CoolIris – Multimedia is Going Multi-Screen

There’s been a distinct trend lately toward multi-screen views for online video applications. The Olympics Silverlight player included four screens for watching multiple events simultaneously. Verizon and the NFL are once again offering multiple camera angles for football games to online subscribers. And now Ars Technica reports on the latest from CoolIris and its browser plugin PicLens, which lays out search results visually, allowing users to scan across images and launch different video feeds from a single browser page.

The increasingly visual Web is a channel-surfer’s dream. (Though a cynical part of me wonders if we’re once again dumbing down the info-gathering process by eliminating the need to read anything…) The bandwidth implications, however, are a bit worrisome. From a consumer perspective, the more we see bandwidth caps and Internet slow-downs during heavy usage periods, the more applications like PicLens seem unrealistic for every-day use. It’s a never-ending battle. Internet bandwidth increases, and new heavy-bandwidth applications are introduced.

On a lighter note, check out the gallery of PicLens screenshots below. The app currently supports content from Amazon, Flickr, YouTube, SmugMug, Google, Yahoo, DeviantArt and Photobucket. I’m planning to download the full application and give it a real test run soon. Drop a comment if you’ve already tried it out.

4 thoughts on “CoolIris – Multimedia is Going Multi-Screen”

  1. I’ve been using CoolIris (formerly PicLens) add-on for Firefox 3.0.1 for a few release versions and while I like it, the latest versions aren’t quite as good as the former.

    First the good:

    – It takes a page full of images on sites like Google, Flickr and others and turns it into a full screen 3D collage of images with the ability to easily scroll through and zoom in on images you want to see. You’ll wonder how you ever browsed threw Flickr or other photo sites without it.

    – You can zoom in on an image and cilck the link to take you to that images page. When you are done you can go back to the full screen page and keep going from where you left off.

    – The “Discovery” option takes images and videos from numerous sources and puts them into categories such as “Movies and TV” or “Elections 2008”, making it easy to find images and videos for things you are interested.

    Now the bad:

    – Videos frequently have playback problems. Either the video will stutter or the video will play back without any audio. I have contacted the company and they are reportedly working on a fix for this.

    – I find the feature that let’s you go back to the collage you were looking at doesn’t work well with DeviantArt. It used to, but this broke a about 2 versions ago.

    – I’ve had a few instances where it actually corrupted Firefox’s window after coming out of the CoolIris fullscreen and forced me to restart Firefox. This doesn’t happen often though.

    Overall it’s a good program and I it’s definitely on my recommended Add-on list if you PC can handle it.

  2. I’ve had it a while and loved. It makes looking at photos on Facebook a lot more enjoyable, and any kind of image is much more aesthetic.

  3. Hi Mari,

    Thank you for posting about Cooliris! We truly appreciate it. We’re delighted to hear that you are enjoying Cooliris and we hope your readers will too.

    @Morac – thanks for the heads up about the bug involving DeviantArt. We’ll definitely look into it. Hope you continue to enjoy!

    @Ben – great to hear you’re loving Cooliris. Have you tried out videos through Cooliris? Hope you too continue to enjoy!

    Interested readers can check out the full spectrum of Cooliris features at and please stay tuned for more exciting developments.

    Thanks again,
    Luna and The Cooliris Team

  4. Hey im a recent cooliris downloader, its great although how would i change the search filter on websites such as google or stay signed in websites such as youtube?

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