- Um, Bravo?
I have to shake my head in utter bewilderment when it comes to how the networks are fighting to come to grips with distribution in the digital age.
While sites like Hulu and apps like Boxee are great steps, they still make it impossible to watch shows outside of a stable WiFi hotspot. What is this great fear of portability all about? Why can I watch the show on my computer but not my iPhone. Why can I watch it in my apartment but not on the subway.
Obviously, there is a pretty simple way for me to solve this problem: if I want to take a show with me I download it from a BitTorrent site like PirateBay. There I can get the complete episode in an open format that I can covert easily and move to my iPhone. I also get the episode completely commercial-free.
What leaves me baffled is why the networks don’t simply offer a downloadable version with embedded ads. Sure, I like ad-free but I’d rather get my entertainment through approved channels if possible. Just like I, and many others, are happy to put up with ads on Hulu in exchange for free content, the same would go for content I download.
Instead, in some vain attempt to, um, protect their DVD sales(?) they force me to go get content from a “pirate” site and lose the potential ad revenue, too.
Ok, I am not sure how they are able to do this but if you go to www.zinio.com/iphone in your iphone safari browser you can read perfect digital scans of tons of major magazines (even Playboy and Penthouse…).
Can’t tell is these are all the most recent newstand issues or if they are only letting you get a look at previous issues but either way this is pretty cool and the interface is neat to.
Looks like another nail in the coffin for Dead Tree Media.
Sure, it will be a nice day when the iPhone finally incorporates Flash (not to mention cut&paste) but that doesn’t really get me excited.
However, Mashable has an insider look at an app being developed by the gang at Revision3 that is just what the doctor ordered.
How totally cool and smart. All their programming in one place, constantly updated and allowing me, the viewer, the follow the shows I like and discover new ones.
Is this sort of what we will get with the addition of podcast downloads? A bit, but this is so much more dynamic and allows the content distributor to control their own environment.
What is holding back these sorts of apps, Apple?!
The US lags way behind much of Asia and Europe when it comes to watching video on our cell phones (question: how many people need to ditch their landlines before we can just say “phone” and everyone know we mean “cell phone?”).
Mashable has a good look at what’s holding us back (technology, lack of rich content, etc.) and sees some hope in the future.
I think that wider adoption on mobile video viewing will come quickly, especially as handsets like the iPhone make the viewing process much more enjoyable. The iPhone’s lack of Flash-compatibilty is the only thing that stops me from watching loads of videos online while I’m away from my laptop.
It would also be a great boon to producers and distributors of things like webseries that could automatically push new episodes to your phone much like you can have email pushed.
iJustine, who rose to microfame as one of the earlier “life-bloggers” out there, has just posted a video documenting the damage done to her first-gen iPhone.
Oddly, there doesn’t seem to be some huge dust-up in the blogosphere over whether or not this is an authentic ode or a sponsored shill.
Nearly none of the comments on her site even seem concerned.
Seth Godin claims to have coined a new term, Clowd (though a quick google search makes this questionable), and defines it as:
“…combining crowd and cloud into something new.”
Basically, it is the idea of the “tagcloud” and “crowd sourcing” blended together. His excitement over the Clowd is due in large part to yesterday’s announcement that the new iPhone will have very accurate GPS tracking capabilities – thus, should you chose, your friends (and enemies) can know your relatively precise location at all times. As Seth points out, this has all sorts of benefits:
“…it can tell you when your old friend is just two gates away from you, also wasting time at the airport waiting for her flight. Or it can do Zagats to the ten thousandth power by not only suggesting the best nearby restaurant (based on your food circle of friends) but can also integrate with Open Table and only recommend restaurants that actually have room for you.”
Call me crazy, but does this sound like a bad idea to anyone else? Sure, it might be cool to be able to find friends you didn’t know were in the neighborhood but do you really want everyone you know to wonder what you were doing down by the docks at 4 in the morning?
Ok, so you can opt out of this service, or only let certain people know, but what’s going to happen when some friends learn they have that access while others don’t? This will be the new status symbol.
And what about couples? Isn’t this pretty much like have a fulltime private eye going everywhere your significant other goes? And what if you tell your mate you’d rather now give them that sort of access? Isn’t that tantamount to admiting you’re a lying cheating bastard?
Well, kids, say hi to the new iPhone and wave goodbye to your last shreds of privacy…