Sunday, June 12

The Long Tail

The Long TailBut what's the long tail all about you say?

Anil Dash has got it all figured out. :)

Friday, June 10

Internet television / p2p TV / peer based media

I just stumbled on this little definition in it's early stages on Wikipedia. It leaves a lot to be desired, but at the same time it contained an excerpt on Peer based TV distribution, aka. peer based media. There's one irony about the concept of IPTV as I see it, it's will be and already is so radically different than regular TV that I believe the name is a misnomer. Likewise though Interactive TV is also a misnomer. It's a whole new ballgame neither defined by it's interactivity nor it's lack of interactivity. That's why I prefer to just call it "peer media" or "participatory media". I believe it's core concept is that it's peer based. Nothing more, nothing less.

Internet television - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: "Initiatives to use peer-to-peer technology to distribute live TV are just starting to emerge. The main advantage of this approach over traditional distribution models is that it provides a way of sharing data delivery workloads across connected client systems as well as the distributor's own server infrastructure, which drastically decreases the operational costs for a stream provider. Costs don't rise with rising user numbers. Popular TV streams don't need to suffer from server overloads anymore, because not every user needs to access the source server.

The developments in P2P TV are likely to give Internet television a boost, but the industry is already fearing for a new Napster scenario, i.e. real-time TV-sharing. With the arrival of P2P TV and the ever growing number of people with a broadband connection, this year we might see Internet television break through to a mainstream audience. Some initiatives for P2P TV are already working, others are being tested."

Home-grown open-source video Codec to save BBC millions and make possible 'universal access' to TV programmes

DV Doctor has an excellent post on the BBC's Dirac project to create an open source video codec for streaming video. Also, I'm unbelieveably unable to find permalinks!? So I'm reposting the entire thing here. :(

On a side note: I'm amazed and confused that anyone would not have permalinks at this juncture, especially such cool blog as DV Doctor which is reporting directly on issues of accessiblity and transparency. But alas I searched for permalinks in shock and could not find any. It's slightly ironic and stupifying. DV Doctor please get permalinks so I can share the love with you.

Anyway, I don't believe I need to comment on why this is so cool. It says it all. Long live the open access culture. - DV-related Technology News and Reviews: "The Dirac video Codec created by BBC R&D and co-developed since early 2004 with open-source programmers is set to remove one massive barrier to making available on the internet all BBC TV output ? by saving the corporation very many millions of pounds in streaming license fees in coming years.

If development of the Codec continues at the current pace, it's possible that in as little as six months the BBC will be able to start switching its streaming output away from the expensive proprietary systems it currently uses - Real and, more recently, Microsoft.

Demonstrations at this week's BBC R&D open days of the Codec ? named after the Nobel-prize-winning British physicist Paul Dirac - showed it capable of delivering quality at least as good as MPEG-2 and WM9, and to be usable from a quarter of normal resolution right up to high-definition.

Data-rates, seemingly, still need to be pegged back a little, and other refinements made, but the finished Dirac should remove the need for the BBC to pay the massive licensing fees for streaming technology that threaten to kill the corporation's plan to offer 'universal access' to TV programs on the net.

Real, Microsoft and other firms who've been expecting massive windfall-profits from streaming licensing fees as broadcasters move onto the net should be very worried.

If the final free Codec turns out to be good enough for Auntie, it's certain to be taken up world-wide.

Other highlights at the R&D open days included hard-to-refute demonstrations of why High Definition TV will be big (and massively well-supported by the BBC); comparisons of competing High Definition TV display technologies; demos of currently available kit to feed HD TV sets; and ways of providing around-the-clock signing for deaf viewers to bring them out of their programming ghetto.

Watch this space for more on the implications of Dirac and about other R&D goodies. Oh, and have your say about Dirac in this DVdoctor forum thread where there are some useful Dirac-related links."

Thursday, June 9

The new FireANT Screencast

Jay, Rayanne, Josh, Daniel and Eric over at Ant is not TV have created a nice little screencast introduction to FireANT for Windows.

Get FireANT: Screencast | FireANT

I should state that I've been a huge fan of ANT right from the first public beta of their Macintosh version. I haven't gotten enough time in the saddle with the Windows version of FireANT, but I really like what they have going. The interface is coming along really nice and the screencast really does it's job as an introduction to the tool. Exactly what's needed.

I just have one thing to say about the interface: simplify, simplify, simplify. 1) subscribe 2) watch, 3) comment, that's all that FireANT need be about. (Well maybe subscribe, download, watch, comment.)

The screencast glossed over how to find and add good feeds using the ANT Directory and the download process was to involved. There's no way a newbie would follow the all the downloading processes, nor do they need too. The overview of replying with comments really rocked, it just needed to be spiced up, as in "you can't do this with TV".

While I liked the intro to RSS I'm not even so sure that newbies get RSS even matters, especially since most newbies wouldn't have any idea outside of the directory where to even find a "video feed". Besides the acronym is scary and unnecissary. Maybee for more advanced users yeah, but for newbies, all they need to know is they're "video feeds" and you can get them from the ANT directory.

Maybee it would make more sense to split the screen cast into levels such as basic, advanced, special power user features. That way the basic user gets all the information that they need to get started before getting hung up on some new concept like RSS, or more advanced power user features like downloading individual videos that frankly they don't need to get to use ANT. Besides, where's the piece de' resistance, the super amazing watching videos on the PSP. Let's remember that this is not a feature list though RSS, bittorent and the technical details don't matter. Put them in the white paper. People will find them.

I still find the default Windows interface a little intimidating, mostly it's just that visually there's a lot going on. All these little icons, buttons, and other extraneous information, but it's really getting there thanks to Eric Radmall's hard work. It's very tough to keep all those power user features and yet make it a no brainer for first time users. Perhaps the only way to do it is user modes, but in many ways the fate of video blogging is tied to ANT. Ant is the platform for video blogging just as iTunes is the platform for music.

Future products and future hardware devices will take their cue from ANT so nailing the interactivity model and the user-expectation is really important now. For example if ANT doesn't put a big empasis on feedback future devices and products might miss that close looping the conversation through feedback and comments is an essential part of the why video blogging works. Such a loss would mean the death of video blogging as it would disincentive people putting videos online in the first place. In fact if you just use ANT without ever leaving a comment you're missing out on all the fun.

In summary, it's all about:

1) overiew, ant is a platform for anyone's and everyone's media

2) How to subscribe / unsubscribe to feeds with the ANT directory.

3) Click the download button.

4) Watch downloaded videos from the playlist.

5) Comment.

6) Rinse and repeat.

Now that you've got the basics... On to advance...

8) Finding video feeds outside of ANT / using yahoo search

9) Subscribing to feeds not in the directory

10) Advanced download options

11) Advanced playlist options

12) Awesome special features... like the PSP, managing podcasts?

13) How to create your own video feed for ANT... check out freevlog...

Wednesday, June 8

59 Bloggers vs Blogumentary

I just posted the following comment, and though it's not the sum of this issue, it's my point and one in which I hope some will heart of.

Re: 59 Bloggers vs Blogumentary

I appreciate your summary. It was very good, but you do have one fact wrong. Your post seems to imply Nathan Peter's was one of the 59 bloggers to be interviewed for the documentary.

In fact David Weinberger was one of the 59 to be interviewed and asked to be removed from the list.

It was after this that Nathan Peter's sent his email to about 30 of the other 59.

In my opinion I don't think any of the vloggers were looking to stop this guys documentary from getting made. I do think his comments and his actions following those comments did that by them selves, with bloggers doing narry more than reposting them. His words and his actions spoke for themselves.

At any point this guy could have apoligize for his hasty comments (we ALL make hasty comments on occasion) and in fact state that he did have a point about film names not being protected by copyright. I'm not so sure that would work after his last response at though.

I think the lesson here is the blogosphere demands mutual respect, it's a central value, and if this guy cannot understand that then he really doesn't get the blogosphere and therefore isn't qualified to be doing a documentary on it.

That said I'm disapointed that we can't all learn from this and put it behind us. I think it's a lesson worthy of addressing or in deed informing of his documentary. But the olive branch has been extended to him on many occassions and he has denied them all.

Michael Meiser

Sunday, June 5

59 Bloggers director John Hart is bothered by Chuck Olsen's "Bullshit Nonsense"

Well, I don't go looking for ill will, but sometimes you can't ignore others ill will when it's hell bent on insulting and even harming people whom you respect and admire.

Chuck Olsen, maker of the excellent documentary about blogging entitle "Blogumentary" has apparently been both insulted and now legally threatened by the maker of another documentary film on blogging who insists on using the name Blogumentary all over his official website. I have included chucks entire post including John Harts remarks which were the result of Chucks email to John suggesting that he discontinue using the term.

To cut to the hart of the matter, I'm posting this after I saw Eric Rice's post because I believe if we all posted our disaproval the outrage will make this John Hart character seriously reconsider his disrespectful, disreputeable and even potentially illegal ways. Please do with this information what you may, or at least consider posting your own thoughts on the matter to your own blog. Also, Chuck could use a little support, some Blogumentary google juice and possibly a good recomendation. Thanks.


I hate to deal with negative energy in the world, but sometimes it rears its ugly head and throws up on you, completely unsolicited. You see, there's another blog documentary in the works, this one called Fifty-nine Bloggers. 2-minute interviews with each blogger, many of whom I've interviewed or chatted with. But the here's the thing: The "former Hollywood producer" refers to his film as Blogumentary, or a blogumentary, AT LEAST as often as the actual name of his film. I wrote him a nice email saying, best of luck with your cool project, and by the way it might be confusing to say things like "Blogumentary Sponsors" and "Bloggers in the Blogumentary" on your site. You know, since I already made a blog documentary by that name.

Well. I got a very nasty, wrong-headed email in return. Here's my favorite part:

You say it would cause "confusion" about your project. Just who
would be confused? Readers of your blog? Your parents?

While you're at it, why don't you complain to the 60 million users
of the word "weblog" or "blog" or "journal" since you have one. Blog
readers might get "confused" when reading yours, thinking that it
resembles a real blog.

Please don't bother me with this bullshit nonsense.

Yep! Thank you, and goodnight. Remember to tip your waitstaff! I managed to be polite in my response to him yet again, and asked him not to belittle my legitimate concern, but apparently he doesn't give a rat's ass. Keep in mind, I've poured my heart and soul (and time and money) into Blogumentary since 2002, so you might say I'm a bit protective. Not overly-protective, I don't think. Do you? Anyway, I'm ready to move on now. Several Blogumentary fans came out of the woodwork in my defense. I count my lucky stars for them, and of course for my comfortable Google presence.


Via Eric Rice - 59 Bloggers director John Hart is bothered by Chuck Olsen's 'Bullshit Nonsense' (Thanks for giving me the heads up Eric.)

Saturday, June 4

Playing Videos on iPods with iPod Linux

podzilla on ipod via Phillip TorronePhilllip Torrone over at the Make Magazine blog posts this video showing video playing on several iPod models including the photo iPod, 2nd, 3rd gen and iPod Mini by running the latest Podzilla linux install. While the qualities poor on the video and it's impractical for any sort of regular use, it's quite the awesome technological feat. I personally never would have thought the Podzilla crew would get videos to play on the old B&W screens as I don't believe they even have greayscale, nor did I believe they had the hardware. So, Wow!

Once again please note it's not very practical, YET. According to the instructions Videos have to be converted with exacting specifications and tools, (can't even be done on Mac OS X) but i can't wait to see what the Podzilla guys do next. They've done such amazing things so far.

Watch it:

From: MAKE: Blog: Play Videos on iPods with iPod Linux

Paris Hilton and Carls advert remix

vlog_parisburgerThis is sort of old, but I'm posting it here anyway because damit it needs to be seen and heard.

I believe this re-mix to be the very reason why parody is a protected form of free speech and fair use. Because sometimes reality screams out, "Mock me! mock me!" and so we must in a desperate bid to keep our sanity and perhaps in so doing let the world know exactly where we stand on an issue.

Watch it:
(4mb Quicktime video)

It doesn't matter what you think of Carls or Paris. This enjoyable remix proves three things.
  • Remixing is not only fun, fun, fun, but good for everyone!
  • "Un-cooling brands" really does work!
  • Using media to reflect on media is not only a right of the citizens but it's something to be proud of!
So get out there and reflect on the media!

(Or just let me know you think I'm a jerk in the comments :)


Growth Of Stolen Music Continues

"It's certainly no secret that Apple Computer's iPod is the bestselling digital music player. The company has shipped nearly 12 million iPods in just the last three quarters, representing three consecutive quarters of growth of 500% or higher.

It's also no secret that Apple (nasdaq: AAPL - news - people ) is a champion of legal downloading. Peer-to-peer (illegal) music downloading didn't grow at 500%, but it does continue to grow steadily despite low-priced music subscription services and an acceleration in sales of the iPod, which which was designed to work with Apple?s proprietary (and legal) iTunes music store.

According to the NPD Group, consumers purchased 25.9 million songs in March 2005, 52% more than they bought a year ago. Consumers also downloaded more than 242 million songs illegally this March, up 25% from March 2004."

Growth Of Stolen Music Continues -