Sharing Our Media
The radio show is broadcasting live from the Desktop Linux Summit in San Diego next week, which is exciting for several reasons. First, we'll be interviewing Michael Robertson of Linspire about his return to the digital music business. Michael founded MP3.com several years ago before selling it off. Early reports on his current foray into digital music aren't telling much, so we should be able to get some good information at the conference. Hopefully we can also get some time with Rob Glaser to find out what Real has in store for us. They've done some great things to make multimedia a better experience for both Linux and OS X users, despite the stigma that continues to surround the Windows RealPlayer. Another speaker I'm interested in talking to is Robin Rowe, founder of LinuxMovies and project leader for the open source special effects app CinePaint, which was used to add digital arrows to The Last Samurai among other projects.
If you create audio or video content and need an affordable place to host your files, OurMedia.org is offering an interesting model. In partnership with the Internet Archive, they will be releasing a way to host any audio and video content you create with unlimited bandwidth for free. I'm still trying to wrap my head around how this is financially possible, but according to Marc Canter, the spokesman for OurMedia, the Internet Archive has made a commitment to making this work. One of the cool features is support for meta-tagging of the files, which basically means you'll be able to tie descriptive text to the audio and video files, making it easier for people to find them when doing a Google search. It's currently possible to do some hosting of your own media files at the Internet Archive simply by signing up for a free account.
OurMedia.org creates an interesting opportunity for anyone producing a podcast, video or music on a tight budget. One of the big concerns for media creation is figuring out how to afford the cost of serving the files once you've created them. In most cases, you can get by with a $99 per month hosting plan from one of many hosting providers, but for some, that's a price they simply cannot afford. OurMedia is hoping to level the playing field and take file hosting out of the equation in hopes of increasing the amount of audio and video content available online. I have high hopes for the service, while at the same time I'm suspicious of anything free because there are generally hidden costs that don't necessarily have a dollar value associated with them. I'm looking into setting up an account so I can report back on my experiences with the service at a later date.