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Clear Channel Moves to Flash

The proliferation of Flash Video on the web over the past few years is a well-told story, but less discussed has been the use of Flash by internet radio stations. National Public Radio and Pandora are just two high-profile examples of the hundreds of sites using Flash to stream music.

Now joining those ranks is corporate radio behemoth Clear Channel, which announced today that it's switched from Windows Media to Flash for both music and on-demand video on the websites of its 850-plus stations. Of course, Clear Channel isn't simply flipping a switch today; according to Adobe director of product management for Flash content creation and distribution Jennifer Taylor, the company has been rolling out the changes gradually over the past few weeks.

Different properties require different degrees of localization, she adds. But the basic player can be seen at iheartradio, which aggregates more than 350 stations, delivering both music and video content.


Clear Channel made the switch to Flash in order to achieve better cross-platform support than they could get with Windows Media. Though Microsoft's Silverlight also would have offered cross-platform support—and Liquid Compass has been offering Silverlight internet radio players since late 2007—there's the still-thorny issue of Silverlight requiring admin rights to install, meaning that, for the corporate environment (where plenty of internet radio listening goes on), Flash makes more sense for now.

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