Good morning coders, and what a morning it is. There's some huge, huge, huuuge news. Did I mention how huge this is?

Flash Player 10 Beta has just dropped on Labs and while the most hyped features center around 3D support and custom filters (amongst other things), there's also a goodiebag full of toys for the audio/video crowd.
How do you fancy some UDP? Peer to peer? Speex audio codec support (finally!)?

Let's dig a little deeper. The new rich media features in Flash Player 10 beta cannot be leveraged until the next version of Flash Media Server ships (this is likely to be a dot release to go hand in hand with the Player 10 release). However you can apply to take part in the FMS prerelease program and test these features before they are publicly released.

The next version of FMS and Player 10 will introduce a new protocol, RTMFP, which stands for Real Time Messaging Flow Protocol. This is a low latency, UDP based protocol that is based on Amicima's MFP protocol. Amicima was aquired by Adobe in 2006.

It sounds likely that FMS will act like a switchboard to connect various Flash clients into an optional peer to peer mode, offering high quality, low latency audio and video communications, and thereby sidestepping any bandwidth flowing through the server itself. Did I mention higher quality and lower latency? Think Skype inside a Flash application. Oh yes, I'll take two of those please.

In addition to the new protocol there's a new audio codec, Speex, to go with it. And what a great choice this codec is since Speex is open-source, as well as patent and royalty-free. It will be a revelation compared to Nellymoser, the only audio encoder that's currently present in the Flash Player.

There are tons of other exciting new features in Player 10 (enhanced text support - yeah), you can check a list here.

Oh and btw, Player 10, codenamed Astro, is really making some noise with its new sound features.

Rock on.