Archives For Video

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Let me start by saying I don’t get MySpace. Maybe I’m too old or maybe I’m just antisocial, but I haven’t found a use for it (other than the requisite ‘keeping-tabs-on-exes’). In fact, seeing some of the stuff (risqué photos, confidential work details, etc) a few younger coworkers have publicly revealed alarms me. Despite me apparently being out of touch, there’s no denying MySpace has huge traffic and is a premiere web destination. Unlike other recent tv-on-web experiments, this one actually has a chance of gaining traction given the stickiness of MySpace — IF Fox moves off their custom player and embeds video directly into Windows Media Player or Flash. Though that would make protecting content and force feeding ads a bit more tricky…

(via TechCrunch)

iTunes 7 Web Roundup

Dave Zatz —  September 15, 2006
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The Good
iTunes 7’s big new features. (TUAW)
How to back up your music using iTunes 7. (TUAW)
Use QTFairUse 2.3 to strip FairPlay DRM. (Engadget)

The Bad
iTunes doesn’t see all Nanos. (Apple)
Streaming to SoundBridge is broken. (Roku)

The Ugly
iTunes 7 ate all my purchased music. (Wil Wheaton)

Dave Covers Zune

Dave Zatz —  September 14, 2006
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blah blah blah Toshiba Gigabeat S blah blah blah plus MusicGremlin blah blah blah battle iPod/iTunes blah blah blah

If you’d like more verbose coverage, I suggest Engadget: Zune player, Zune marketplace

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TVHarmony AutoPilot (free!) has always offered leading edge TiVoToGo desktop software, being the first with scheduled downloads and commercial skip functionality. I traded several emails with Will of TVHarmony, and I’m impressed with what he’s accomplished (and what he has planned). AutoPilot Beta 2 converts to and from a much greater variety of devices and services. Taking a page from Galleon, AutoPilot utilizes HME to optionally schedule downloads and conversions directly from TiVo. While we’ve always been able to remotely download TiVoToGo content, AutoPilot has added some rudimentary place-shifting of previously converted content (think Orb). Will tells me the web streaming is still a work in progress, but he has a cocktail napkin of design notes to build on-the-fly PC conversion to stream content directly from the TiVo. How cool would that be?

Summary of new features:

  • Converts videos for many new devices including Creative Zen, Cell Phones, GP2X, Archos, and Neuros video players.
  • Downloads and converts video from Youtube.com, Video.Google.com, Archive.org, and other video sharing sites.
  • Access AutoPilot from your Tivo via HME so you can schedule downloads and conversions from your living room.
  • Logon to AutoPilot from the web including watching downloaded content from your web browser.
  • Transfer your TiVo shows using your PSP web browser to watch video from the road.
  • Multi-threaded for faster downloads and conversions.

Both TiVo and Netflix posted interesting job openings this week…

First up is Netflix, who’s looking to hire an interface engineer. Based on the description it seems they’re interested in exploring Vista’s GUI functionality to possibly produce a front-end for on-line movie distribution. Keep in mind Vista will bundle Media Center Edition features… which currently include Xbox 360 streaming.

This research team will be investigating new ten-foot user interface models for browsing a huge catalog of movies on a on a TV. Rich interactivity will be key to collecting user tastes and preferences and helping the user find the right content easily. We will be exploring various technologies such as Windows Presentation Foundation, which means we are looking for someone able to pick up a new tools and execute quickly and effectively. (via Hacking Netflix)

And speaking of Windows, TiVo’s job opening prominently mentions Windows Media Video 9 (VC-1/WMV9) which both Blu-ray and HD-DVD support… and what a variety of current movie download services (Movielink, CinemaNow) utilize in conjunction with Microsoft DRM. MPEG-4 is also mentioned, a format many consider compressed enough for the possibility of wide-scale TiVo video downloads.

TiVo is seeking a manager for the Media Architecture team. This team is responsible for the real-time streaming functionality that drives the TiVo digital video recorder features: real-time record and playback of synchronized audio/video data.

  • This person will have knowledge in at least one of the following areas: MPEG-2 video and systems, MPEG-1 audio (including MP3), or MPEG-4 Part 10 (H.264) video
  • In addition, this person will have working experience in 3 of the following areas: VC-1, WMV9 and WMA, Dolby Digital (AC-3), network streaming audio and video, DVD playback and recording, digital right management (DRM) technologies

Never enough time… in Canada!

  • Newly manufactured 25″+ TVs must contain ATSC digital tuners starting today. (HD Beat)
  • Ready for TV pop-up advertising? (Tampa Tribune)
  • Catch the Shuttle launch in HD today. (HDNet)
  • Toshiba still wants unified DVD format. (eWeek)
  • MobiTV now available for Windows Mobile 5.0. (Engadget Mobile)

Dave’s Mobile Multimedia

Dave Zatz —  June 30, 2006
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I no longer ride the subway to work, so now my commute is far less interesting and far less productive. However, I still have a fond place in my heart for portable multimedia. The two media apps I find myself using most frequently (which can’t be accessed on a subway) are the portable Slingbox player (it does go full screen) and MiniXM (as shown above on my Sprint 6700). I’m obviously on XM, but Sirius subscribers can stream stations via SiriuCE. TiVoToGo converted shows are played back via the included Windows Media Player and ripped DVDs through TCPMP. Orb could stream my home music collection, video, pictures, and television if I wanted — the TV component isn’t nearly as slick as Sling’s box and custom app, but it is free if you have a PC with tuner card. Down the road, I’d really like to see Windows Mobile support PMP services such as Vongo’s all-you-can-eat movie rentals.