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Adobe caves, adds support for Apple's HTTP Live Streaming standard

post #1 of 51
Thread Starter 
In a move that could help defuse ongoing tension between the two companies, Adobe has revealed plans to support streaming video on the iPad 2 by adding support for Apple's HTTP Live Streaming standard to its Flash Media Server product.

Adobe first broke the news in a blog post offering a sneak peak at the company's new streaming video features, as noted by Ars Technica. The new feature was also previewed by the company at the National Association of Broadcasters trade show this week in Las Vegas.

In addition to Adobe's own HTTP Dynamic Streaming standard, which uses H.264/AAC codecs and the F4F file format, future versions of Flash Media Server will now support the HTTP Live Streaming protocol developed by Apple.

According to Kevin Towes, product manager for Adobe Flash Media Server, the company "is reducing the publishing complexity for broadcasters who need to reach browsers supporting HLS through HTML5 (such as Safari) or devices where Adobe Flash is not installed." Devices with Flash installed will continued to use MPEG4-fragments to stream video over HTTP to Flash.

In a video demonstration posted to YouTube, Towes live streams a video to an iPad 2 using Safari and an HTML5 page, as well as on a Mac using Safari and Adobe Flash 10.2 and a Motorola Xoom tablet.



HTTP Live Streaming

Apple first adopted HTTP Live Streaming in version 3.0 of iPhone OS in 2009, though the protocol was leaked in May of that year when Apple submitted the standard to the Internet Engineering Task Force.

The live streaming protocol replaces Apple's older QuickTime Streaming Server protocol with an efficient streaming protocol that divides broadcasts into short ten second clips and sends them along an MPEG transport stream without requiring the use of special servers. Servers are able to store multiple versions of clips in different formats, allowing users to dynamically scale streams up or down depending on available bandwidth.

Last year, Apple leveraged HTTP Live Streaming to resume the practice of offering live streams of media event keynotes, which it had stopped in 2005.

In February 2010, an Israeli technology company sued Apple over the Live Streaming technology, alleging that the Cupertino, Calif., company had violated its own media streaming patents from 1999.

Adobe v. Apple

With sales of Apple's iPad and iPhone continuing to gain steam, Adobe's hand appears to have been forced. As such, Adobe's announcement has been taken by some to be a small victory on Apple's part in a heated clash between the two companies.

Last year, Apple CEO Steve Jobs sparked a war of words with an open letter criticizing Adobe and Flash.

In the letter, Jobs defended Apple's decision not to support Flash on the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. Jobs specifically referred to six weak points for Flash: openness; the "full Web;" reliability, security and performance; battery life; touch; and the substandard quality of third-party development tools

Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen quickly responded, calling the issues raised in Jobs' letter a "smokescreen" and shifting the blame for crashes on the Mac from Flash to Mac OS X.

Apple had drawn criticism for updating the iOS 4 Software Development Kit to ban intermediary tools, such as a feature in Adobe's Creative Suite 5 that would port Flash software to the iPhone.

In September last year, Apple removed the ban, as long as the resulting apps do not download any code. Adobe quickly responded by announcing that it would resume development of its Packager for iPhone tool.
post #2 of 51
'Gesture of goodwill.'

Stop turning, Mr. Orwell.
post #3 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

According to Kevin Towes, product manager for Adobe Flash Media Server, the company "is reducing the publishing complexity for broadcasters who need to reach browsers supporting HLS through HTML5 (such as Safari) or devices where Adobe Flash is not installed." Devices with Flash installed will continued to use MPEG4-fragments to stream video over HTTP to Flash.

So in a way, Adobe's gesture of good will can be said as still half-hearted in supporting the non-Flash capable devices.
post #4 of 51
The article doesn't mention that Flash Media Server has also seen increased competition from other products like Wowza Media Server (http://www.wowzamedia.com/) which already has support for streaming to Flash Player using RTMP as well as streaming to iOS devices using HTTP Live Streaming. Wowza is also significantly cheaper than Flash Media Server.

I was on a project in 2009 that deployed Wowza Media to stream to iOS clients and flash clients.

I wonder how much market share they have taken from Adobe in the streaming server segment.
post #5 of 51
Seems Adobe is finally seeing the writing on the iPad wall. Is this a big step toward Flash irrelevancy?
post #6 of 51
But will they add HTML5 templates to the Lightroom web generators??? That is what I need!!!!
post #7 of 51
Which means Click2Flash will have less work to do.


Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

According to Kevin Towes, product manager for Adobe Flash Media Server, the company "is reducing the publishing complexity for broadcasters who need to reach browsers supporting HLS through HTML5 (such as Safari) or devices where Adobe Flash is not installed." Devices with Flash installed will continued to use MPEG4-fragments to stream video over HTTP to Flash.
post #8 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

In what could be a goodwill gesture meant to put to rest the "Flash War" that has raged between the two companies since last year...

What "Flash War"? Apple isn't fighting Adobe at all. Apple said it wasn't going to support it, and here was why, and that was that. The only ones raising a stink are the folks at Adobe, the Win/Tech/Phan-tards and anyone else that believes the "full" web is only achieved by running an outdated, CPU/Battery sucking piece of bloated software that is long overdue to be taken to the back of the pen and peacefully put down with a bolt-gun.
post #9 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

'Gesture of goodwill.'

Stop turning, Mr. Orwell.

"Gesture of goodwill", "Adobe caves"... My gawd if this isn't 200% speculation with a heavy dollop of conjecture, I don't know what is.
post #10 of 51
Now everyone is drinking the Apple Koolaide!
post #11 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2stepbay View Post

Seems Adobe is finally seeing the writing on the iPad wall. Is this a big step toward Flash irrelevancy?

I think it is highly unlikely that this is a big step by Adobe towards "Flash irrelevancy". For example, Adobe has just released their latest update to create BB, Android and iOS apps using Flash: http://www.adobe.com/products/flash-builder.html.

I agree however that Adobe is starting to "see the writing on the iPad wall". They themselves are struggling to adapt. Again, the latest update to Creative Suite talks about "HTML 5 tools". A lot of InDesign is also geared towards magazines for iPad and Android, though one cannot compile the digital magazine app, you have to go through additional steps with a custom Adobe Digital Publisher service.

This is what I don't get. Are apps easy to develop, or hard to develop? For some, it's magical, amazing and seems effortless. For others, especially those entrenched in Flash (which remember would be a 3 to 10 year investment for many people), it seems really hard and controlled heavily by Apple. This is the real "war". Deciding where to place your bets.

In 2000 I had to work hard at convincing people to deploy Flash. 10 years later, I have to convince them *not* to use Flash. The iPad and iPhone element helps the argument quite a bit now.

Should I try to use Flash Builder to make Android and iOS apps? To me, that seems... strange.

HTML5, Android, iOS, web apps, native apps, social media, cloud services... Wow, I guess in just over a decade we have taken a big leap from a humble web page with little animated gifs, a hideous tiled background and trusty <hr> tags. It seems overwhelming at times now.
post #12 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

Which means Click2Flash will have less work to do.

Unfortunately, no. From the PR, the server will send the video wrapped in Flash if your browser reports you have Flash available [which it will if you have Click2Flash installed].

So what you really want to do is uninstall Flash. Then you can also uninstall Click2Flash and enjoy a longer battery life on your portable device!
post #13 of 51
Ah I see......

Quote:
Originally Posted by whatisgoingon View Post

So what you really want to do is uninstall Flash. Then you can also uninstall Click2Flash and enjoy a longer battery life on your portable device!
post #14 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2stepbay View Post

Seems Adobe is finally seeing the writing on the iPad wall. Is this a big step toward Flash irrelevancy?

Step towards? As far as I'm concerned, we've already reached that step.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #15 of 51
Do you bet on Adobe's strategy or bet on Apple's? Who has the better track record?

Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

This is the real "war". Deciding where to place your bets.
post #16 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

I think it is highly unlikely that this is a big step by Adobe towards "Flash irrelevancy". For example, Adobe has just released their latest update to create BB, Android and iOS apps using Flash: http://www.adobe.com/products/flash-builder.html.

I agree however that Adobe is starting to "see the writing on the iPad wall". They themselves are struggling to adapt. Again, the latest update to Creative Suite talks about "HTML 5 tools". A lot of InDesign is also geared towards magazines for iPad and Android, though one cannot compile the digital magazine app, you have to go through additional steps with a custom Adobe Digital Publisher service.

This is what I don't get. Are apps easy to develop, or hard to develop? For some, it's magical, amazing and seems effortless. For others, especially those entrenched in Flash (which remember would be a 3 to 10 year investment for many people), it seems really hard and controlled heavily by Apple. This is the real "war". Deciding where to place your bets.

In 2000 I had to work hard at convincing people to deploy Flash. 10 years later, I have to convince them *not* to use Flash. The iPad and iPhone element helps the argument quite a bit now.

Should I try to use Flash Builder to make Android and iOS apps? To me, that seems... strange.

HTML5, Android, iOS, web apps, native apps, social media, cloud services... Wow, I guess in just over a decade we have taken a big leap from a humble web page with little animated gifs, a hideous tiled background and trusty <hr> tags. It seems overwhelming at times now.

I would love to see someone's webpage from 10 years compared to now to see the difference.
post #17 of 51
OH God! Did you see that the video on the Xoom is laggy as hell? What a piece of crap!
post #18 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by macnyc View Post

I would love to see someone's webpage from 10 years compared to now to see the difference.

You can start with Apple's home page:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/kernelpanic/sets/283374/
http://web.archive.org/web/*/http://www.apple.com


Don't you just love how the first few screens were the typical menu-on-the left, then Apple blew that away with a print-oriented design that from Steve's return until well into 2005 was very different from the standard corporate website.

There's also a link floating around comparing the header menu on the Apple website over the past 10 years which I can't seem to find right now.

Anyone that has more info please post here. I'm feeling very nostalgic at the moment. Almost like I remember every page and the emotions regarding the products, though I can't quite remember some of my life circumstances around those times this past decade. Wow. Real Deja Vu.

What is amazing is that the essence of the Apple home page has not changed for 10 years. Menu bar, big hero image, one bar of news, four boxes of highlights. Of course in 2011 we have HTML5-ish stuff and a lot more video.
post #19 of 51
I would show you some of my web work which has evolved in various ways since 2000, but it might be too overwhelming due to me stopping active web design around 2005. Also I've thrown away screenshots of the *bad* websites I did.
post #20 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryoncole View Post

Now everyone is drinking the Apple Koolaide!

Oh look, another one
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post #21 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Garamond View Post

Oh look, another one

I once considered using the handle on AI ... "AppleGaramondStretched"
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post #22 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by whatisgoingon View Post

Unfortunately, no. From the PR, the server will send the video wrapped in Flash if your browser reports you have Flash available [which it will if you have Click2Flash installed].

So what you really want to do is uninstall Flash. Then you can also uninstall Click2Flash and enjoy a longer battery life on your portable device!

I wonder if Click2Flash can come up with a clever update that can fool the new Adobe server into believing Flash isn't installed. They already have a check box to force h264 if available, why not something for this?
Enjoying the new Mac Pro ... it's smokin'
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post #23 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

I wonder if Click2Flash can come up with a clever update that can fool the new Adobe server into believing Flash isn't installed. They already have a check box to force h264 if available, why not something for this?

It's because the web server doesn't report whether it's Flash server or some other server serving up content, so they can't check to see if that's the case.
post #24 of 51
It's called, iPad is bigger than they and most expected - iPad is taking sales away from netbooks and other Windows PCs - showing people they don't need Flash. All that is making Adobe nervous, that if people keep buying the iPad and not having access to Flash they will forget about it and developers (many already are) will slow down their Flash development. Adobe must 'blink' first, the consumer is forcing them to do so by where they're spending their money - Apple.

I work for a financial company, we still use and develop with Flash, but slowly we are starting to create our demos and tools into HTML & JavaScript (AJAX and later HTML5 when more standardized) as the business folks worry about Apple products and want their tools/demos iPad friendly. Only one company, but I'm sure most if not all are doing the same, many probably faster then my job.
post #25 of 51
deleted
post #26 of 51
I agree with those who choose not to see this Flash issue as a war between Apple and Adobe. It's nothing of the kind. Apple rejected Flash on technical grounds but said they would re-examine the issue as soon as Adobe came up with a secure version that didn't eat batteries. So far as I know, that remains their position.

I think what has happened is that wiser heads inside Adobe have concluded there is no way they can browbeat Apple into accepting Flash as it is, and equally, there is no chance of making Flash as reliable as it needs to be, and as power efficient as mobile devices require without a re-write. I imagine they had hoped an adverse market reaction to Apple's refusal to support Flash would force the company to retreat, but instead the market embraced HTML5 at an even faster pace.

In the light of newer technologies that have come along since Flash made its appearance more than a decade ago, doubtless Adobe has concluded the days of Flash dominance are in the past and if they want to remain relevant, they need to enthusiastically develop on the new platforms.

I say all power to them. Adobe makes some really wonderful products (InDesign is incredible), but just as their first flagship product PostScript bit the dust, they need to move on from Flash. Their design products significantly add to Apple's appeal, and Apple's strong position in the media sector is obviously important to Adobe. As in the past, a strong partnership will benefit both companies, and more importantly, the end user.

End of Sermon. Let us pray.
post #27 of 51
One by one, Apple is winning "arguments."

Flash vs. no Flash on iOS devices.

Replaceable battery vs. space saving non-replaceable batteries.

Specs. (ie. other tablets) vs. iPad's capabilities.

Fragmented approach vs. Apple's integrated approach.

No ecosystem vs. Apple's ecosystem.

Stylus vs. finger(s).

Poor customer service vs. excellent customer service.

Market share vs. Margins, ie., profit.

"free" vs. paid, as in iTunes music.

I'm sure there are many more!
post #28 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by christopher126 View Post

One by one, Apple is winning "arguments."

Flash vs. no Flash on iOS devices.

Replaceable battery vs. space saving non-replaceable batteries.

Specs. (ie. other tablets) vs. iPad's capabilities.

Fragmented approach vs. Apple's integrated approach.

No ecosystem vs. Apple's ecosystem.

Stylus vs. finger(s).

Poor customer service vs. excellent customer service.

Market share vs. Margins, ie., profit.

"free" vs. paid, as in iTunes music.

I'm sure there are many more!

Excellent list. We need to be reminded of it, every now and then.

I would add a couple:

Form versus (All) Function as opposed to Form and (Most) Function

'Yes' to bad web stuff vs. 'No' to bad web stuff

Winning praise with computer-geeks vs. Who cares about computer-geeks
post #29 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

In 2000 I had to work hard at convincing people to deploy Flash. 10 years later, I have to convince them *not* to use Flash.

Live and learn. At least you admit your mistakes!
post #30 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by steftheref View Post

I agree with those who choose not to see this Flash issue as a war between Apple and Adobe. It's nothing of the kind. Apple rejected Flash on technical grounds but said they would re-examine the issue as soon as Adobe came up with a secure version that didn't eat batteries. So far as I know, that remains their position.

I think what has happened is that wiser heads inside Adobe have concluded there is no way they can browbeat Apple into accepting Flash as it is, and equally, there is no chance of making Flash as reliable as it needs to be, and as power efficient as mobile devices require without a re-write. I imagine they had hoped an adverse market reaction to Apple's refusal to support Flash would force the company to retreat, but instead the market embraced HTML5 at an even faster pace.

In the light of newer technologies that have come along since Flash made its appearance more than a decade ago, doubtless Adobe has concluded the days of Flash dominance are in the past and if they want to remain relevant, they need to enthusiastically develop on the new platforms.

I say all power to them. Adobe makes some really wonderful products (InDesign is incredible), but just as their first flagship product PostScript bit the dust, they need to move on from Flash. Their design products significantly add to Apple's appeal, and Apple's strong position in the media sector is obviously important to Adobe. As in the past, a strong partnership will benefit both companies, and more importantly, the end user.

End of Sermon. Let us pray.

Exactly. Adobe an the media created the Apple vs. Adobe story. The truth is: Apple said NO to all plug-ins: no Flash, no Silverlight, no Java, no <whatever>. More broadly speaking, no non-native apps. Adobe spent real money to acquire Flash and hoped to turn it into the client-side platform that Java originally dreamed of becoming.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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post #31 of 51
Apple could care less that you're supporting their standard for streaming.

They will stream all their products with it and since it's part of WebKit they can stream to all their WebKit ready devices in the Apple Ecosystem.

It's Adobe that has to adapt or become obsolete. They would be wise to adopt HTML5 Video directly and use Flash as a fall back. Apple could care less about Flash.

Flash disappoints on Android and it will never be on iOS from Apple.
post #32 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacRulez View Post

they didn't use it when describing an even clearing caving by Apple:
Ah, the deparate throes Apple Insider's pursuit of cash.

Oh please. Apple didn't cave. I love how those who cite this as Apple "caving" fail to also cite the clear language that "We don't care what tool you use as long as your App isn't overly duplicative and doesn't suck".

Yup, Apple caved all right

Quote:
Back to The Register, MacRumors, and other real news sites.

Don't let the door hit ya...
post #33 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacRulez View Post

Welcome to Apple Insider.

When I saw "caves" in the headline I was almost certain it was another Digler piece, but since Ong has been studying at the Digler School of Unnecessarily Inflamatory Journalism I guess it's not all that surprising that it was him instead. Emotion-laden headlines drive eyeballs, and that drives ad revenue, which is AI's only raison d'etre. They'll get it, by any means possible, even skirting the edges of the truth or contradicting themselves.

In this case, what we have here is neither "caving" nor necessarily "a gesture of goodwill", but simply a good business decision that supports their customer base well.

While Adobe delivers their products for both Mac and Windows and Win has nearly 90% of the market, despite Apple Insider's whorish anti-Adobe campaign the fact is that Mac folks love Adobe, contributing disproportionaltely to the company's revenue (last I heard it was nearly 50%).

To AI's credit, they did finally acknowledge who started the war between Apple and Adobe:



But it would be too much to expect a consistently even hand from the writers here, so while they used "caves" in the headline with regard to Adobe they didn't use it when describing an even clearing caving by Apple:



Ah, the deparate throes Apple Insider's pursuit of cash.

Back to The Register, MacRumors, and other real news sites.

+1 It is largely for this reason I have largely left AI. Did get a bit of a laugh that another site was able to get them to post the 2009 release of FCP as breaking news to FCP X (it eas deleted shortly after being posted) though this highlights their need to push out anything regardless of how accurate it is.
post #34 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Excellent list. We need to be reminded of it, every now and then.

I would add a couple:

Form versus (All) Function as opposed to Form and (Most) Function

'Yes' to bad web stuff vs. 'No' to bad web stuff

Winning praise with computer-geeks vs. Who cares about computer-geeks

I'll add another one:

Fanboys vs. shareholders

"Play big or go home."



(Yes, I know this will infuriate some AI commenters. If you want to talk the talk, you better walk the walk. Put your money where your mouth is: AAPL. Buy into the company and believe the management will take good care of your investment. And yes, I have a diversified portfolio; AAPL represents less than 5% of my total investments across all accounts, including ETFs like QQQ or SPY.)
post #35 of 51
What I find most beneficial is for the MacBook line. Presumably it is now possible to avoid installing flash onto a laptop (there by removes battery drain by around 33%?). This will prove helpful for all those who use there MacBooks predominantly for web browsing.
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post #36 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by steftheref View Post

In the light of newer technologies that have come along since Flash made its appearance more than a decade ago, doubtless Adobe has concluded the days of Flash dominance are in the past and if they want to remain relevant, they need to enthusiastically develop on the new platforms.

Flash is dying as an application platform because the good developers left the Flash community after it got perverted by advertisers and half assed designers who have no taste. The only redeeming value it had was video delivery which uses less than 1% of the Actionscript functions available to real programmers. Besides, all of the 'fancy' things that Flash can do have become passé, sort of like the faux gold badging on autos that was popular in the late 90's. Stlyes for web development in this era have become more subtle and less garish, hence not so much Flash.

Sure Flash Player is not suitable for low powered mobile device with small batteries, but it is over on the desktop as well because it is all about information not whirling gizmos. There are some types of presentations that cannot be done in any other format but those are few and far between.

Quote:
I say all power to them. Adobe makes some really wonderful products (InDesign is incredible), but just as their first flagship product PostScript bit the dust, they need to move on from Flash.

Postscript did not bite the dust. Every PDF file is pure Postscript. OpenType and TrueType fonts are vector bezier curves with metrics which are converted to Postscript compatible glyphs by the Adobe PDF printer driver.

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post #37 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

It's Adobe that has to adapt or become obsolete. They would be wise to adopt HTML5 Video directly and use Flash as a fall back. Apple could care less about Flash..

HTML5 <video> is a bag of hurt. I don't want to encode my video 4 times.

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post #38 of 51
mstone says "Postscript did not bite the dust. Every PDF file is pure Postscript. OpenType and TrueType fonts are vector bezier curves with metrics which are converted to Postscript compatible glyphs by the Adobe PDF printer driver."

You're right to point out PDF certainly includes a subset of PostScript, but nonetheless from Adobe's viewpoint, PostScript is a bit like the Norwegian Blue: as a major profit maker this product is dead, defunct, devoid of life, motionless, it has ceased to be (not quite since there are still PostScript RIPs being sold at the high end, but compared to the halcyon days when Adobe coined over $1000 in royalty payments from Apple FOR EVERY SINGLE LASERWRITER sold, and who knows what from every other PostScript printer produced, PostScript income to Adobe must be a dribble these days. Yes? No?) In any event, they missed the boat by not coming out with a PostScript replacement at a much lower price that they could license to printer makers.
post #39 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by IronTed View Post

OH God! Did you see that the video on the Xoom is laggy as hell? What a piece of crap!

It was only for a few moments on screen but I too noticed a bunch of dropped frames on the Zoom while the iPad and Flash-on-Mac were both playing smoothly.
post #40 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by steftheref View Post

PostScript income to Adobe must be a dribble these days. Yes? No?) In any event, they missed the boat by not coming out with a PostScript replacement at a much lower price that they could license to printer makers.

All of that cash flow went from Postscript licensing to Acrobat sales including PDF plugins for Office. Unlike the old days where PC Windows almost exclusively used the HP printing protocol which did not traditionally have Postscript compatibility, although I had an HP with Postscript back in the day, they were rare. However, once Acrobat came out, that became the the new Postscript and they sold it by the millions to PC Windows and Mac users alike. So no, the Postscript revenue did not dry up at all. The entire CS Suite printing format is all Postscript but down grades gracefully if you don't have a true Postscript printer.

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