Precision about HTTP streaming format in Adobe Media Server

ams To begin this new year, I make this post on a subject which can introduce misunderstandings. Previously, Adobe named it streaming server : Flash Media Server (aka FMS) v4.5. In october 2012, Adobe release a new version and recalled the server: Adobe Media Server (aka AMS) v5.0.1. Some acronym used in FMS are the same in AMS, but this is not the same “products” (e.g. PHLS). In this post, I will give some input on live streaming format and especially about security applied on.

HTTP Dynamic Streaming (HDS)

Adobe Media Server is abled to stream (and so repack) 3 HDS formats :

HTTP Dynamic Streaming (HDS)

This is the common HDS format created by Adobe. A HDS content contains 1 XML based manifest file (.f4m), 1 index file (.f4x) and 1 file contained the fragments (.f4f).

Protected HTTP Dynamic Streaming (PHDS)

PHDS adds encryption on the content without using a DRM system like Adobe Access. The content is only encrypted, there is no right management.

To improve your security, you can use too SWF verification. One or more players are declared in a whitelist on the server and only this players can stream contents.

HTTP Dynamic Streaming associate to Adobe Access

To apply some rights on your content, you apply some rules via a DRM system. The Adobe Access license server is optimized to use with HDS. You need to declare on the server some informations from the license server and which DRM policy you want to use.

HTTP Live Streaming (HLS)

In a previous post, I talked on the Flash Media Server 4.5 setup, to be more precise on PHLS setup. There is a big difference, so here, forget the formats in FMS 😉 Adobe Media Server is abled to stream 4 HLS formats. The first is the common HLS and 3 others.


In AMS, Vanilla is the HLS format with an AES-128 encryption applied on the content. You can stream the content with all Quicktime based players (like the player on iOS devices).

Protected HTTP Live Streaming (PHLS)

Here is the main difference between PHLS on FMS and PHLS in AMS. In FMS, PHLS is the HLS with AES. In AMS, PHLS is an encryption on your content without using a DRM system.

HTTP Live Streaming associate to Adobe Access

Like HDS with Adobe Access, you can apply a full DRM solution on HLS. Please notice, this functionality is only available with Adobe Access v4.

For the two last formats, the content can only be streamed by a specific player provided by Adobe.

To finish, when you read the documentation on Adobe developer website, be careful you read the doc related to the good version of the streaming server. Some link in AMS 5.0 reported to the FMS 4.5 😉

2 thoughts on “Precision about HTTP streaming format in Adobe Media Server

  1. Alejandro

    Hi, in reference to PHLS with DRMMETA, this protocol is supported by default by iOS? or need use some SDK or something extra to play the content encrypted by PHLS into AMS? thanks!

    1. Olivier Post author

      @Alejandro, you need a specific SDK provided by Adobe’s team. This format is not supported natively by iOS.


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