Wednesday, September 28

More odd architecture

I've seen a lot of architecture, but this building looks more like a vehical then a building. A giant vehicle. Perhaps a freaky ship in dry dock? It's the ING building somewhere in Netherlands. Yes, ING the bank. Such sparse landscape too.

ING Building, Netherlands

Saboteur Responsible For Recent Flickr Outage Caught

Flickr was down for what seemed like the whole day a few days ago. The flickr team tried to keep it light by displaying distracting messages and someone has posted this final wrap on events. I can't normaly stand any such cuteness, but I guess I must be in a good mood today.

Enjoy: Flickr: FlickrCentral

Seen on Flickr


It's things like this that make me love flickr so much.

I heart flickr

Monday, September 26

What if you could have your own personal TV channel?

What if you could have your own personal TV channel and you could simply add any item on the web to that TV channel at any time like a big giant Tivo so that when you got home you could turn on the TV and watch whatever it was you'd queued up during the day?

Think of it as Netflicks, but a) your selection is any video on the web and b) instead of videos arriving by mail they'd arrive via the internet to your set top box, media center or other device.

Or you can think of it as a giant Tivo. Except instead of queuing anything on TV guide your queuing any video on the web.

Does it sound simple enough? Impossible?

The technologies are all in existence to make this possible. Video syndication, aggregation and playback tools like Fireant and iTunes are now widely available for free. In fact if you have a basic computer and a reasonably fast internet connection then you've got everything you need. And, If you have a a camera that does digital video (as many sub $200 cameras do) to go with your computer and internet connection then you've got everything you need to make your own media. But for the sake of turning the web into a giant Tivo all that's now needed are some creative webservices.

The basic premise for queuing is simple.

1) Upon clicking on a "queue it" bookmarklet in your web browser a bit of javascript grabs the referring url and hands it to a webservice.

2) The webservice parses the HTML and presents any videos available on the page.

3) If more than one video is available you simply select the video you'd like and it is added to the your queue on the webservice

4) Some sort of confirmation is displayed and you are returned to the page from which you came.

Simple enough so far, but what happens after the webservice has the video you'd like to watch?

1) The webservice then takes the url of the video as well as any meta information associated with it and puts it into a user specific RSS 2.0 feed w/enclosures.

2) An Aggregator on your media center, set top box or other internet connected device then downloads the RSS feed, parses it, and downloads all videos referenced, adding them to the playlist awaiting your attention.

3) When you return to the device all you have to do is press play.

In addition to individual video queuing such a webserivce could also allow subscriptions to existing RSS feeds and video blogs. Even whole web pages not containing RSS feeds. Here's how.

1) Upon clicking on the "subscribe" bookmarklet in the browser a bit of javascript takes the referring url and hands it off to a webservice

2) An application on the webservice retrieves the referring web page and searches for an RSS 2.0 feed with enclosures. If none is found it searches for videos.

3) Upon verifying that the page either contains either an RSS feed containing videos or videos itself either the page or RSS page is added to the user queue and a confirmation is displayed before the user is returned to the originating web page.

So what happens after a web page or RSS feed is subscribed too?

1) the RSS feed or web page is parsed and individual items are added to a user specific RSS feed with any other content in the users "queue"

2) An aggregator on your media center, set top box or other internet connected device then downloads the RSS feed, parses it, and downloads all videos adding them to the playlist awaiting your return from work.

3) from this point forward the webservice periodically downloads and parses the original RSS feed checking for new videos and the aggregator periodically checks the webservices RSS feed for new videos.

Why? What's new about this? Why bother?

Queuing is to subscription based media what Tivo is to TV channels.

Right now we have the existing existing Video syndication, aggregation and playback technologies and creating and watching peer based content is starting to take off. But current methods are completely focused on subscription based mechanisms, aka. channels. I suspect this is because they are modeled at least in part on television, however it is rare that we want to watch every item in a channel and further more there are many times when we only want to watch one item in a channel, so why than would you subscribe to the entire channel when you just want one item. Alternatively you may simply want to watch random items that are not associated with any channel. It's times like these that we need greater control over our viewing experience.

Why not just watch videos from the web in the web browser?

This is a good question. First of all the web is an active viewing experience. While browsing the web we're actively engaged in and interacting with the content. Do to both the attentive nature of the web browsing experience and serious lack of capacity for delivering video early video based media on the web were delivered in smaller, shorter, lower resolution, "bite sized" chunks. Many of these early restraints still shape the internet based video viewing experience today, but now their are new opportunities.

Do to the increased proliferation of high-speed internet connections at home and the drop in cost for bandwidth and hosting we now have an opportunity to offer higher resolution and longer video based content to home users. A place where people have more time and are more apt to relax and take in a more passive viewing experience.

This does not mean that all video should be watched at home, in a video specific player, or that all videos are getting longer. What it does mean is that there will be a proliferation of all formats of media online and that as some of this content gets longer in length we need to improve our systems for how we find and watch it. Queuing videos for watching at a later time in an alternative environment such as on the TV or the home computer (even portable devices) allows us more control over what we watch and how we watch it.

Now then, the only question left is, what will you watch?

Sunday, September 18

More speculation on the video iPod

From slashdot a few days ago.

Via: Slashdot | Apple Launches Video Podcasting For iTunes: "'Apple has launched support for video podcasting in the Podcast section of the iTMS. Ars Technica has a decent write up of the news along with speculation on what this means in the way of a video iPod and Apple's recent application for a patent on the phrase 'iPodcast.'' From the article: 'The quiet, fanfare-less launch (in fact, it's not even clear when it was launched) is a bit surprising for the company, but there may be a reason: there's not too many video podcasts out there in the wild. Furthermore, video podcasts are currently only playable on your computer, although it seems clear enough that a video iPod is on the way. If you didn't believe it before, you should definitely believe it now. For now, it looks like video podcasting support is limited.'"

The article: Apple supports video podcasting

Comments: Support for 'video podcasts' (aka. video blogs or vlogs) has been in iTunes from the initial podcast supporting release, version 4.9. Case in point my video blog feeds has been in Apple's podcast directory since day one. The Ars Technica author Ken "Caesar" Fisher is completely unaware of this and much of the history of video blogging. So, yeah, the article is full of misinformation and misconceptions, but what is interesesting is the level of interest in speculation about a potential video iPod and videoblogging, being as this was posted about on slashdot.

Video iPod, Video iPod, Video iPod.

BTW, Peter Van Dijk has been following the speculation closely too.

Peter Van Dijck's Guide to Ease » iPod video?

Peter Van Dijck's Guide to Ease » video schmipod by November 9th?

Personally I love this concept. It's just screen. Put the controls on the back, or better yet, make it a touchscreen interface. :)


Thursday, September 15

Rock's Big Bounce (Back)

Now I'm not quite yet running around yelling "it's working, it's working" because of this one article, but I've been keeping an eye on the band postal service since, well... the beginning, and this is why.

They and their related projects like Death Cab for Cutie are prototypical next generation bands. Somewhere in this equation lies the future off rock. It's ironic or maybe poetic that such a progressive group of musicians named a band after their old school collaborative method. They mailed CD's back and forth through the postal service, but I'm guessing their collaborations don't involve snail mail anymore. Ahh... nostalgia. :)

They've been a great meme to follow because their trail leads straight through stories like this one.

From: Rock's Big Bounce - Newsweek Entertainment -

"After a grim decade, the rock scene is once again producing music - lots of it - that's worth getting on a plane to hear. And better still, people are buying it. Last month, Seattle bizarro-rockers Modest Mouse turned heads when their new CD debuted at No. 19 on Billboard's album chart, selling 80,000 copies in a week. Gibbard has become such an indie rainmaker that his side project, the electronic-pop duo the Postal Service, has sold 250,000 copies of its first CD, 'Give Up.' 'Five years ago, a record that sold 50,000 copies was a huge success in our world,' says Rich Egan, president of Vagrant Records, home of punk pinups Dashboard Confessional. 'The standard has totally changed.' File-sharing, once thought to be the death knell for the music industry, has actually helped trigger a spending spree. Even MTV and big radio are starting to notice, playing artists they wouldn't have touched three years ago. Does the current scene have a Nirvana, an R.E.M., a U2? Not yet. 'But I've talked about this with friends a lot lately: something amazing is about to happen,' says Gibbard, 27. 'I don't want to guess what it'll be, but you can just feel it coming.'"

So is it working. Is the radical shifting due file sharing, innovative bands and small record labels starting to reinvigorate music. Is podcasting going to have any effect here?

Let's not pat ourselves on the back just yet.

First, the music industry regularly undergoes a revolution every few years. Wether it's hip-hop, gangster rap, grunge or motown, it's always happened. It's all part of the process. When it becomes to much of a big business commodity, just like hair band rock at the beginning of the 90's it gets burned down and recreated. It's sort of a beautiful thing when you think about it.

Second, we're just, just seeing the tip of the iceberg in new business and new media. New business models, new marketplaces, new companies, and new technologies like podcasting are just getting off the ground. Any acknowledgments should wait perhaps 2 more years, then we should really see where this is all going.

I'd just say that articles like this are some of the first signs that yes, there is life after file-sharing for the music industry.

It's been such a long road if you would have told me two years ago anyone was going to ever get in the game I wouldn't have believed you. I was in disbelief that billion dollar companies were set on sitting out digital music like it was a fad. Then sicking their lawyers on the future, and they're still doing it!

Sony didn't even allow mp3's on their players until after last christmas, when everyone from Creative to Apple had taken the entire portable music market-share from them and people like Cory Doctorow and the rest of us were laughing our asses off at their "A-track" players calling them 8-tracks.

All that and Apple is still the only digital music market that's even viable, and the Canadians and the Swiss are still taxing digital music players and/or recordable CD's like innovation and progress is illegal. Like this the current reality we live in isn't reality, like the future and digital music were not here right now and here to stay.

It's a long hard road and it'll continue to be. I just wish the dinosaurs would die already so we can get on living.

I'm sick of listening to the RIAA and their cohorts.

Shut up and die already or get in the f'n game!

We're sick of listening to your bitching and moaning.

Wednesday, September 14

The future of portable media - we need server side subscription managment

I've been starting to get a little gravity with my last post on the future portability of media on (also posted on and while I'm sure most are getting what the hell I was blathering about, the responses are not all that clear.

This is in response to unmediated and Marc's Voice: Hey look - there's Eric Rice. First, Here's Kenyata's post on unmediated. This contains his comments as well as Mark Canter's original post.

When I first saw this picture - i actually thought it was working code:

But then Michael Meiser discloses:

"Eric Rice posts this picture of the Sony PSP loaded up edge to edge with thumbnails of videos theoretically just a click away. It's not really there, but it is a vision of what could be."Then I see that Michael is complaining that the PSP doesn't have enough memory.

Dude - let me tell yah about the time we convinced Phillips to DOUBLE the amount of RAM it was defining for CD-I - from 500k up to a whopping 1M of RAM! That was back in 1989.

There will NEVER be enough RAM. My XP machine running 512M of RAM is constantly swapping and running out. RAM usage is like gas in a vacuum.

(I'd love to see someone get a PSP vogbrowser going sometime soon, as I've been working on PSP-friendly CSS and Javascript version of Rocketboom for a couple of weeks now. Hey Peter: I could've sworn you had a working demo of something like this going on somewhere. -kc.)

First, With all do respect to Mark, this post is not about the RAM memory, but the PSP does tap out at 1gig in flash memory right now, and that won't hold to much video footage. Sure it's enough for basic usage considering video blog videos are usually less than 30mb, but a movie is about 700mb and that doesn't leave room for to many vlogs, not to mention other content people may have on their PSP like mp3's. I'd also like to point out in the near future 4gb flash cards should be out and affordable if not already, and the PSP may well support future flash cards that are in the 10's of gigabytes. Yeah, so, memory is a small issue, but it's not the most important issue.

Second, The interface seen in the PSP IS working thanks to Peter of Mefeedia and Eric Rice of My apologies to Eric and Peter if I confused the issue. They're both doing amazing things. My point is this interface is simple not easy enough for the everyday user. Sure you could argue you could teach your mom to use it, and I'm sure she could, but there's no one save a few media geeks like myself who are ever going to even play around with this interface let alone use it on a regular basis. It's a novelty. A very cool novelty, but still a novelty. It's simply "not ready for prime time". Specifically:

1) You need to type the url into the PSP or otherwise have it bookmarked. Fair enough, but it's a few clicks at the least.

2) Then after when you click on an thumbnail image you are taken to the post about the video, not the video itself

3) You then have to browse through the post to find the video. It does not simply play.

4) Once you do find the direct link to the video (if you do find the link to the video as they are not always contained in the post) you then have to click on the link and the video will download to the PSP for later viewing in the media player. It does not stream.

5) Provided the video is in the right format, you can browse through the PSP and find the video on the flash card and play it.

Now, I may be wrong on one or two of the specifics, but the overall outcome is obvious. I suspect noone besides a few of us media geeks would consider it enough "fun" to repeat on a regular basis. You would in fact spend more time getting the videos onto your PSP then actually watching them. It's got huge whopping way to go in accessibility and usability. If you continue reading I'll lay it out for you right here and now as I've talked fairly extensively about this with certain people whom have the ability to bring this vision to fruition, if not fully then in part.

The basic gist of it is the videos need to be delivered to the PSP via an RSS enabled mechanism without any attention by the user so that when the user turns on the PSP and essentially hits the play button they're watching the latest greatest videos from their friends or family.

In order to accomplish this we will need an RSS aggregator on the PSP that downloads videos from the subscribed feeds and the meta information automatically without the constant attention of the owner. The means the PSP itself needs to auto-handshake with any trusted or open wifi point so that this aggregation can happen without any attention from the user whatsoever.

The is another part, but this is the easy part and I think some people are already working on it. For the sake of simplicity we need to offload the subscription management to a webservice like Odeo (but for video) or more likely Mefeedia or another video blogging webservice. By offloading the subscription management from the PSP to the webservice only a single RSS feed need be put into the PSP. Through this single RSS feed Odeo, Mefeedia or other said webservice can use this unique RSS feed to deliver all the subscriptions content to the PSP. This removes a tremendous amount of PSP based complexity allowing you to manage your PSP subscriptions from any computer anytime.

Odeo is the only one I know that uses this mechanism as of yet. They employ a single unique RSS feed for each users and push all subscribed feeds through the single feed to the PSP. Thus making subscription management independent of the device / aggregator and moving it to the webservice.

In addition to this being independent of the aggregator it has the very important added bonus of enabling one click subscriptions and additionally the queuing of individual content (more on that later). Since you no longer need to get every feed link into the aggregator (just the single feed the Odeo-like webservice creates for you) you can enable one click subscription from any individuals video blog to the webservice. To reiterate you're basically moving the subscription management out of the aggregator and into the webservice. This transparently works with every aggregator already out there including iTunes, iPodder, FireANT and a half dozen other video aggregators.

There are many other advantages to. For one its got a nice migration curve to. I, the end user can slowly move my subscriptions management out of itunes and FireANT and into a webservice like Odeo giving me (the end user) the additional advantage of being able to switch between any aggregator anytime, manage my subscriptions from any computer, and have the same subscriptions on any aggregator wether at work, at home, or out and about with my PSP-like device.

Imagine getting all the same videos at work, home or on your PSP without any syncing.

But that's not all...

(I feel like an infomercial sales pitch guy selling you on server side subscription management)

If you act now you'll also get single click qeueing!

About the queuing. I mentioned this in my last post, but there were many questions so I'll go into it more thoroughly here. I think this will be the next generation of inter-mediation of content. You can think of this as part of the "next generation directory", or "directory 2.0" but that would be to limited. This takes the directory beyond being a directory and turns it into a "marketplace" for video content. I'll write more on the marketplace concept later. It's a subject that's going to require another post.

Now back to queuing. Currently while browsing around on Odeo site you can with a single click add any piece of content to you queue so it will be downloaded to your computer / device next time it loads. Essentially this is "beyond the subscription model". To put it in the terms that made sense to me instead of subscribing to just the Ipod Lounge podcast, you can do a search or browse by the "ipod" tag and queue up individual episodes from any podcast feed about the iPod with a single click even though the podcast feeds themselves might not be specific to the iPod. That's getting beyond the subscription model. Currently there's no way to do this. It's sort of like browsing tags on technoratti and being able to search just for podcasts. In fact maybe Technoratti will have this feature in the future, though I doubt Dave Sifry and any of the google crew is reading this. Such future searching and single click queuing will allow for the user to create a much more controlled and therefore enjoyable experience.

To summarize, being able to search or browse podcast content by tags and queue individual pieces of content with a single click is monstrous "directory 2.0" type intermediation. Truly "beyond subscriptions" as I like to say. At this point it's is not really a directory at all, but starting to become a true "marketplace".

But wait there's more! If you act now....

Once such a service is created by Odeo, Mefeedia, or another web service provider plugins can be created for Moveabletype, Wordpress, and even a little crafty code that can be inserted into a Blogger template that will allow video bloggers to not only put a single click subscription link in their video blog but also add a "queue it" button automatically on every video blog post, perhaps right next to the video or perhaps by the permalink. It's only a matter of passing certain information contained in the blog post to Mefeedia, Odeo, or whatever webservice is first to offer it.

But the advantages just keep coming!

Act now and you'll not only get aggregator independent subscription management, single click subscriptions and single click queuing, but with a handy bookmarklet it is entirely possible to enable single click queuing and subscriptions from any page on the web!.

Yes, it's true!

Imagine your users being able to click a single button and add any video on any page on the web to their PSP-like device!

You mean with a single click I could put any video on the web on my portable video player?

Yes that's right, by creating a handy little javascript "bookmarklet" a webservice provider like Mefeedia or Odeo can not only enable single click queuing for their users, but with a little nifty Javascript they can quickly identify and video enclosed (or not enclosed) in any page on the web and add it to your queue so your portable video player can download it. Tricky? Not any more than any self righteous javascript developer can handle.

In summary... It's time to get beyond all the video blogging (and podcasting) 1.0 style directories. They were a great start, but it's time to start building 2.0 style marketplaces where monetization can happen (more on monetization later). This can be done by,

1) getting beyond subscriptions

2) enabling the consumption of individual pieces of micro-content

The cornerstone of these new webservices marketplaces will be...

1) aggregator independent, server side subscription management

2) one-click subscriptions

3) one-click queuing

4) and of course all that good searching, browsing and tagging goodness you've come to expect from, flickr and other web 2.0 type webservices. Don't worry I'm already working on another post to explain this marketplace idea more thoroughly we'll get into marketplaces and monetization yet.

In summary... PSP awesome, it could use a little more memory but that's not what's important. What we need is to be able to develop an RSS media aggregator for it and I don't think Sony has an API. Perhaps there are some interested linux lovers. What we can do in the meantime is.

a) create better directories with one-click subscription among many other things... to turn them into more publicly accessible marketplaces.

b) Come up with standards and specifications for what we need in a piece of hardware / software to enable videos and audio podcasts to be auto-magically aggregated from the web directly to a portable device (sans Apple's "hub"). If I had a million dollars I'd OEM one, but I don't think anyone like Sony gives a crap, they could probably care less about our little democratization of media because it makes far more sense to sell us all Hollywood than allow us to make and share our own media. After all it took them untill this year to finally come out with an mp3 player. Perhaps a more progressive hardware company like Creative is listening.


Now, if I was a real bastard I'd patent all this stuff, but first of all Odeo is already on it, if not in the entirety, then at least they have a partial vision of it. Second, my ideas are hopefully the exact opposite of "bastard ideas". I'm sharing this because idea's do have mothers and fathers, to patent ideas like these is to simultaneously take credit for the ideas while denying the do credit of those people whom they came from. Hopefully by sharing my ideas they'll make sweet idea lovin' and spawn hundreds and thousands of other baby ideas (or at least one or two) which will hence keep going forth and multiplying like a big beautiful "idea virus". Yummy. That's what good ideas do, if they're good. And hopefully some of these ideas or those they spawn will actually be implemented in real live tools I'll get to use. Wow! Won't that be neat! So, that is my ROI, and it's a damn good ROI. (But hopefully someone somewhere will one day recognize my brilliant ideas and pay me money to do other brilliant things in this area because as the saying goes I can dance to it but I can't eat it. That and it's time to get the lead out and monetize this schite! Yeah, I'm talking to you. You the tinkering with some cool webservice I may have mention. You the guys working on the directories and pretty much anyone developing infrastructure in the vlog-o-sphere or podcast-o-phere. Including but not limited to FireANT,,, Odeo, Brightcove, Mefeedia, Ourmedia and at least a dozen others. Let's get this medialicious party started.

More on next generation video blogging marketplaces later, today perhaps.

Cheers! :)

Friday, September 2

The future of media - the next big step is portability

I've seen the future of portable media. It's direct to portable video player subscription content. Always on, always with you, always updated with the latest content, anytime and anywhere ubiquitous media anyone can produce it. Even your grandmother. We're getting there, but video blogging needs to flash over into the hardware market.


Eric Rice posts this picture of the Sony PSP loaded up edge to edge with thumbnails of videos theoretically just a click away. It's not really there, but it is a vision of what could be.

Now, some points.

a) the PSP needs more memory, I know it can hold like a gig of videos, but that's not enough. I'm not sure if it supports 4gig flash cards or anything larger yet, I don't own one, but we need a device exactly like the PSP with at least 20 gigs of HD if not 60 or more gigs. 20 is a nice start though. I should point out the controls and the screen shape and size on this device are perfect for video media. The only issues then are memory and software.

b) The implied interface here is that you could click on any thumbnail and instantly play the video. In actuality these thumbnails just link to the blog post, which would then need to be navigated in order to get to the video. It's to much work. Playback needs to be immediate. Obviously this thumbnail interface is easily navigable with the thumb-pad. The controls are perfect, the information architecture or click architecture needs work. This shouldn't be a problem for Peter who created this interface for his being as he's an information architect. Peter, it's time to go beyond Flickr. Photos can't do what videos can do, they can't go where videos can go. You need new metaphors and ideas.

c) meta information -- while the thumbnail interface is very pretty it would be really, really nice to be able to hit one of the keys on the right, say the triangle button to instantly display all the textual meta information from the blog post on the selected video. Not only while browsing in this, the thumbnail state, but also while watching the individual video. The meta info should always be a single click away.

d) Caching - I assume information is loaded right off the website using the PSP's built in wifi. It's live updating, which is awesome, because new videos coming into (in this case) Eric Rice's subscriptions will appear automatically, however their needs to be a recursive cache mechanism, because a) you're obviously not going to be always online when you are using the PSP and b) it's highly unlikely you would be able to stream videos in realtime in the majority of cases. It would be EXTREMELY nice if the PSP could automatically detect and jump on any open network and start updating with the latest content without any interaction with the owner. I'm not sure thought if the PSP does auto-connect to wifi networks, and furthermore this would require some additional PSP based software and I know nothing about developing to the PSP platform. It's quite likely that Sony has everyone locked out, but it's also quite likely there's already a linux hack in development.

So what are we talking about here? How close are we to this future of ubiquitous portable media?

Well, here's my little brainstorm on what it would take. This is just one possible scenario using the PSP as a basis for departure.

a) First off I know nothing about developing applications for the PSP, but the most obvious thing at the bare minimum there's going to have to be some sort of software to download and cache videos. This is the hardest part

b) Secondly, does have all the mechanisms in place to interface with such software. If not for the caching issue mefeedia could easily configure a specialized script that takes all video in a users subscriptions, compile this interface and make sure the videos are only a click away. I'm sure that's easily within Peter's capability, and hopefully he'll work with Eric and give this a shot. Who knows, perhaps the PSP will stream videos well without even caching them. One thing is for sure if they even get this primitively working they should schedule a date with Sony and demo the technology. The prospects of such a device as this could radically change the way we interact with media. The proposal is a future where theoretically anyone can produce and syndicate media to be watched anytime or anywhere. Imagine your pocket TV, but instead of 4 fuzzy channels there's an infinite amount.

b2) Configurations and settings - Oh, obviously would contain all the settings for the services.. caching, subscriptions, user preferences and all that jazz.

c) the format and codec wars - I'm not sure what exactly the PSP will play but I assume there are some issues with what type of videos it will playback. There's proprietary Win media player format, Quicktime format, Real Media and more open formats like mpeg. I don't know what the PSP will play, but the easiest thing to do would be for Mefeedia to have a user setting for choosing the preferred format and than do video conversion to deliver videos to the PSP in the preferred format.

d) button and other interface niceties. -- In order to get the interface working as smoothly as possible there would need to be some control over the button functions. I'm sure sure the PSP has by default full controls over video playback but a single click "info" button read meta info, a "delete" button, and a "bookmark" or "flag" button would be infinitely useful. There might be some others, but the right side interface keypad would be perfect for this, assuming it's programable.

Important note: You will notice this solution completely bypasses the computer as a base unit or hub, something that's obviously a large part of Apple's "digital hub" strategy. It's time to move beyond the "hub" strategy and go direct to device. This will change customers perceptions of new media entirely. Media will be liberated from the computer. That's "outside the box" thinking. Quite literally. :)

Well, I guess that just about sums up all the points I can think off off hand to make this future a reality.

Essentially it consists of either a PSP or PSP like device with tight integration with a web-services like or for handling subscriptions or content. There are in fact a whole host of services ready to enter this space including, Brightcove, Eric Rice's and even Ourmedia who's aim is making sure everyone has access to new media. Let me know if I left anyone out. I'm sure I have.

All we're asking these providers to do is shift their focus from deliverance to the computer to portable playback devices.

Motivations? Here's one... Whomever puts together this marketplace has the best chance for monetizing new media. Will people pay to subscribe to video based content on their computer, possibly. But if you're meefedia, odeo, Apple, or any of the others.. I would be betting ALL my money that people would pay for a la carte subscriptions delivered direct to a PSP like device. Because let's not forget, once it's on a portable video player, it's not only anytime and anywhere ubiquitous media, but it's also quite possible to plug such a device into any TV with a simple AV cable and watch it on the big screen.

I've seen the future and it is ubiquitous subscription based media viewable anytime and anywhere through portable handheld devices loosely coupled with web-services. That's the future, that's where the money will be. Whomever gets there first will own the future of media. Now I'm just a know nothing media haxor, but I'll bet in 5 to 10 years this will almost certainly gobble up most of the video rental market and a tremendous amount of the broadcast TV and satellite delivered media market. We're talking billions of dollars. The opportunities are amazing. So... let the race to build the platform begin.

Oh and if anyone has a job for a screwy media haxor punk with some vision, some usability and design skills please put me to work, I want to be a part of this.

P.S. Let's not forget about Apple, I didn't mention them much but with the spectacular iTunes / iPod combination they could easily leverage into what I'm talking about here, though they'd almost certainly port it all through iTunes and their desktop to cell more computers. The computer though need not be the central part of the equation. Direct to device will ultimately cripple such an Apple plan, especially when all you need is a $150 portable device to go with whatever cheap computer you already have. That definitely beats even a "$500" Mac Mini + video iPod, especially when we know the cost of the Mac mini is much higher.

So while I think Apple would seem to have the best shot, I really hope some of my favorite players who are much more customer driven and customer savvy down in the trenches like Mefeedia, FireANT, Brightcove, Odeo and the like will find a way to either OEM or more likely partner with hardware players like Creative who's been a leader in the portable hardware market and very good about supporting open platforms.

Oh, let's not forget about the content providers. I, Mobuzz TV and whatever content creators are in a position to monetize video blogging, or let's just say the video over IP subscription model. The chance of monetizing (getting people to pay) for your subscription based content for computer delivery is highly unlikely in the foreseeable future until a marketplace develops. There is NONE right now. The same with set top boxes. The Akimbo is cool, but people already have Tivo, satellite and cable. You need to as my Art & Tech professor used to say, "get it out of the box".

We don't need more content on the computer or on the TV. We need something new. New content requires a new platform and a new marketplace. You're quickest road to monetization is to partner up with those mentioned here, those in a position to develop this portable video player marketplace and leapfrog all the existing media platforms. Portable anytime / anywhere.. is the one place that none of the huge traditional media players can go do to their own dinosaur like practices. It's in this new marketplace that you, video bloggers and all new content creators have a chance to make it in new media. Quit playing their game, play your own game. Get out of the box. Never before was the term "think outside of the box" more appropriate.

There we have it.. We need partnerships between new content providers, new video based web-services providers, and hardware creators. We need partnerships and we need them now. Let's see some hats thrown in the ring. Right now whomever takes the initiative will determine how open and how customer oriented this platform is. And I'd hate to see the future be some Microsoft DRM (digital rights managements) delivered American Idol to some proprietary hand held devices. Lets see the customers drive the innovation.

In fact I've been sitting on a proposal for many months to create a customer driven initiative (hear yahoo group) to focus on realizing this portable hardware based vision of the future of media. Perhaps the time is now for consumers to unite and lead by lobbying the industry for a portable media platform. Let's taking video blogging and decentralized media into the future, a place where the traditional media empire can't follow.

Anyone listening? (Big goofy grin. :)

Now watch this trippy Honda commercial by Wieden & Kennedy with voice over by Garrison Keillor of Lake Wobegon fame. It was voted commercial of the year recently by the British Television Advertising Awards. Know that advertising is not always evil. There is hope for it yet.

Watch it: