I don’t know if you are following this as much as I am, but I can’t keep from checking out the news rolling in on the #Egypt feed on twitter.
It doesn’t get any more real than that with live pictures and video’s being blogged and tweeted first hand. Paper.li on #Egypt proves great for high-speed streams of tweets and links like this to filter the most interesting bits. The English site of Al Jazeera also turn out to be a great resource for first hand info. This seems to do for them what the first Gulf War did for CNN. I’m seeing a lot of Al Jazeera links fly by everywhere and only little CNN, BBC or other major media channels.
I’m just hoping this’ll turn out alright in the end for the Egyptian people.
Since we can now post videos, I shall do it a second time! But I’m not doing it just because I can (even though it would be a valid excuse) but because the awesomely funny lads from Monty Python have decided to put their own clips up over at YouTube in their very own Monty Python YouTube channel.
Instead of suing the ass off their fans who have been posting their copyrighted clips over the last 3 years in crap quality, they blow their nose at them and instead post the clips themselves in high quality, as they where intended to be viewed. How cool is that? Eat that RIAA and Metallica I say!
Instead they only want to use this opportunity to sell their DVD’s and movies. A bloody good idea in my opinion. Thanks to that, we can now enjoy the French taunts in high def.
About a week ago I got an email from Joost telling me I was admitted to another round of beta testers for this new, hip and so mucho buzzed internet TV thing these Dutchies have to offer.
TV over the net is one of the latest hypes going down lately with websites like YouTube, Blip.tv and Neave.tv. Democracy player gives it a shot open source style, using Bittorrent to download the videos to your hard drive and play them from there. But TV works so much better if you just have to zap to a channel and you get your content. Instant gratification. Lovely. A bit more bandwidth intensive of course, but hey, you can’t have it all I guess.
JoostTV offers just that. A slick, full screen smooth running piece of software where you select one of the -there’s no way I’m counting them all- available channels and click a program to watch. After a second or two and a splash of advertising you can sit back, sip a beer and enjoy the show.
Technologically Joost is nicely built. The interface is smooth, video and audio streams without glitches and the controls are intuitive. When you start the application after a previous viewing session, it remembers which program you where watching before and where you left off exactly in it, which is a sweet feature. More stuff a regular TV doesn’t have to offer you ask? Well, you can pause what’s playing (pretty basic), use a slider to position yourself in the current video (nice) and switch programs or items if what you see isn’t what you like (very nice). Quality of the videos shown can vary I’ve noticed, which probably depends on the content providers themselves, but is in all cases good enough to be enjoyable.
When it comes down to content there is a bit of everything. Music channels (the Ministry of Sound one is nice) movie, comedy, cartoon, some indy short movies, as I said, a bit of everything. I guess you need to check it out for yourself if you want to get a better idea of what they have to offer, since it’s just a bit too much to cover in a single blog post.
One thing JoostTV has in common with regular TV is the advertising, which is a pity. Money has to be made somehow of course, and ads are just a way of doing this without having people to pay for subscriptions. In most cases I’ve noticed the ads are limited to a single short splash screen before the program begins. For programs longer than a music video I’ve seen full ads in mid playback, interrupting the program, which sorta sucks. It sucks partly because it’s an ad of course, but also because at first I didn’t quite notice or expect an ad. I just thought it was part of the video first, until a makeup ad popped up I recognised from TV.
To sum things up, I think JoostTV has a future if they can keep their game up, and add some interesting content to the mix. Like some adult content for instance. They are Dutch after all, come on…
I also received a good 3 invites recently, so if you’re amoung the first to send me an email telling me my blog is the hottest thing since thongs where invented, you can expect an Joost invite yourself. Ain’t that sweet?
There are lots of video sites popping up all over the place recently, like YouTube, Google Video and Blip.tv. All very nice of course, but you can waste a serious amount of time clicking through tons of crappy vids to find some decent stuff.
The Neave.tv site I came across through a dead tree blog (C’T magazine) has an interesting approach however. It uses videos from the above services, and gives you a TV-like interface using a nifty flash applet with a number of channels for your zapping pleasure. I like the feel of the app a lot. It’s slick, fast and when you zap you get this funky distorted image effects as if you’re actually changing channels on an oldskool analog television set. Yes. Eye candy pwnz.
The channels currently contain a limited number of topical videos, but all the videos are of good quality which is what matters innit. There’s the typical music channel of course, but to pick one I’d say the subversive channel is one of my personal favorites, featuring some really cool videos.
It would be cool if the channels would get updated content in the future, and if more channels were available. This could really be a kick ass thing if people would be able to create channels of their own, and simply fill those channels with the best videos available on the video hosting services all over the interweb.
Anyone could become his own channel VJ and with topics ranging from how to breed your very own bonzai kittens, the newest trends in tiny bikini fashion, or how to make breakcore by playing a drum computer with your bum.
I know, it would rock like so much and stuff.
One more cool thing about this one. For some reason it gets through the corporate firewall. Really. No other video flash players manage to get their bits through it, but this one does without a glitch. Awesome.