At JAJAH we are always looking for ways to leverage our payment system in new and exciting ways. One of the ideas that came up was to sell calls to videos. You call to a certain number and while the call is active, you can watch a certain video. Not a new concept at all, it’s been used in some industries for ages now . But, we only needed a demo for now and we needed a super quick way to create it. The obvious choice was to use Flash Media Server with some kind of ticketing system. For this demo we used a third party shared server from influxis which is more then enough in this case.
Creating a ticketing system with FMS couldn’t be easier, you can find some tutorials about it here, here and here. But let me summarize it for you. Create some kind of a temporary ticket (random number or GUID will do) and send it to the client (the Flash player), when the player request the video stream from the server, send this ticket to the FMS along with the request. The FMS in it’s turn validate this ticket against your server. Continue checking this ticket in a certain interval and as long as this ticket is valid, play the stream, if it become invalid kill the connection. Thats it. Most of the articles on the web about FMS tells you that Flash-Remoting is needed for any kind of communication from the FMS. It isn’t completely true. While using remoting may be beneficial in some cases, since FMS 2.0 it is easy to make asynchronous calls like webservices and loadvars. So you have more choise when developing your ticketing system. If you want to use Flash Remoting in dot.net consider using Midnightcoders WebOrb, as an alternative to Macromedia’s Flash Remoting MX (both didn’t install on Vista at the time, btw).
Since Jajah’s pay per view is only a demo, we didn’t exert ourselves to make it supper secure. you can learn more about securing your videos in this Adobe Flash Media Server article.
To watch the pay per view demo, go to jajah.com, login or register and make a (free) call to this number +43-123456789. Your phone will ring, answer the call and behold. You will see a cool animation, an homage to IceAge. When you’ll hang up your phone, the animation will stop. If you’ll try to watch the movie after hanging-up, the stream won’t be served from the FMS since the ticket isn’t valid anymore.