-time web news-gathering and reporting tools.
Devices like the Nokia N800, N810, and Asus Eee PC are already on the market and in the hands of content creators. With an update to Flash Player 9 on Linux that implements proper web cam support, we have the chance to give them a whole new use case and make the Flash the de-facto standard platform for mobile video blogging.